Weekend Coffee Share: 5/7/17

If we were having coffee, we’d be in my local coffee shop again, which has become a bit of a refuge for me on Sundays.  I’d be wrapped in a cozy sweater sipping my usual mocha and smiling sleepily at you.

How am I doing?  At the moment, I’m really tired and in a bit of pain… I’m recovering from yesterday’s adventures.

Short version: I got up at 6:30 AM, went to work, hiked 7.5 miles, went white water rafting, and got home at 11:30 PM.  It was an absolute blast, but my body is definitely in recovery.

Long version: You see, a friend invited me to go white water rafting yesterday evening.  The location is two hours away and the town I work in is right in the middle of that route.  It didn’t make sense to drive an hour home only to drive two hours again, so I spent my afternoon at a state park.  The park was beautiful–featuring a river with roaring rapids and endless woods where spring has only just begun to visit.  Stupidly, I decided to take the longest hike possible.  Three miles in, I realized I had bitten off more than I could chew, but it was too late to go back… so I powered through. Continue reading

Weekend Coffee Share 2/18/17

If we were having coffee, we’d be lounging in the sunshine with our drinks of choice.  I’d be in a light flannel and we’d be watching the crusty piles of snow turn slowly to puddles.  We’re in a remarkably warm stretch of weather–unusual for Minnesota this time of year.

Good weather like this reminds me of a scene in the film Lars and the Real Girl.  After going bowling, Lars and Margo linger outside chatting about the weather like good Midwesterners.  Lars comments that it’s been warm lately and spring is on the way.  Margo replies, “It’s just a thaw.  Spring doesn’t come until Easter.”

So, while the sunshine and warmth is amazing, I’m not getting my hopes up.  It’s just a thaw.  We’ll probably have a new foot of snow by next week. Continue reading

Weekend Coffee Share: 1/14/17

If we were having coffee, I wouldn’t be that chatty at first.  Even though it’s 10 AM as I write this, I’m still in my early-morning haze.  Since it’s January, it’s been terribly cold and snowy in Minnesota, which is perfect sleeping weather.  I hate being parted from my warm blankets… even if it means getting coffee with you.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve joined in the coffee share.  I’ve missed you all!

Life has been pretty slow over the past few weeks.  Aside from work, I haven’t had many places to go or things to do.  The holidays were so busy that I’ve been thankful for the lull.

At work, I’ve been making an effort to plan ahead.  Learning to be a librarian involves so much more than checking books in and out.  One of my goals is to start reaching out and creating community partnerships–starting with making a list of organizations and businesses to promote events at.  In addition, I’m working on being more organized and planning ahead.  The holidays snuck up on me and, aside from a few decorations, I really didn’t do anything special for my patrons.  I don’t want that to happen again!  I’ve already outlined activities and displays for next month and hope to continue the trend.

This weekend, I’m going to the cities to hang out with a friend from college.  We’re going to see La La Land (which I’ve already seen, but adored so much that I need a second round) and get dinner afterwards.  We’ve been tossing around going on a trip together this spring and will hopefully start making plans.

The rest of my weekend is likely to be spent indoors enjoying all the DVDs and graphic novels I’ve checked out from the library.  I also hope to do some writing for my blog.  I’ve got an idea for a new series that I hope to get going.  Stay tuned for more information on that in the future.

How has your week been?  Anything interesting going on in your life?  What would you share over coffee?

This post is part of the Weekend Coffee Share link up at Part Time Monster

 

Weekend Coffee Share: Fall is in Full Swing

If we were having coffee, we’d be wrapped up in sweaters and scarves wandering through the woods with no clear destination.  We’d look up into the golden and red leaves and let out a long, contented sigh.  Fall is at it’s most beautiful point here in Minnesota and I am loving every minute of it.

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Walking in our woods last weekend

If we were having coffee, I’d apologize for being absent from the blogosphere.  Today is my first full day off in three weeks–although I may have to go over and help give staff lunch breaks if the orchard is busy.  Between working full time at the library and helping out at the family apple farm, free time has been sparse.  When I DO have time to relax, the last thing on my mind has been writing.  Which is okay.  I miss you all, but sometimes you just need to step away from things if you don’t have the energy.  I’m hoping to give blogging more attention when things settle down–and this includes finally updating my WordPress account to premium, getting my own domain, and customizing my site. Continue reading

Weekend Coffee Share: Camping & Old Books

If we were having coffee, I would first tell you that I’ve been pretty absent from the blogosphere over the past couple of weeks and that I have missed you.  Things have been pretty busy in Amelia land–I’ve barely opened my laptop in the past few weeks.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I went camping last weekend with my friend, Maddie.  We spent two nights camping on the North Shore of Lake Superior in northern Minnesota.  Well, I say camping… we actually stayed in my great-uncle’s secluded cabin in the woods.  We had a roof over our heads, but it was fairly primitive.  We cooked over a fire, had to walk for water, use a biffy, and there were no other residences in sight.  It was an introvert’s paradise! Continue reading

The Drunkenness of Things Being Various

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to camp in Northern Minnesota.  A friend and I stayed in my uncle’s self-built rustic cabin in the woods a few miles from Lake Superior.  We had a wonderful time going on hikes, sitting by the lakeshore, exploring waterfalls, discussing morality in Game of Thrones, and reading poetry aloud at the campfire.

It was a peaceful weekend.  I felt all the clutter in my life fade away.  The sounds of daily life fade in comparison to the rush of a waterfall.  Alone time in nature, for me, is soul detox.

In my quiet moments, I reflected a great deal on how complex the human experience is–how beautifully multifaceted we all are.  I wrote in the margins of my sketchbook:   “Personhood is a complicated, beautiful thing–what an adventure it is to live inside myself.  There are so many corners, so many contradictions–How can I be so many people at once?” Continue reading

Weekend Coffee Share: Summer Festivals & Small Towns

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that things are changing quickly in my corner of the world–so quickly that blogging has fallen by the wayside.  My job hunt continues to progress.  Some days it moves forward in bounds and others it simply creeps along.  I’ve been learning a lot over the past weeks, but won’t say more here…I have a post scheduled about it for tomorrow.  So stay tuned! Continue reading

Day Trip to the Northwoods

This past weekend, my family took a day trip to Northern Minnesota.  It was the first time we’d been together in six months and wanted to celebrate.  We gathered our belongings, grabbed coffee at the local shop, and drove two hours to the port city of Duluth.  After a brief picnic lunch on some boulders at a little park along the shore of Lake Superior, we continued along the North Shore–enjoying views of the lake through the pine forest.

Our mission?  Hiking.  We did a 6 mile loop on the Superior Hiking Trail along the Split Rock River.  The trail was muddy and nearly impassible at points.  After attempting to skirt around the edges, I gave up and slopped through the mud.  It reminded me of the footpaths in England and wished I had a pair of trusty Wellies.  By the end of the day, my legs were crusted in a layer of slime. Continue reading

Gondolas & North Shore Connections

The North Shore of Minnesota is a feast for the spirit.  When I look out on the thick pine forests, rugged cliffs, and never ending water, all is well within me.  In a way, the beauty reminds me of who I am.

When I published my post “Thoughts From a Cold Boulder” last month, I thought that was my last time I’d get to see the place that is so dear to me.  Thankfully, I have a mom with connections.  She’s a lobbyist by trade and she represents several communities around the state.  Her job is to use the legislative process to get money to help benefit the well being of her clients.  Often times, this involves boosting tourism.

One of Mom’s biggest clients is Lutsen Mountains, the largest ski hill in the state.  Because of her connections, we were able to take a free two-day ski trip during my Spring Break last March.  Which was AWESOME.

Over the past year, Lutsen has put a lot of money into installing a new gondola.  This investment will (hopefully) bring in more people.  As the largest business in the county, this benefits the entire community.

Yesterday morning, there was a big opening ceremony for the event.  Mom decided to attend and, like the little mooch that I am, I tagged along.

We arrived Thursday night.  Mom was invited to dinner with the owners and the local senator (who is also the Senate Minority Leader and the third most powerful politician in the state).  I ate separately and enjoyed a relaxing evening watching Sleepless in Seattle in our room while she rubbed shoulders with the powerful, influential people of Cook County.

My original goal for tagging along was to go skiing.  I mean, what’s the point of going to the largest ski hill in Minnesota without hitting the slopes?  Sadly, due to an unnaturally warm December, most of Lutsen’s runs were closed.  They were making snow like crazy to be fully open by the weekend… but not in time for us.  No skiing for me.  😦

When the time for the ceremony came yesterday morning, Mom and I made our way to the shiny new gondola platform.  We were stopped and informed that it didn’t open for the general public for half an hour.  Mom quirked her head and goes, “Did Charles and Tom go up already?  We’re with them?”  That’s my mom–name dropping like a pro.

The ride from the platform to top of Moose Mountain was stunning.  They’ve been hard at work making snow and the trees were all coated in a thick layer of white.  The gondola cars have wide windows and we could see for miles and miles.  We were riding through the sky above the winter wonderland all the Christmas songs talk about.

The ceremony itself went very well.  Speeches were made, the ribbon was cut, and everyone moved inside to the chalet for coffee and cookies.  I met Lutsen’s owner and his wife invited us to come up and ski with them.  (Too bad I’m leaving the country in a few weeks…)  I met the important senator.  His wife, Laura, was VERY sweet and spent a long time talking with me.  I also met many of my mom’s Grand Marais work contacts–various business owners and such.

I’ve been attending these kind of events–press releases, grand openings, legislative hearings, etc.–since I was a kid.  I’ve learned to be a fly on the wall, following two steps behind Mom while she talks and makes connections.  I speak if spoken to, but usually stay pretty quiet.

After everything was done, we rode the gondola back down the mountain and headed to Grand Marais for lunch.  We had soup at the town’s coffee shop, then stopped by the home of one of Mom’s friends.  He’s the director of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce and his wife is from England!  We stayed for a long time.  The adults talked while I made friends with one of their huskies–a retired sled dog from Scotland.

It was a long four-hours home, but the drive along Lake Superior was beautiful as always.  We went to Gooseberry Falls State Park to see if the waterfalls were still running (they were!) and made a stop in Duluth for coffee.

I love the North Shore.  When I visit, I’m reminded of who I am.  It’s almost like coming home.  From a young age, the beauty has put roots in my heart and become part of me.  I’m thankful to have had so many opportunities to visit throughout my life.  I don’t know when I’ll be back, which makes me really sad.  But no matter where I go, no matter how much life changes, it’s always there waiting to remind me of where I’m from.