Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Is your trip business or pleasure? I could see the blurred form of the car rental agent in my peripheral vision. He held the clipboard, pen ready to check a box after I answered.

The car was candy red. My eyes stared past the surface. I felt them sting and I blinked a few times.
Did you know my mother never came home from the hospital after I was born? And they were never close, my dad with her family. They all drifted apart over the years. There was anger, sadness. I don't know what it was, exactly.
And my life was a dad, a sister and brothers. I didn't think to ask questions, it was just the way it was. And no one ever really explained what happened.

But I felt self-conscious as I hit my teenage years. People who knew her were spooked by my uncanny resemblance to my mother. People I'd never met would tell me things about her. Things that I didn't know about someone I should have been familiar with.

Did you know that I would stop at Grandma's house now and again on my way to and from college? One time my uncle was there and we spent hours talking. And he said to come visit him out in California anytime, he'd love to have me.

He repeated the offer in Christmas cards. I can't believe I didn't go visit him until nearly 17 years later. After two family funerals. After he moved to Phoenix.

And you know, once I started visiting, it became a yearly ritual. Phoenix gave me warm spring days riding my bicycle in the desert sun. It gave me the smells of blooming cacti during the depth of Minnesota winters. And my uncle gave me an understanding of my mother and of her life and ultimately of myself.

And did you know he's receiving hospice care now. I'm losing the one who fit all the pieces together for me. I thought he'd be here forever.
I took a breath.

Neither, I answered.

- tob

Monday, September 20, 2010

Here's The Deal

Well, I've got this deal going on. It's not a huge deal, but it's a deal. Some people have deals like this that are worse. Mine's not worse.

But I have to be on this stuff for this deal. Regularly. And the stuff is starting to tire me out. And give me headaches.

And I'm queasy sometimes...or maybe that's from the kindergarteners who aren't using kleenex. It's hard to tell.

The whole thing has cut into my time lately, because all I want to do once 7:30 hits is go to bed.

And I sometimes do.

Then I get up and go to work in the morning. Who can ever get anything done when so many hours are taken up working?

But tonight I took the bicycle outta the garage and went for a ride. At 7:30. I think I averaged about 4. MPH. I rolled home around 8:00.

And you know? I think I'll do it again sometime. But right now, damn, it's waaaay past my bedtime!

-ob  zzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

Sunday, September 05, 2010


Hiking outside Hood River, OR, the multi-use trails look a bit different than they do in MN. We were hoping to see someone come by and actually take some of these features, but we had to imagine it.

- TOto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore B