Among the byproducts of recent events is a mountain of old photos and memorabilia. I mean a literal heap of pre-1900 photos (including a couple of daguerreotypes), incredibly preserved full color pre-WWI postcards and the like. (Note: mark your photos lightly on the back so you know who’s in each shot. We were reduced to guessing who was whom.) It seems we are swimming in family artifacts and history, but looking at some of the yellowed clippings, we have some shady characters in our past.
Maybe somewhere down the road Ellen and Reid will add the weekly letters to the stack. Who in the hell would want them I don’t know, but they’ll have them anyway. As we sorted through the items last week the conversation always turned to context; what does this artifact mean and to whom, when was this photo taken and what were their lives like way back when, and how do we link relatives to relatives and tie all those loose ends together? Perhaps the pages will help pull our loose pieces together when the time comes.
So it is another Wednesday. Here’s a page from an earlier decade.
September 14, 2006
EB/Reid: Well, I’ve been here a month and so far so good. I’d knock on wood but my office is totally plastic. The people here are good, hard workers, and the town is a lot of fun. Traffic is absolutely bonkers but that’s just the way it goes. And it rains a lot, and when it does it just keeps a’comin down. But the music scene is really good. Saw a guy last night from Austin, Texas and his little band was just fabulous. Will go see Aimee Mann next Thursday night in NoDa (short for north Davidson neighborhood) which is also the arts district.
Been in the throes of trying to buy furnishings. Will head about 70 miles north to High Point, North Carolina this weekend. It is supposed to be the furniture capital of the U.S. We’ll see. Need to get a bedroom set first, and other rooms will follow from there. The direction I’m headed is toward Mission style or what they call transitional furniture. You got the photos so you see the sort of space I have to deal with. It will be weird to not have a yard to more and a garden to tend. They say there’s a lot of container gardening down here, so that’s what I’ll do next summer. At least there will be a few tomatoes. Already, I have a bamboo plant and something called a ‘ZZ’ plant which apparently you can’t kill. So with my green thumb, that should work fine.
It’s hard to be away from Des Moines but things will just move forward here. If you guys can swing it, come on down here for a week or a long weekend. I’ll get plane tickets for you. EB, head to Des Moines for Thanksgiving. I’ll drive over from Omaha after T-Day with Grandma and Grandpa. Keep in touch with them because they worry they won’t be able to see you. Uncle Ralphie is flipping out over Nebraska football (Reid, they play #4 USC this weekend) and he thinks of little else.
So Reid, how is Oulu? Give me your exact street address and I’ll GoogleEarth it. (My new address is _________________, Charlotte, NC. You’ll see it’s south of downtown.) How is Finland? Looks pretty cool. What’s the name of the ocean that separates Finland from Sweden? What do they eat over there, and are the people nice to you? What’s the school like, and your classes? Met any nice people? How about the language? You must at least know please and thank you and ‘how much does this cost?’
EB, it’s odd to hear you talk about it already being autumn in Minnesota. Do you like it up there? How’s Tim’s job going? How do you feel about substituting? Sounds like the apartment job is working out pretty nicely. Sure wish I could come up for a visit. Let me check plane tickets. Can’t be super expensive, can it?
None of my stuff is down here yet. Still sitting in storage in Adel and Des Moines. Your mom has stuff piled up in the basement for the movers to pick up, including the Harley. Can’t wait for it to come down here. West of here about 100 miles is Asheville, NC, and that’s the gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Was up there a couple of weekends ago, and the roads and scenery are as stunning as any I’ve seen. The highest point in North Carolina is only 6,600 feet so what they call the mountains are entirely covered in oaks, maples, pines and ash trees. Kind of odd but very pretty. Lots of trout fishing (EB, don’t tell Tim).
Well, gotta go. You both be good, work hard, and be sure to communicate to Grandma and Grandpa. Hope to see you soon EB, and Reid, your sister and I are talking about a visit to you later this fall. Make sure we know what dates you are not available.