Saturday, November 10, 2007


Yesterday I took half a day off and drove Peter out to his new digs in Canby. He's living with his Grandma and studying wind technology starting in January. Until then, he's working at the hospital in the kitchen, delivering meals and washing dishes. It's all good changes for him so why was I so weepy on my way home? The Dwight Yoakum CD's? The gray November skies? The 5 am wake-up call? Missing my chicken already? He'll be fine, I know.

We're done with gluten-free. Regis bought some beer today so we'll see if it makes a difference in how he feels. Going beer free didn't make that much difference. Not enough to make it worth it anyway. That gluten-free beer is so nasty I think it could cause health problems by itself. We bought lottery tickets, too. Maybe it's our lucky day.

I started a new book called Turpentine. It's a hoot. The characters are great and the plot is compelling. Highly recommend. Here an excerpt from one review:

The year is 1871, and Edward Turrentine Bayard III, sick and restless, leaves his Connecticut home to recover out west. But when the private sanitarium in which he is to stay proves to be nothing more than a rickety outpost on the Nebraskan plains, he becomes a buffalo skinner. After returning to the East, Ned teams up with Phaegin, who earns her money rolling cigars, and Curly, a fourteen-year-old coal miner, but the newfound trio is wrongly accused of triggering a bomb at a labor rally, and they must flee. With a Pinkerton agent following their every move, the gang of winsome ne'er-do-wells engages in a circuitous escape that takes them through northern outposts into Indian country, past the slums of Chicago, and into the boundless Great Plains.

On my way back across the prairie, I stopped at Schmidt's in Nicollet. Customers were three-deep at the counter but I managed to buy steaks and German potato salad. Regis has turned into a master steak griller so it should be a great meal.

It was a nice drive across the prairie today. I love seeing the sky from horizon to horizon. If you haven't read Bill Holm's essay Horizontal Grandeur, you should. Here's an excerpt:

I have a prairie eye. Dense woods or mountain valleys make me nervous. After once visiting Burntside Lake north of Ely for a week, I felt a fierce longing to be out. Driving home in the middle of the night, I stopped the car south of Willmar, when woods finally fell away and plains opened up. It was a clear night, lit by a brilliant mood turning blowing grasses silver. I saw for miles – endless strings of yardlights, star fallen into the grovetops. Alone, I began singing at the top of my voice. I hope neither neighborhood cows, nor the Kandiyohi Country sheriff were disturbed by this unseemly behavior from a grown man. It was simply cataracts removed from the prairie eye with a joyful rush.

Time to go drink a Harvest Moon beer and eat a big steak. Happy Saturday.

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