Ole to bus driver: Does this bus go todaloot? (Duluth)
Bus driver: No this bus goes “beep beep”!
We traveled with one son and his wife “to daloot” this past Friday and it was another wonderful time at my favorite Minnesota destination. Duluth can be really ugly if it is cold or rainy but we hit a beautiful two and a half days of sunshine and warmth in that air conditioned city. It was so nice to be there and we mostly stayed at Canal Park waiting for a huge ship (big barge) the “American Integrity” to come through the canal and go under the lift bridge into the harbor. It was a thousand feet long. An inland seaport just blows me away. I love big ships and even the smaller tall- masted sailboats we saw going under the raised bridge a number of times over the two days. It was worth the wait when the “Integrity” passed through the canal about 3 p.m. on Saturday. The two sides of the canal walkways were filled with other ship-watchers like us. Huge vessels must be a source of fascination for many people.
Canal Park is such fun….so many things to see and do or just to sit on the grassy areas and watch the big gray seagulls that fly hopefully waiting for someone to bring old bread or popcorn for them. Children squeal with delight at the gulls flying and landing there. Pedal bike/sedans are endlessly coming and going with from 2 to 5 or 6 people on board with several people peddaling the double set of bike pedals. I cannot even remember how many of these pedal bike rigs we watched go by us. There was constant riding of bike rigs all weekend. It is really a family place–Canal Park. We did our bit by standing in long lines for ice cream cones at “Grandma’s Boxcar”…along with a lot of others. Minnesotans are talkative to strangers…we had a lot of good conversations with a lot of other people frequenting Canal Park like we were.
We went to Park Point Beach the first afternoon where we all ventured into the waters of Superior. That water still feels like ice could form around you. Only our son got himself totally wet but he did not stay submerged for long! My feet went in but I lost feeling in them in such a short time it was nearly unbelievable especially when the sun was so hot on our backs.
We made a point of eating breakfast at “Takk For Maten” (Tahk for Mah-ten: “thanks for the food”) a Scandihavian place on Superior Street close tp the avenue that takes you to the waterfront. I ordered a “Scanahoovian” special and ate french toast (norwegian toast?) made with cardamom spice in the milk and eggs. The special also included a hard- boiled egg and crisp thick bacon pieces AND a big muffin plus all the coffee you could want! It was another of the many delights we had in Duluth and I did not get hungry for a very long time after that meal.
“Father Time” antiques was another good destination…I think there must be over a million small items in that place. I saw so many things that brought me back to my childhood—-dishes and glasses, lamps, chairs, pins and other jewelry…toys and pictures, clocks, endless old items. I even bought two sets of older clip or screw-on earrings since I am only one among ten women in MN who have not pierced their ears.
Today my feet feel the effects of a lot of walking on hard surfaces in “Todaloot” but is was worth it. We also got to spend time with the two Sartell grandkids who are growing and maturing faster than we want them to do!!!! They started school today (Monday) at the St. Cloud Christian School.
I am having some conflicting emotions today (Monday). One schoolmate from high school days will be buried at a country church near us after a seven- year long illness that took her through many surgeries and treatments for cancer. She was a very kind woman who I knew pretty well when both of our families were in a 4-H club in the ‘Seventies when our club got a trip to perform at the state fair in St Paul. It is a beautiful memory of shared time long ago when our children were still young–now they are all adults with families of their own. The death of a friend your own age is always a toughie….we are mortal and vulnerable every day of our lives. I feel deeply sad for her family today and know that they will have a long time of adjustment to her being gone from them.
Another schoolmate of that same era is dying slowly in a nursing home from C.O.P.D. lung disease. She is hanging onto life but just barely. More reality checks. There will be another burial in due time for her. I knew her well and also her siblings with whom I played a lot as a kid. The march of time brings us up short fairly often in these later years of our lives.
I have to go and do my jobs as a farmhand today—- and the rest of this week. I agreed to do this for our friends (the Johnson family) while they are at the state fair showing registered shorthorn cows (milking shorthorns). I have to keep the water tank filled for 4 calves and also feed, water, and collect eggs from the small flock of hens. Unfortunately for me–there is also a rooster who does not like people he is not familiar with…and I have also been warned about one “broody” hen who does not like to give up her eggs. I was advised by the two teenagers to bring a big stick to deal with the recalictrant fowls….Becky uses a shovel to get the broody hen off the nest but she said you have to really know what you are doing or you will break the eggs. I think I will walk softly and carry a VERY big stick in to the hen enclave.
Wish me good luck—I have not done chicken chores since my days on my Grandma’s farm in the 1940s and early 1950s.
Ole to bus driver: Does this bus go todaloot? (Duluth)