RECENT MORNINGS I’M UP before sunrise for international conference calls, interviewing the people behind India’s Sesame Street. I’m 11 1/2 hours behind Delhi, so their day is as good as over when we start talking.
I struggle to understand it all (unfamiliar accents and Development-speak), but I grasp enough for the website I’m writing. Their stories are so far outside my frame, it’s startling. I talked to the country’s leading female puppeteer who performed at last year’s Cricket World Cup, like our Super Bowl with 10 times the audience. In her spare time, she teaches puppetry to war orphans in Kashmir. Another woman explained that the kids she helps are much more likely to reach their 5th birthdays if they just learn hand-washing. Many have never seen a radio or TV.
The calls end and I rush off with Johanna to school. We see people shuffling above downtown in heated tubes. Cyclists careening through the river valley in full-cover face masks. Buses disgorging a riot of puffy coats and colossal backpacks.
How weird and unknowable is my own enclave?
We’re spending Saturday mornings at the magnificent M.I.A. Jo takes a class while I wander the galleries alone (my fondest wish).
What appeal does my filthy beater VW hold that I don’t see? This is the second unsolicited offer this year.
Now that Jo can read, we aren’t wasting any time learning word games. They are her birthright.
She’s a ways off from joining my poker crowd.
Toy versions of full-sized things drawn back into the real world. There’s an idea here somewhere.
Thursday Nights at Craig’s security door; a common sight.
Jo and Lo model funky Chinese swag from Uncle Kirk.
My sister once set a leaf fire under this bridge and the D.M.F.D. had to come put it out. TRUE STORY.
Was I actually someplace this beautiful recently? Man, vacations fade fast.
Oh right, we were with Sarah’s folks. Some memorable quotes for the visit:
> “George Soros was Hitler’s understudy.”
> “Canada has the worst food in the world.”
> “How DO you spell Duluth?”
> “I made the processor that allowed them to broadcast the Sarajevo Olympics.” (this claim has been verified)
> “You know, Walgreens has the NICEST bathrooms.”
We snuck away to do a loop of the Superior Hiking Trail too strenuous for septuagenarians.
There’s a taco place we now love 10x more than our old standby. Three words: HOMEMADE SALSA BAR.
A touching moment with stay-at-home-dad Witt and soon-to-be-dad Paul, hanging out while they can.
Used to think wild turkey sightings were a special thing, but lately Minneapolis is lousy with them.
Sass and style to spare.