Archive for the ‘minnesota’ Category

86400- February

The theme of this month’s 86400 Photo Blog is All Things Minnesota, from the perspective of Cindy’s memory, anyway. As you know, Minnesota is all about its Scandinavian population, of which I think this photo is a good representation. Click here to see  all 29 of my February photos.

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Home Sweet Home

That trip to Minnesota was only 4 days and we were only actually there for 2 full days- but we sure did pack in the activity! A couple more random thoughts from our last day there:

We took two more classes at The Marsh- Vinyasa Yoga (yoga flow where you move from one position to the next without really stopping.) As soon as the instructor began, Amanda and I realized we were in an advanced class. Thank goodness, we have both done quite a bit of yoga- but only via videos or TV at home. The first class I have ever taken was the previous day- and that was more of a beginning class. Anyway, it was our favorite class- but I am still sore today (Saturday) from this Thursday morning class. The funny thing about it was we had to practice doing a head stand! And with the instructor’s help- I did it! Amanda did not try since she is pregnant. The end of the class was interesting too. As we lay in our last “pose” (flat on our backs with our eyes closed for about 10 minutes- love this pose!), our instructor walked around the room to each person and did a mini head massage on us with an aromatherapy scent to add to the relaxation. Loved it!

After that class, we finished up our whole Marsh experience with a Back Therapy water class back in the therapy pool. It was perfect. We followed that by a spa lunch and then off for a little more family scavenger hunt fun.

We found the house my grandmother lived in the 1940s in north Minneapolis. I had never been to it before. We found it by the notation Grandma had written on the back of the photo: 24th and Emerson St. N. Click here to see the photo. Sure enough, it was a very old neighborhood, looking very much like it must have looked during WWII. The houses were nice, but not completely restored- just decent. It was very interesting to think of my grandmother as a young woman with her young children walking up and down in that same area nearly 65 years ago. Amanda and I loved the adventure of being in a strange city and finding a piece of family history.

Well, of course we took too long looking for Grandma’s former house, so we were very, very late in arriving at the airport. Not to mention we got a bit turned around on our way there. But by a complete miracle of the Lord, the plane was late in departing- and we made it! Even in our hurry, though, we had to pull off the side of an exit ramp to take a picture of another “famous person sighting:”

Lots of further delays in our flight so by the time that entire day of travel was over, including getting Amanda to her house- it was 12:15 AM before I got home. However, I was still kind of in Central Time- so I decided to watch LOST, which I had missed during all my travels that night. I could fill up a whole blog just about that one episode, but I’ll leave it with two of my favorite lines:

Hurley (to Kate:) “You just totally Scooby Doo’d me, didn’t you?

John (to Miles:) “I’m John Locke and I’m responsible for the well-being of this island.” I’d love to have the t-shirt of that line!

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Amanda and I are “celebrating” her 30th birthday (which was 9 months ago, by the way) in the middle of the deep freeze! We are in Little Falls, Minnesota- a very small, almost left behind town on the Mississippi River in the North Central section of the state. We’re here to do a little family history scavenger hunt; my dad having been born and raised here in the 1920s-40s. I also have warm memories of spending time in Little Falls at my grandma’s house during my childhood. HOWEVER, those “warm” memories have cooled off a little today with the 8 degree actual temperature/17 below wind chill we have been experiencing all day.

I do love Little Falls, but I think a person may have to have childhood memories to appreciate being here! It really is a Garrison Keillor/Prairie Home Companion kind of town: the MN accents, the farmland, the old, old buildings and houses. Billboards advertising Hardware Hank, and helpful reminders such as “Did you remember the minnows?” or the local encouraging words- “Stop Wishing, Just Go Ice Fishing” are classic small town Minnesota-isms. Oh, and of course the walleye sandwich on the menu today.

One of my favorites today was picking up the Little Falls Radio News Sheet– full of all the local and national news. Sandwiched between congratulations to the Little Falls Nordic Ski team which finished third in the state tournament and news that Former NBC new anchorman Tom Brokaw has joined a local Board of Trustees are local baby announcements, the sad news of a hay barn burning to the ground and the reminder to take your kids fishing on Presidents Day so you too, can fish without a license. Of note on the station’s Sunday morning programming is Polka World Today, airing from 9 AM – 11 AM. It sounds like a popular show!

Here are a couple of shots of the first day of our Minnesota adventure. It’s been a long time since I have willingly exposed myself for half the afternoon to the kind of temperatures they have here!

Amanda’s feet are sinking in the snow as we tromp around in the Freedhem Evangelical Lutheran cemetery where  some of my Swedish great-grandparents are buried.


The frozen Mississippi River as it flows through Little Falls. It looks like another planet! The temperature and pressure causes the ice to push up in interesting formations. It was beautiful and eerie at the same time.

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Happy Birthday, Mama!

Mama’s birthday was August 11. This is the first birthday since she passed away last October. She would have been 77 today!

 Mama, circa 1940-41

I chose to post this picture today, because Mama seemed to have nice childhood memories- especially when she lived in Cambridge, MN, which is where I think this photo was taken.

 The girl holding the baby is my mom. I think she is about 10 or 11 years old, so this would be around 1940-41. The little girl is her sister, my Aunt Beverly. The dark haired lady is my grandma, Hazel Wickstrom. I don’t know who the other lady or the baby are!

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The dishes

Whew! Back home and am I glad! The conference was good- but there’s no place like home.

Last weekend we bought some Billy bookcases at Ikea. Not only that but we actually put them together and installed them! While I was at the conference, my husband, Darrell installed the doors- and they look very nice! So, when I got home today, I started putting what I want to keep of my dishes, etc. into the topmost shelves and behind the closed doors.

The whole process was a stroll down memory lane: silver baby cups of both my kids, Mama’s crystal glasses, my mother-in-law’s individual leaf-shaped butter dishes, a silver sugar/creamer set that was given to me as a wedding shower present. There’s even a plate that was part of my dad’s childhood on the farm in Minnesota. They had no running water and if the water was heated, my grandmother had to do it over the stove. My aunts said those were the worst dishes to wash- I guess so; using cold water from a pump in the sink! They said food stuck in the raised design around the edges. I put the plate where I can see it though- because it’s got a history!

Lots of family dinners; good and bad times are represented by the dishes I put into my brand new Billy bookcases today. I have washed, dried and put away some of those dishes all my life. But looking at the china, crystal, glassware and silver in the neatest order it’s been in a long time- I just kind of liked thinking about the hands of the women who used those dishes. Most of them have passed on now- but I still have a piece of their personal history of which those dishes will always remind me.

Plus, the bookcases look good! Now, wait until I get started on the books! That will be a project!!

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