Monday, October 8, 2018

Reconnecting After 50+ Years, Knock Knock, and Day-Tripping

It's dusk as I sit down to write this, and it's usually around this time that I can look out at our hummingbird feeders and see at least one little flyer feeding at them before darting for the safety of the dense foliage between the neighboring homes. But not tonight. It appears they've all made the trip south. The last sighting I had of one was last Saturday morning. Safe travels, my little friends!

My niece, Erin, and her daughter Anja went to see an astronomy/stargazing class last week put on by Mike Lynch, a meteorologist for WCCO radio. It's something I've been meaning to do for the longest time but hadn't -- until last Thursday night. (Thanks, Erin, for the prompt.)

Our family lived two doors down from Mike and his family in 1965 when I was 8 years old. I'd long since lost touch with Mike, Don, and Steve so it was nice to arrive a little early before Mike's presentation to talk with him. Through Mike, I was able to reconnect with Don. Don and I chatted online a few nights ago and he surprised me by saying he has photos of the airplane we built as kids (story in the link above). I would love to see them! I mentioned that it would be nice if the 4 of us could get together again for lunch and some reminiscing. He agreed. He also said he'd try and locate the airplane photos for me and send me some scans. I can't wait!

Mike is passionate about astronomy and his passion is contagious. It was a cloudy night so I knew there wouldn't be much to see but I figured he had a 'cloudy sky' presentation which would also be worthwhile. He did, and it was. Did you know that the Big Dipper isn't actually a constellation? It's actually just a smaller part of the constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear.  I plan to attend another of Mike's stargazing sessions in the next few weeks when the skies are clear.

Fall clean-up in our yard has begun. I took out most of the plants from our gardens and also cut back the perennials from 5 of our 6 rock islands. A Before and after example. It's nice to have made a sizeable dent in the job.

I was out Saturday morning and afternoon knocking on doors for Congressional District 2 candidate Angie Craig. I was assigned 33 doors to call on in a neighborhood in the city of Savage. It's targeted door-knocking so volunteers aren't wasting time with people who have shown little to no interest in supporting Democratic candidates, but rather, those who maybe lean Democrat but don't necessarily show up to vote. You've probably noticed strange faces walking through your neighborhood with a binder in one hand and a smart-phone in the other. There's an app we use that shows us some cursory information about the people whose door we're about to knock on. We're also gathering information while we're out there for input into the app for other volunteers in the campaign to process. Did I mention that it wasn't all that many years ago when I was voting a straight Republican ticket? To my fellow conservatives stuck in the bubble -- take a look around. You owe it to yourself and the rest of us trying to right this country of ours.

I only had one unfriendly door in all of those 33 doors. A woman on the other side, her voice shaking with emotion, yelled at me to immediately leave or she'd call the police. "You're poison!" she said. I never let the smile leave my face. I wished her a good day and was on my way. I actually felt bad for her. As I walked toward the next house on my list I wondered if I'd maybe just pulled her away from some Fox programming, and that upset her. "Programming" seems such an appropriate word.

Tammy and I took a drive along the Minnesota River towards Winona yesterday to check out the autumn colors. We didn't see much in the way of fall color but it was still a pretty drive. We stopped for lunch at The Grill at Signatures which is located at The Bridges Golf Course in Winona. I couldn't help but notice the attention to detail of the flowers and shrubbery around the grounds. I wondered if that carried over to the course itself. The golf course looked really nice and I could swear it was calling to me. I went online to see if it was part of the PCC golf program that I'm a member of and sure enough, it is! I'm going to have to try and make my way back there in the next couple weeks. Tammy talked about coming with me and visiting the shops in the city while I'm golfing. We've got a date!

That's all I've got.

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