Thursday, March 26, 2009

Driving the River Road

Last Sunday I drove back from La Crosse WI. It was a lovely, warm spring day and the agility trial was done early so we (the corgis and I) decided to take Highway 61 along the Mississippi.
There was all this to see:

At least 20 bald eagles. Some soared, some sat, on branches, on nests, some stood on the melting river ice.

A dozen soaring pelicans! They are so cool, first white, then gray-brown, as they change direction.

Maybe two immature bald eagles or two golden eagles--I wasn't stopping, and they were too far away to tell for sure. They were on Lake Pepin, again on the disappearing ice.

I also saw what turned out to be the FIRST barge on the Mississipi for the year! I wondered when I saw it, and the newspaper confirmed it on Monday.

This drive is filled with memories, as I drive through Lake City (where I learned to drive) and Frontenac (where Sheri Stephens and I bought a pack of cigarettes and smoked them on the walk back to Villa Maria) and Red Wing (home of the boys' reform school) and Miesville (home of the Mudhens) and Farmington (the fairgrounds where I showed my pony in 4-H) and the hills and farms between there and home.

The other night public tv aired a documentary about Highway 61, starting on the North Shore and driving the River Road to La Crescent. I realized then that I have been on the entire Highway 61 through Minnesota. Now I can't wait until August, when this road will take me along the North Shore and on up to Thunder Bay.

(Photo from StarTribune)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The brains in the family

I've been thinking about this ever since reading Jill Taylor's MY STROKE OF INSIGHT.
My brother Tim had a lemon-sized clot removed from his brain after a fall down a flight of stairs at a party in college.
My dad Lloyd died of a brain tumor.
My brother Rob had a stroke at the age of 44.

I don't know what it all means, but there has to be some kind of connection.
I remember the surgeon asking if Tim had been a musician. "No," I told him, "will he be one now?"
I think about "jumping the corpus callosum"
I think about the brains in the family.