Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Shutdown gets Shut Up, and Pumpkins get Carved Up

Gary here. In the basement of Lynn and Charlie Teff in chilly Minnesota. So many feelings this week!


1. Taken care of.
Kristina Anderson (a fellow ex-SAS person) took us in after a rainy drive from South Dakota. Here was the best shot we could get of the welcome to MN sign:

The first one we have seen in the shape of the state. A harbinger of good things to come.
She and Aaron let us take over their (newly redone) house. She was a great tour guide and directed us to the sculpture garden downtown. Our takes on the famous cherry:

Kristina also took us out for a fun afternoon at Wild Rumpus Books and lunch at Tilia. Great books and great food, too.

2. Happy. Thrilled, in fact, for all the tourists that the national parks are open. We are on a break from such places for a while, but it's mildly reassuring that Congress opted to do its job without further tantrums. Let's hope it doesn't replay the madness in January.

3. Playful. Wow, our hosts have a lot of games. So far we have played spades, Settlers of Catan, Trivial Pursuit (winning question: Who played Zorro in "Zorro, the Gay Blade"? Answer will appear in next post), backgammon (Lynn had never played and she beat me all 3 games), and Ticket to Ride. Plus darts, foosball, and touch football (Sarah lasered the game winning touchdown to me on a post pattern. I looked up and the ball was _there_. EPIC.) Still more to play, including Racko.

4. Excited. Seeing Tyler Rebman, my freshman year roommate at NU, tomorrow night for dinner. Get to meet his wife and kids.

5. Proud. Go Cards!

Here is the schedule, to help you not miss a pitch:

6. Grateful. After my sister's epiphany ("Why am I not going to the World Series?") and my decision to join her, my mom told us she's buying the tickets. Seriously generous. Thanks mom! Dad would have loved to join us, I know.

Thanks also to Sarah for solo parenting while I am in St. Louis. And Lois for helping watch the kids this weekend.

Look for us on TV!

(Bringing my mitt. 
Let's hope for lots of homers)

7. The last feeling on the list is slimy. From carving pumpkins, natch. One of the events we were most excited about as we planned this Phield Trip is Halloween. This part of the world does it right. Lots of houses are decorated, the leaves are turning, and we are getting into the spirit of things. 

We hit a corn maze and shot a corn cannon and flopped around in a corn pit.

We're still finding corn in our clothes, 3 days later.

Here's D with the corn cannon:

So long for now. I am off to help Desi present about China to Max's 5th grade class. I wonder what the kids will say they know about China, when I ask!