MN Part Two

More about my Minnesota trip: Contrasts are what stick in my mind. My uncle’s house is much smaller than what I thought when I was a child. I believe I’ve heard our eyes don’t change size from birth so why is everything skewed from childhood to adulthood?

The acorns here are super-sized compared to the one’s that grow on the Gamble Oak in the Black Forest. And then, there are the sun’s reflections on the nearly still morning water that resemble thousands of diamonds floating on the lake. This morning’s water is choppy from the wind and the sky is cloudy: no diamonds.

I spent a lovely afternoon visiting while one of my cousins and I talked. We watched beginners on sailboats bobbing across Wayzata Bay, dipping low when they turn, popping back up as they right themselves with the wind. My stomach and heart dipped and leapt with them so after a while, I found I had to laugh or turn away when they came close to capsizing. It actually didn’t take most of them long to catch on to the technique and I wonder how long it would take me. I think I would love to learn to sail. My list grows.

We are having a family reunion of sorts – kind of an impromptu affair put together since I let everyone know I was coming to Minnesota to visit. It is interesting to hear the old stories from a different angle. One thing I have learned is that my mother saw a much different world than her brother’s saw. I don’t know if the difference came from being the oldest child and female, but the stories I am hearing are of a far, far different viewpoint of the family life than what my mother told me. There is much I want to research now and some I will never know for sure, since my mother is the only surviving child from her generation.

Day Four: We have traveled north to another cousin’s cabins in the woods, remote and utterly beautiful. The colors are in full regalia up here, rusty, gold and coral against the lush green grass and the slate grey of the lake in early morning. I could not sleep in for want of writing and walking in this wonderful place. My cousin is busy cooking. We are all going to gain five pounds today after hearing her menu. Shucks.

The oldest cousin of the twelve in our generation arrives today. I hope he can fill us younger kids in (I say that with a smile) about the family and the stories and our heritage.

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About Barbara K Tyner

A graduate of UCCS with a degree in English Lit., Barbara writes Children's Literature and fiction. Her popular children's series, The Badger Books, is co-authored with Barbara's daughter, Laura. Her first novel, "Wait Here, Wait There" deals with grief and Alzheimer's, two topics that are very difficult to manage in real life. Barbara volunteers doing school programs and speaking to support groups. National Parks, hiking, and snow-shoeing are in her list of favorite hobbies.
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