I have managed to hijack a computer that is functional for a few moments. I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who wrote about meeting me. I loved reading every word. It is entirely obvious why they have degrees in writing and why I, um, don’t.
I had one of the craziest, most exhausting, wonderful trips of my life by traveling to Minnesota. As many of you know, my husband and I helped my brother move out to Minneapolis last week. It was physically suckasuckaSUCK because Jon and I had to drive the UHAUL straight through. Moving vans are uncomfortable in any situation, let alone with a pinched nerve and back suck. However, my brother had no one else to help him and I had good drugs, so we went.
In the midst of all the boxes, couches, packing tape and 44 oz. of Diet Coke, I got to meet a lovely group of people. Natasha, Jessie, Amber, Eric, Jonathan, the OTHER Jonathan and I, met for Thai food in downtown Minneapolis.
I met Jessie first. I spoke with her on the phone a few times while we were trying to coordinate the evening and I felt immediately at ease with her, as I suspected I would. She drove out to my brother’s apartment so that we wouldn’t get lost on the way to the restaurant. Despite back suck, I literally skipped up to meet and hug her. It was like seeing a long lost friend or a relative that you actually LIKE after being gone a long period of time.We arrived at the restaurant first. Suddenly, I was very nervous to meet everyone else. Thoughts kept flying through my mind: “What if they don’t like me?” or “What if we all just sit here in some terrible silence all evening and I prattle on and on like a rabid dingo?” or even”What if they see me and say, ‘My hell! LOOK AT THE SIZE OF HER NOSE’ and immediately flee the restaurant in panic and terror?”
These are MinnesOHtan’s. It would take more than a silly chick from Utah with excess baggage of the schnoz and her geek husband to scare them.
There were things that I was surprised by and things that I found completely the same. I knew that I would find Jessie to be warm and lovely, Natasha gorgeous, Jonathan witty and Amber deep and wise. There were new things to discover about all of them as well. I was delighted at how gregarious and just FUN Jonathan is, how delicately pretty Amber is (Not saying I thought she was a hulking bovine or anything, but of everyone I had the least idea of how Amber physically looked), and how Natasha is very plesant and affable, but also has a very strong, competent vibe that almost pours out of her. Seriously. She is a very tiny thing, but I am convinced that if I pissed her off she could totally beat the crap out of me. I don’t really know how big a compliment that is considering that my second grader could most likely kick my ass as well.
Now that I have talked about how tiny Tasha is, I have to say that my FREAK I felt like a huge Amazon with a weight problem next to these three lovely ladies. I mean…LOOK AT US. AND I WAS SLOUCHING!
I have to mention the gifts that were exchanged. I received a fabulous book signed by everyone entitled “Weird Minnesota” It ROCKS. I also have to mention a little gift I got from Jessie that cracked me up. Jessie coordinated everything and when she asked what I wanted to do I jokingly said, “Chop down a tree, screw a lumberjack and eat hotdish.” She managed to get me all three! She rocks the house.
I brought gifts as well. Organic coffee that is roasted by Cafe Ibis, in my hometown of Logan for Jessie (Of course), and Amber and Eric (And some Bemijites that will get it in the mail when I have a moment to breathe). For Jonathan, Tasha and Jes I purchased Polygamy Porter from the Wasatch Brewery. I couldn’t help it. Funny that I pick two things that are on Utah’s “Naughty List” to bring to people. Eh, they seemed to like it and that is what counts. I have stuff to send to some that couldn’t attend (Mark, I insist that you wear the USU Aggie T-shirt on the BSU campus and send me photographic evidence!)
Over all? Even though we were all tired, we had a VERY good time. It was loads and loads of fun. I felt completely accepted by this wonderful group. Hell, they even put up with the fact that I actually say, “TEE HEE” in person. THAT is tolerance, my friends. When we said goodbye, I really felt like it was more of a “See ya later”. That says a lot.
The next morning, I braved the streets of Minneapolis BY MYSELF to meet Jessie for coffee. Yes, ME. The chick that gets lost going the three blocks to work drove into the cities by my lonesome to see where Jessie lives.It is just as magical, just as homey, artsy and lovely as I imagined. There is a surprise around every turn and a piece of art in every nook and cranny of her lovely cottage. Her coffee corner is unbelievable and I drooled over her coffee mug collection as I knew I would.
We went to her favorite coffee shop that smelled like heaven and tasted better. We laughed and cried and just had a completely wonderful morning that ended too soon. I dropped her off at work and saw the garden shop she works in. I purchased gifts for friends and my kiddies and then I was off, back to a long drive and hectic schedule back at home. Even though I went through a lot on this trip, it was completely worth all the hassle.
I would do it again in a heartbeat.
You guys are welcome at my fire any time.