Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

Mom and Dad's Visit

When I got back from the Ale on Monday of last week my parents were in town from New Jersey, having attended a family wedding the previous day. They arrived at the Minneapolis Airport about three hours after I had departed the previous Friday. Their weekend had been filled with various bits of visiting -- family events surrounding the wedding and assorted meals and visits with friends of theirs in the Twin Cities, all of whom they originally met through me. They were at Jim and Denise's when I got home, but I needed a couple of hours to unpack and rest a little before joining up.

It was a quick visit, but pleasant, and my parents were good guests and good sports. Jim fed us dinner on Monday evening. After dinner we returned to my place where Stephen and Scott came down from upstairs and we visited with them for a while. The next day was Tuesday, which was our one day to play around with. We went to the French Meadow Bakery for a fine breakfast, then to the Mill City Museum (built in the burned remains of a flour mill right along the river in downtown Minneapolis and run by the Historical Society). The main exhibit at the Mill City museum is a ride in a freight elevator in the grain building next door (which survived the fire), which goes up and down to various floors, stopping for multi-media presentations of mill history. As the freight elevator took off a soundtrack of very dramatic music filled the air and I turned to my father and said, "Do you recognize the Copeland?" and he said, "It's Rodeo". Good music for setting a dramatic mood.

After viewing the other exhibits at the Mill (including a great film by local raconteur Kevin Kling called "Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat"), we headed across the Mississippi to drop by my office in the Riverplace complex. I considered this part of the Museum tour, as my office is an example of modern reuse of older industrial buildings. We drove around a little then went back to my place. We all needed to have a late-afternoon rest, me most of all after the Ale.

In the evening we drove over to the Great Waters brewpub in downtown St. Paul to meet up with my Morris team for our annual post-Ale gathering where we talk excitedly about how well we danced and we gossip about the folks we saw. Bob W. is an old friend of my parents, from a couple of decades ago when he was active in folk music circles in the northeast, so they had a nice catchup visit at the end of the table. I had warned my parents in advance of the inward-focused nature of the post-Ale dinners, but they said they understood and were looking forward to it. As is usual after such events, my father said to me, "You really have nice friends". This is not at all how he means it, but it's hard to say that sort of thing without it having an inadvertant hint of surprise in the words. It is true, though, that my friends are generally a whole lot nicer than I am. This is how we provide balance in the world.

We had some more visiting back home, then up in the morning: they to the airport, me to work. A quick tag-on bit to my holiday weekend.
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