Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Requiem for Inspiron 5150

I think it's time to say adieu
To find a worthy replacement new
Good Earth tea I went to sip
Sweet, spicy aromic blend to tip
Furiously typing pages of poems
Cutting, pasting, not letting them roam
Stretching my back, my eyes were red
Upon return, I found my laptop DEAD
I counted my blessings that I have saved
"Word Weavers' stuff wasn't lost," I raved
Playing tech geek until someone arrives
To see if I could bring it alive
A scavenger hunt for program disks
Found Eric's set, not an authorized risk
Into closets, under the bed, searching three hours
"Eureka, they're found," I ecstatically hollered!
Pleading a prayer, I dug up my smarts
Hoping for a computer resurrection start
A whirr, some clicks, messages flashing
"Can't find a hard drive," restart, then crashing
Doesn't sound good, trusted old friend
You've seen me through projects I'd penned
Photo shoots, blogging, IM, and email
Web searches, publishing, and bargain hunt sales
You were the link to close the generation gap
Destroying the adage of old dog's bad rap
I'll lay you to rest, recycle you green
Remembering the memories and places we've seen
Your memory has failed but mine is intact
Thankful for jump drives and my CD stack

Contributed by Ann.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pirate Radio

Driving home from Easter at my sister's place outside of Virginia, Minnesota, I stumbled upon something incredible. Since I don't own an iPod or a CD player, I fiddle with my car's radio tuner constantly. On Sunday afternoon, just south of Cloquet on Interstate 35, I discovered a pirate radio station blaring European House Techno. I listened for thirty minutes (20 minutes on the road and 10 minutes stopped at an abandoned gas station) and didn't hear a single commercial, station id, or promotion. I lost it just north of Barnum as the trance beats were consumed by Top 40 country. If you ever find yourself between Barnum and Cloquet on a clear Sunday afternoon, turn your dial to 97.7. You'll hear something that shouldn't exist anymore.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Sharks Always Come

Thoughtful emails make my day working as a low-level federal bureaucrat. I received the following message from my friend, Chris, a few days ago.

"I was re-reading Old Man and the Sea today and, as he's staring to sail home with his fish lashed to his skiff, I hoped the sharks wouldn't come. I was actually optimistic that the version I was reading would end with the old man returning successfully to port with the fish intact. No sharks. Needless to say, this was not the case."

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Child’s Anthem

It has been a long two weeks. Things had been very, very busy. I have felt the weight of things on my shoulders. Finally, just today, I was able to spend the entire day alone with my little boy. We played silly games, we painted, we played catch, we did a thousand little things that only exist within the life of a child for a very short time. Towards evening I heard Andrew singing as he wandered through the house. It was a beautifully simple little anthem . . . “La, la, la, la. . . I’m so happy. La, la, la, la. . . I’m so happy. ” Over and over again he sang this precious little hymn and it brought joy to my soul.

Contributed by Sarah

Monday, February 9, 2009


Somewhere in the last year I lost the habit of noting small, stupid, and beautiful things. It disappeared like most things of quiet consequence; without any effort on my part. I let one day pass without paying attention and didn't even notice the twelve months it has been since I've tried, at the very least, to let the Almighty know I'm still showing up. I've been truant and have missed much.

The good in this is that the small, stupid, and beautiful things want so desperately to be noticed that they are willing to grant another chance.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Taste of Tea

I've known my boyfriend, Kelly, for many years now, but sometimes he still surprises me. Somewhere around five years ago, when we both worked at summer camp, we had a tradition. At the end of our ridiculously long work day we would meet in the kitchen and choose the biggest bowls we could find and fill them Golden Grahams, and then we'd heat up a cup of tea to drink on the side. As we ate we would sit on the floor of the kitchen and talk for hours.

Yesterday he tackled the task of cleaning out the kitchen cupboards in our apartment and found some 14 boxes of various teas. As he told me about the tea he said, "So you should drink it, because I hate the taste of tea." I looked at him, bewildered, as we had shared dozens of cups of tea that summer. He smiled and said, "I hated it then, too. I was just trying to impress you."

Contributed by Aryn.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

French Roast Guatemalan

A man came into my coffee shop today and asked for a fill of French Roast Guatemalan in his travel mug. As he began to speak I could tell instantly that he was a person that I would encounter for a very brief time, but will remember until my neurons fail me.

Taking advantage of the moment, he told me a story about his travels to South America. He remembered a seemingly insignificant experience in San Pedro, Guatemala, where he watched a few young boys play soccer in a yard. On the edge of their makeshift field there was a pile of coffee beans drying in the sun. One of the boys kicked the ball out of bounds and the three of them went running barefoot across the coffee beans, completely oblivious to them. At that moment he thought about the fact that those beans would likely wind up in the grinder at a small coffee shop just like ours, with customers consuming their juice with no realization of the journey they'd encountered.

An hour or two later the same man lingered at the counter. As I poured a cup of beans into the grinder I apologized for the loud noise about to curse his ears. He looked at me and said, "You should never apologize. When you say 'I'm sorry,' you're not just saying it to me, but to everyone around you, to the universe. You're giving birth to words that shouldn't exist. If I were concerned about the noise, then I shouldn't have chosen this spot to sit. My friends and I play the pinching game, and every time one of says 'I'm sorry 'we pinch each other as a reminder that not one of us really has anything at all to be sorry for."

Contributed by Aryn.