At 7pm last night I said good-bye to Minnesota for another 6 months. Good-bye to a city full of Scandinavians; to pronouncing "root" more like "rut" than like "rude"; to a 10-minute run bringing you to the short of Lake Superior rather than Rock Creek; to a kitchen where the coffee pot is never empty; to great public radio; to a thousand other things that make Duluth my home.
Some highlights from my last few days at home...
The Red Flannel Petticoats winter dinner dance was on Tuesday night. The RFP is a club my parents belong to, and the winter event is the only one open to members' adult children. It's black tie, which meant my sister and our friend Caroline and I got to spend lots of time primping: a stop by Caroline's house to discuss outfits, a trip to Target (tah-jay) to accessorize, and last-minute fussing with hair, make-up and shoes. I think the three of us looked stunning, and my dad was dashing in his tuxedo. I'll post a photo as soon as my parents upload the holiday pictures.
The party was one of those that was so fun, you can't help but reminisce fondly about it the next morning over breakfast. Dinner was nice (we shared a dinner table with a really fun couple), but the best part of the night was the dancing. There was a 16-piece band. Caroline is a great swing partner - we tore up the dance floor! I can't remember the last time I got to polka (which reminds me... I need to organize a trip to Blob's Park sometime soon). I never realized (or maybe I just forgot) what a great lead my dad is. Watching the older couples tango and foxtrot was wonderfully touching. I can only think of one thing that would have made the night better - if Scott had been there. My parents and sister all asked me (independently of each other) whether Scott's a good dancer. I answered in the affirmative, so my mother offered to fly him out to Duluth for next year's dance. We stayed until just before midnight and were among the last to leave. We probably could have won the party, but my dad had to work in the morning.
On Wednesday night, my brother had his Eagle Court, the ceremony where he achieved the highest Boy Scout rank. Fred finished his project and wrapped up his requirements last spring, before he turned 18, but waited to have the ceremony so that Margaret and I could be home for it. I'm glad he did. I'm so proud of him. Well done, Brother.
I think the neatest part about the night was the fact that my Uncle John drove up from St. Paul for it. That's a 2½ hour trip for an hour-long event. But both he and my dad are Eagle Scouts, and he said he couldn't imagine missing it. It meant a lot to my dad and brother to have him there.
It's always hard to leave Minnesota, especially on a day with an inch of beautiful fresh snow. But I have the satisfaction of having taken full advantage of my vacation there.
The flight home was hastle-free. I finished The Kite Runner (highly recommended) and saw the big dipper right outside my window. Beautiful. Paul and Liz were kind enough to pick me up from the airport - it's so nice to be welcomed back into your city by friends.
Now for a few hours of work, some prepping for our New Year's Eve party, a trip to the airport to pick up Scott, and then the party!