In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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Doppleganger

In fiction and folklore, a doppelgänger (German “double walker”) (pronounced [ˈdɔpəlˌɡɛŋɐ] ( listen)) is a paranormaldouble of a living person, typically representing evil or misfortune. 

In modern vernacular it is simply any double or look-alike of a person.

It also describes the sensation of having glimpsed oneself in peripheral vision, in a position where there is no chance that it could have been a reflection. Doppelgängers often are perceived as a sinister form of bilocation and are regarded by some to be harbingers of bad luck. In some traditions, a doppelgänger seen by a person’s friends or relatives portends illness or danger, while seeing one’s own doppelgänger is an omen of death.

Do you see me in this photo?  Lots of people have.  This photo was circulating at the reunion that I attended in St. Cloud, MN with dad the first weekend in August.

The lady sitting with the baby on her lap resembles me quite a bit.  She’s my great grandmother on my dad’s side.  She was born in 1889.  This photo was taken in 1912 or 1913.  I am thankful to have it as I think it’s really cool and totally amazing.  By the way, she was German. 

I clean with a guy from Ecuador a couple of nights a week.  The other night he asked me if I was of European decent.  I told him that could cover a pretty broad range.  Then he said he lived in a Polish-German hood in Chicago for years.  He said I resembled the women in that community.  This just keeps getting weirder all the time.

Stranger yet, my dad just called me in the middle of this post to see if one of my cousins from the reunion had contacted me yet.  I told him that she had.  Strange indeed.

This is a photo taken of me last year, 2011.


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Whirlwind Weekend In St. Cloud Minnesota

My parents divorced when I was in elementary school.  My dad liked to drink a little too much and I’m sure my mom was tired of it.  I know I was.  All bad marriage/divorce things aside, I’ve stayed in touch with my father over the years.  Sometimes a little and sometimes a lot.  Of course we did live in the same city for a few years.  Then he moved away to Tulsa, then he moved back to Springfield and then he moved to Kansas City where he lives today.  No big deal.  Phones do work and they do work both ways and I’m old enough to realize that now.

My dad called a few weeks ago and asked me if I wanted to attend a reunion in Minnesota with his side of the family.  At first I was excited.  But at the same time I figured he didn’t have a vehicle that would make it so I would play taxi.  I set that latter thought aside and made some quick switching around at work and by the next day, we were making plans to go.  I told my daughter that she was going with us and she was less than overly excited.

My dad is in his early seventies.  I know that our parents do not live forever and I figured this would be a great time for us to spend together traveling in the car.  I don’t remember much about his side of the family.  I do remember his mom quite a bit though.  She lived in a big house that I thought looked haunted and she lived there all alone.  She liked to watch TV and smoke in her kitchen and I always felt like she didn’t like kids.  I didn’t really like going there that much and I did voice my opinion on that deal.  My mom’s side of the family was a different story.  They were fun, kid-friendly people and I always felt welcome there.  For that, I was thankful.

My dad said we would be staying with his cousin Mary Ann.  She and dad are about the same age.  I don’t remember ever meeting her of course.  She had lived in New Orleans, had been through Katrina, had lost her husband to cancer and since moved back to St. Cloud.  We arrived safe and sound at her place around dinnertime and she came out to greet us wearing an orangish-red summery dress with a white sweater over it.  She was also barefoot and when I noticed that, I knew she was most likely going to be cool.  And she was.

Her patio home had been remodeled so it was pretty nice.  Her wood floors were walnut I think and I felt like I was walking on one of those smooth walnut bowls that you see in Branson.  Her yard also backed up to a school so the open space was really nice.  And of course, everything was green.  I took several walks barefoot in the soft, bluegrass and the cool, fresh air was such a shift from the way our summer here in Missouri has been.  I think the people there thought we’d never seen anything green before.  My favorite part of her home was her sun porch paneled with light pine.  We had sandwiches and coffee out there.  Of course if I’d been there another day or two I would’ve dug my yoga mat out and stretched out a bit. 

We arrived Saturday evening and on Sunday we headed to a park for the reunion.  Of course, I only remembered two people there and it was awesome to see them.  I only wish we would’ve had more time.  There were so many people to meet, old photos to look at and of course so much food to consume that time flew by.  It was really a nice reunion and I wish my sister could’ve been there and my brother too.

Mary Ann had a wonderful photo album with some great old information as well as old photos.  Oddly, there is a photo in that album of my great grandmother when she was younger and she looks almost exactly like me.  She is going to have that photo copied and sent to me.  I will post it on here when it arrives.  Here’s a good photo of dad and Mary Ann, this was around 7 in the morning on Monday just before we headed back home.

Before we could get on the highway, dad took us around to some old houses that he remembered spending time at.  The most impressive was this one.  I guess his grandma lived there when he was 10.  This house was pretty much ginormous and the backyard was pretty much the Mississippi River.  That was pretty cool.

We arrived home on Monday evening around 9:30.  Lauren pretty much acted like she didn’t have a good time, but I know she did.  There were no kids her age there at all so I know she was bored.  Luckily (I never thought I’d say this) she had her iPhone for entertainment and I didn’t scold her for using it.

Though this was a short trip, it was definitely one that I will not forget.  I think we all reach an age where time gets more important and so do the people that we share that time with.  I am thankful that my father asked me to go on this journey and definitely extend my gratitude to Mary Ann for her hospitality.  St. Cloud Minnesota was truly a beautiful place to be the first weekend of August 2012.


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On The Road Again

My parents just left, camper in tow. 

It was a short visit as they want to be in Wyoming for Father’s Day to see the Quigley Shootout.   After that, they’re heading to Wall Drug, on to Mt. Rushmore and then for a stay in Duluth, MN.  After their Minnesota visit, they’ll head back to Florida.  It’s going to be very quiet around here as they took our daughter with them!  She’s 11, a perfect age for a trip like this. 

I will fly down to Florida July 21st and stay for a week.  I’ll enjoy the beach, visit my sister on the island, fish and hit the pool.  We’ll fly back together (Lauren and I) July 28th.  This is the first time our family has taken separate vacations, if you don’t include my yoga jaunts.  In the meantime, the guys are also planning a fishing trip to some catfish lake in Oklahoma.  I’ll pass on that and enjoy my time here alone, piddling in the garden, taking care of the animals and immersing myself in yoga.DSC00774

 

The Gulf of Mexico.  A five minute walk from my parents home in Florida.

 

 

 We’re hoping to find our son some sort of employment during this break.  So far, not much luck.  Places don’t hire 16 year olds like they used to.  He’s already purchased a vehicle with his life savings, but cannot drive it until he can pay his own insurance.  Which in turn, will require him getting a job.  The job should’ve came before the car, but we like to do stuff backwards over here.  In his spare time (which is all of his time) he’s tossing the college discus that I just bought him for $75, fishing, and sleeping his life away.  I never got to be very lazy growing up, so I’m really taking advantage of it now!

Happy trails to mom, dad and Lauren!  Have a safe and exciting journey.


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Will To Murder

glensheenAwhile back, I posted about a book my mom gave me to read called Will to MurderIt’s a true story that took place at the Glensheen mansion in Duluth, MN. 

 I’m just about to finish it, finally!  If you like murder mysteries (true ones especially) this is a must read.  This has got to be one of the most detailed books I’ve read in quite awhile.  I’m hoping to have it finished this weekend so I can mail it to my grandma (who resides in Duluth, MN) when I take all of my e-bay packages to the post office on Monday! 

There’s no end to what the main character in this book will do to get what she wants!


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Glorious Glensheen

My mom and my dad are both from Duluth, Minnesota.  We still have a ton of relatives there, so I’ve been there a bunch of times.  The latest was just two years ago.  Duluth is a pretty town, on Lake Superior.  It’s up high on a hill and the water views are really pretty.  It’s also really cold.  I remember going down by the water one time in July, the wind was blowing and I was wishing I had ear muffs!  

Duluth is also home to a stately mansion, or castle I should say.  I’ve been there several times over the years.  I remember the first time I went there.  I thought that the home of the caretaker (on the left) was fabulous, and I still do!  I also thought I could live happily ever after in the carriage house (on the right)!  Then, you see the entire house!  It was built in 1908 and I’m not sure of the square footage, but let’s just say it’s gargantuous!glensheen-21

This house is owned by the University of Minnesota and has been open for tours for quite some time.  Some bad stuff went down at Glensheen in 1977.  Bad stuff meaning a couple of murders.  No one will talk about any of the “bad stuff” on the tour.  Certain floors have always been closed for viewing.  The grounds are lovely featuring massive gardens, a small river and what was once an extremely awesome boathouse for the day.  A book has been written about the killings at Glensheen

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My mom finished the book on her trip here and just handed it to me.  I’m supposed to send it to my grandma (who lives in Duluth) when I’m done.  Oh, the pressure of having to finish a book.  This is why I cannot use the library!  Rumor has it, the tour guides are starting to include more details of the secret stuff when you visit.  Guess I’ll find out next time I go to Duluth.  If you’re interested in what my mom said is a great murder/mystery, the book is called Will to Murder.

I just finished another really good book,  Not Fade Away.  True story.  Sometimes, the hardback books you can find at Deals for $1 are totally worth it!  I have an obsession with death.  Not so much with murder mysteries, but with dying in a graceful fashion.  That’s an entire day’s worth of blogging, for another time!

P.S. If you like cold blooded murder stories, I just finished one of those as well.  Check out Tragedy in Tin Can Holler.  Yikes!  Chilling, totally.  For the record, I’m still reading Into the Wild and A New Earth as well.