Week 7 of 2017 was a great week to be outdoors in Minnesota. The weather was crazy-warm for this time of year, and I did get out and shoot photos every day (honest!). But when I went through my week of photos this weekend, my shots from Wednesday were missing! I mistakenly erased a memory card before uploading all the pictures. I kicked myself for a couple of minutes and then decided to get on with my life.
However, I am still going to post 7 photos – two of them from Thursday’s visit from the grandkids. So, everything is fine, and any illusions of perfection in my posting a shot from each day have been dropped.
(I really did shoot some photos on Wednesday, though — I swear.)
(2/12/17) Neva scores!!! We went to see good friend Neva Kueffer (celebrating with her stick in the air) play a game in her women’s league at the Augsburg College arena. She decided to give us a thrill by flipping one past a very tough goalkeeper. Female hockey has become a big thing in this part of the country, and these women are really good.
(2/13/17) One of our neighbors a couple of blocks away has created a whimsical contraption in their front yard. Covered by a cute canopy and surrounded by a colorful fence, this assemblage of little houses has doors and windows that open and close, and lights that shine — all courtesy of solar panels (and some wind assistance). It’s an amazing, beautiful little piece of yard art, carefully designed and constructed. I’m mesmerized every time I walk by it. One day I’ll knock on the door and ask to meet the person who dreamed this up.
(2/14/17) Now this is what a principal’s office should look like — no intimidating big desk, just a little round table in the center and about six comfortable chairs arranged in a circle. That set up tells a lot about my old friend Hernan Moncada’s management style. We taught together at Windom School in Minneapolis about 10 years ago (when he was just a kid). Señor Moncada texted recently and invited me to stop in and have coffee at his school — Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion Elementary in Eden Prairie, MN. This smart, funny, energetic, young man runs a school with a population of 800 students! I’m proud to call him my friend. I hope the staff and families know how lucky they are.
(2/16/17) We have a recurring role-playing game at our house that was started by Otto’s sister. It’s called “Missed our flight and have to sleep at the airport”. I kid you not. I don’t think she’s ever had to do that in her 4.7 years of air travel, but Otto also loves to play it — even when his sister is not around to make the public address announcements.
(2/16/17) She’s got style. Miss Svea arrived wearing an elegant black dress (open in the back), grabbed the earmuffs from the wall hook, and made a bee-line to the front hall closet to find someone’s gloves. Earrings and pearls next time?
(2/17/17) If you don’t understand the craziness of this picture, you’ve never spent a winter in Minnesota. Today’s high temp was 63, shattering the previous record of 55. The average high for today is 29 degrees. We have virtually no snow on the ground . . . we’re biking . . . in shorts . . . in Minneapolis . . . on February 17.
(2/18/17) One of the Twin Cities’ best kept secrets is the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, just east of the behemoth shopping center modestly named “The Mall of America” and just below the bluffs from a bunch of office buildings and a Hilton Hotel. This refuge is part of a 70-mile stretch of land and river that is under the protection of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. You can leave the Big Mall or the MSP International Airport and in 5 minutes be walking in a huge, protected natural setting. They have a great visitors center and hiking trails down to the water level. I’ve been here several times before with students, but a lot of Twin Cities residents aren’t even aware that it’s here and worth exploring.