Sunday, December 30, 2007


Things change. Seasons change, opinions change, goals change. Religions change sometimes, fashions change. Years change (like in a couple of days). And more to the point right NOW, for me.... plans change .

This is NOT Minneapolis. Minneapolis is where we were supposed to be Saturday night (which was last night, where I started writing this post from my usual nest-y little post on the couch). This was the Beginning of a Bad Few Days. As I see it, there must be some bad karma that I have to use up before the end of the year, so I'm Gettin' It. Here's the deal:

I have an old friend, Howie, who performs stunning blues on the 12-string or dobro guitar. He's a master guitarist, and has a very warm voice; he patterns his style somewhat after Ledbelly, and calls some of his repertoire "Mill City Blues", as in "Minneapolis" (founded as a grain center). I met Howie while I was at Macalester College, and a fast and firm friendship was formed. At the time he was performing around town. He moved in with us for a while (me, Lovely Daughter and #1 Son). He'd hold the boy baby on his lap and the guitar in front, put the baby's little hands on the back of the guitar and play and sing (things like "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"!) and the baby would laugh and laugh to feel the vibrating back of the guitar.

It was a very fun few months, and then he moved on and so did I. Good times. I remember thinking that he was about as perfect a friend/guy as I could imagine. Well, time went by - I went to California, met Husband #2, came back, had #2 Son, began my glorious secretarial career, divorced the husband....kept in touch with Howie, though, intermittently. (Those years were me being a Hippie and me being The Baroness; Husband #2 and I founded the local Barony of the Society for Creative Anachronism, and I am SO not going there right here and now. Maybe later.)

For several years I was a Happy Single Mom. Believe me when I tell you that my children were and are totally crazy diverse enough in personality that I was perfectly content. Besides, I'm of the "A Woman Without a Man is Like a Fish Without a Bicycle" era.

NOTE: Story for another time, but one day a fella newly moved to Madison came to our SCA fighting practice and noticed me (I was the Baroness, hardly any way around it). We became acquainted shortly thereafter, and as it turned out, he has proven to be the One Man in all the World who has all the qualities I liked best in Howie - and even MORE; that would be he whom Fortune smiled on for me, now known as Mr Dearling.

Howie was living in New Hampshire by this time, and on occasion I would answer the telephone to hear his voice - I would always say "So where ARE you?" and like as not, the answer would be "I'm in the phone booth up the street." (This was, after all, pre-cell-phone, or he'd have been standing outside the door.) We always loved his visits, the kids as much as I. He's absolutely the sweetest, merriest vagabond of a musician you could ever hope to see. NOTE: this is the Innernet Era! You want to see and hear Howie? Try this: Poor Howard.

Nice, eh? "St Paul Woman" was written about a friend of ours and talks about the area we lived in around Macalester College. (He actually did write a song about/for me, but it's not on "Cultivated Blues".) So tell us, Mrs Wizard, where is all this going?

Minneapolis. Going to Minneapolis. Only things changed . After working for many years in New Hampshire NOT singing, Howie's getting to retirement and is reviving his performing career (to great and growing acclaim, unless I miss my guess). And this season, he had booked a couple of gigs in the Twin Cities, allowing him and his wife to visit family in Iowa and friends in the Cities. While not actually "in the Cities", we're pretty close, and counted ourselves among that group. We knew we wouldn't be able to make the gigs before Christmas, being as WE are now what's Over the River and Through the Woods, so we made plans to drive up last Thursday and have a couple of days to visit, enjoy his performances at Betsy's Back Porch in Minneapolis and come home Sunday in time to get ready for the New Year's festivities downtown on the Square. That's where our Museum is and we volunteer to help out with the (very popular) party-hat-making activity part of the evening there.

OK, Dale-Harriet, are you finally getting to the point? Yup I am. Where's my kleenex?

Here's what changed, leading ultimately to our changing our plans and NOT going to Minneapolis (NOT visiting with Howie and wife, NOT hearing the gig at Betsy's, NOT doing a yarn crawl, NOT visiting get the picture.)

First, the snow. (See picture above.) It began a very steady serious snow, and the forecast talked about 3-5". Then...I discovered it. My billfold is missing. Gone. Disappeared. Vamos. Resulting in my becoming majorly distressed. I was beginning to feel that I was Not Supposed to go to Minneapolis. We thought we might go up on Friday, when the weather cleared....and then the router went out and Daisy lost the Internet connection.

I see this as Handwriting on the Wall. Realized with regret that we won't be going to the Twin Cities. And then realized the full import of "I lost my billfold."

Oh, Mr Dearling took me right away to get a new drivers' license (two hours at the DMV). And then we stopped at the library and I got a new library card (there were fines I had to pay too...figures). Once home I made a list, which I'm still working on. Insurance cards, membership cards (State Historical Society, AARP) UW Staff card. I'm a Universal Life Minister and have had the same card since 1973. It's gone.

But you know - those can be replaced; it's a nuisance, but do-able. But friends...the pictures ! I have pictures in there that cannot be replaced. They're older, the negatives are gone, no one else has originals that can be scanned into the digital age. My sons in their Drum Corps uniforms. A series of granddaughter pictures from infancy (stuffed inside the little pocket behind the most recent one). Mr Dearling's folks at their 50th anniversary (that one I CAN scan, but still...).

So this weekend - and the last hours of 2007 - have been less than desireable from my viewpoint. Believe it or not, I have a little niggling feeling that my billfold WILL turn up (praying fervently in the process) and I hope it does. We'll visit with Howie again, and I do have a tape of "Cultivated Blues". I made it to Last Saturday Knit, finished "The Secret Life of Bees" and I'm thinking I'll go to the Sow's Ear later for a while to work on the toque. Oh - and I got into Ravelry! So see? Things are starting to look up already! (Billfold? If you're reading this, PLEASE come home!)

Editor's note: Ravelry? I'm "Cousin Hattie", and still have to learn my way around.


sophanne said...

that sucks.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you're having such a crappy time. I've found that if you look for something else, you'll find the original thing you were looking for. Like is there something that you or someone lost a few weeks ago? Look for that, and you'll find the billfold. Works for me almost every time. In the mean time, welcome to ravelry, I'm yarndork. Prepare for a major time-suck when you're on there.

Linda L. said...

After Last Saturday Knitting Club I said a prayer that you would find your wallet. I don't know what the time frame on Lutheran prayers is, so it may not produce instant results...
-- And I found two Electric Company DVDs at the west side Barnes & Noble: "The Best of The Electric Company" and "The Electric Company's Greatest Hits & Bits". I ~knew~ I'd seen them somewhere!
Take care :)

dale-harriet said...

Linda - thank you! I'm a big believer in Lutheran prayers (and Lut'ran Church Suppers!). My fingers are crossed (hard to type, harder to knit, but oh well). And thanks for the tip, I'm going out to B&N tomorrow. Electric Company, here I COME!!

groovygranny said...

"The Secret Life of Bees"--VERY good book--I also read "Mermaid Chair"--also good--but I liked "Bees" better.

Linda L. said...

Ahhh, Lutheran church suppers. We joke that there are four sacraments in the Lutheran Church: bread, wine, coffee, and hot dish.
LOL @ your crossed fingers comment. Maybe we knitters should learn how to cross our toes?

janna said...

Oh, that's just awful -- hope your billfold shows up!