Yesterday’s Gone

There was a song, Emmylou Harris sang it, or maybe it was Chad and Jeremy. It’s one of my favorites and the chorus goes like this, “…but that was yesterday, and yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.” Yesterday Minnesota was grey. Yesterday’s gone….

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It snowed. Actually that is incorrect. It is snowing. Over a foot of heavy, wet, sticky stuff has accumulated and it’s still coming down. I’ll have to admit, there is something magical about the first snowfall, especially if it’s the kind, like this, that turns a drab leafless tree into a frosted confection. So I pour a steaming mug of coffee and sit down to watch. It is vastly more interesting than watching grass grow! A minute later I jump up and run for my camera. The cardinals have come out to play.

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This sweet boy thinks he’s hiding, but his glorious crimson feathers against the whiteness shout his presence. Lady cardinal is in the bush with him and the pair of them take great pleasure flitting from branch to branch kicking up snow dust.

But I have places to go and people to see in spite of the weather. In Bali, whether it’s July or December, I can slip on a sundress and a pair of sandals and I’m out the door. Today I warily approach my closet, dreading the clothing ritual dictated by this climate.  I pull on a high-necked shirt and tights. First layer…check! Now what? Before that question finds an answer my neck starts to itch under the fabric scrunched tightly around it. I rip off the turtleneck and scratch furiously. Okay, how about a dress with the tights? I find a long-sleeved, knit number and slip it on just as the skin on my legs, sausaged into the tights, begins to crawl. Hiking up the dress I frantically peel off the tights and slather a handful of lotion on each leg. I briefly contemplate calling with some inane excuse to cancel and chuck the whole affair. But by now I’ve worked up an agitated lather and I’ll be darned if I’m going to let a little snow rattle my cage! Off with the dress.

I finally manage to pull myself together. Then adding to my layered ensemble a jacket, gloves, scarf and boots, I head out the door. First stop, World Street Kitchen, a new restaurant in Uptown.

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World Street Kitchen Restaurant in Uptown, Minneapolis, MN

I lunch with Jessa and Dan, the quintessential Uptown pair suitably decked out in sensible garb. They treat me to the ‘Kitchen’s’ Crispy Tofu Burrito and I swear it tastes just like chicken. (All humor aside, it is to-die-for-delicious!) Then I treat them to a giant slice of double-layer-banana-cake-with-peanut-butter-cream-cheese-frosting. Exquisite!

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While we make happy eating noises, a snow-plow truck tries to keep ahead of the still accumulating fluff on the street outside.

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I’ve been invited to a Christmas production and my friends are picking me up at the restaurant. I’ve given them decent directions and they have just called to say they’re getting close. I zip up my jacket, wrap the scarf around my neck, pull on my gloves, say a quick ‘thank you and goodby,’ just as Dan spots a car slowing down. “There they are,” he says, and I race out the door. They have turned into the parking lot and I trot around the end of the building to see them slowly continuing on through the lot toward the alley. “Stop!” I yell, knowing full well they can’t possibly hear me. My trot becomes a fast jog as they turn into the alley and keep going. Now I’m in a flat out run, snow stinging my face, arms windmilling to keep my balance and boots slip-sliding on the icy tire tracks. “Sto000000p!” I yell again, and the car slides to an unsteady halt. They finally quit laughing and explain that they were afraid if they stopped they would get stuck. They apologize profusely for failing to notice my frantic pursuit.

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Getting stuck is a valid concern. We pick our way across town past several vehicles stranded in snowbanks and one sitting with its tail on the guard rail and its front bumper laying a few feet away. But the concert is worth the effort. The full orchestra and two choirs, probably numbering close to 200 voices, nearly lift me from my seat. I am struck by the contrasts of this reality. Here I am in the midst of a mighty throng of people who share my Scandinavian heritage. The music is complex, melodic, familiar. But I find myself scanning the crowd looking for someone…different. Then I see him. He’s short, hidden in the back row. Of that vast company he’s the only one.

In the mountaintop Balinese villages I am the oddity, the pale moonface in a chocolate sea. Tonight his mahogany skin fills a lonesome corner of my heart. I breathe a silent ‘thank you’ for family and friends, for music and snow, and for someone different who unknowingly made the night extra special.

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lottie Nevin
    Dec 10, 2012 @ 01:48:40

    Oh those Cardinals are so beautiful – and the snow! I know exactly what you mean about the itchy layers though…grrr – it’s so hard to get it right – either too hot, or too cold, too itchy, too tight (well, that’s me darlin’ not you!)
    You’ll be back and in that sundress soon! X

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  2. Doreen Henricksen
    Dec 10, 2012 @ 02:50:46

    Writing skills you do possess! Certainly all came together at end of this one. It would have been very nice to know you. You have traveled far & still en route. Bless you.

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  3. anspired
    Dec 10, 2012 @ 09:57:19

    Wonderful piece yet again!

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  4. Kasprick KATHLEEN
    Dec 11, 2012 @ 19:28:08

    I too was immersed in the silence of the snow, watching zillions of wet flakes decorate a 100 year old tree. These are reverent moments, holy times when the noise ceases, the shapes and forms are transfigured by something so grand we are left as small wondering witnesses to what, we can only guess. So, we write down what can only be a soul being caressed. I am glad we are alive together

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  5. Sharon Henderson
    Dec 12, 2012 @ 10:27:43

    I love this story.

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