I am sitting at a kitchen table in Plymouth, Minnesota, a suburb of the Twin Cities, drinking coffee and looking out of the window on a white fairy land of hoar frost coated trees, bushes, fences - all is white. There are some impressive icicles hanging down from the eave above the window, identifying this house as one likely built in the sixties with inadequate insulation and ineffective ventilation of the unheated portion of the roof substructure.
It's a most eclectic house with strange and beautiful objects placed in random abandonment throughout, or to use Regretsy language, whimsical fuckery. It's a hippy
house in the middle of an otherwise very straight and uptight subdivision full of waspish folk who view anyone coming or going from this particular abode with dislike and suspicion.
In the living room is the lower half of a manikin propped up in a chair in front of the picture window. There is a ten foot frond of whale baleen hanging on the wall over the stairs. The house is full of chewed and ratty furniture that were once whole but have fallen now in social status due to a pack of feral dogs that never heard of a command - somewhat similar to the children who grew up here.
Don't get me wrong. This house has had a lot of love expressed - just a free living style. Like I said, hippies.
The other half of the manikin is hanging in a tree outside the kitchen window along with two old multi-paned window frames (with glass), a stained glass lamp, and a large, old styled bird cage. These trees have never seen trimming and spread in every direction. Next to the trees is a swimming pool identified only by a pale turquoise slide, a diving board, and the top of a tubular handrail poking up out of the snow. It's a pristine scene. In the summer, I understand the pool takes on a different appearance. It is a chemical free zone so the water is more like that of a pond, changing with the seasons. Like the house, cleaning is kind of a foreign concept.
The owners of this most interesting place are teachers, now in India. Of the children, now grown, there are three girls and one boy. One of the girls is in Europe, one in Texas, and one in residence here. The son is off in Japan - three years now. The daughter who is living here is Risa's half sister, hence our connection. We passed the night here after I drove up from Rochester and the Mayo clinic. We connected yesterday afternoon and then drove back down to the center of the city to listen to my son play in his orchestra string group at a musical celebration of the states finer musicians. Not that my son would qualify as one of the finer musicians. It's just that his school is so small, anyone who expresses interest is automatically a member of the ensemble. Fortunately the talent of the rest of the group compensates for his shortcomings and adequately shields him from unwanted examination in the back row.
It was a lovely concert in a huge, grand old church, built when Minneapolis was a much smaller community.
The sisters are out "shopping" at one of the malls that dot this part of the country. I am thinking of venturing out to find a paper and a spot of breakfast. Then it's back to Duluth and a bit of peace.