‘Minnesota’ Category

08 March 2008

Misty water-color memories

By: Jessica B.

So Google Maps peaked my curiosity again tonight and the “street view” option took me for a long trip down memory lane. After sharing the street view of my parent’s house with my buddy Ryan, I opted to dive a bit deeper into my memory, finding, after some extra work, the house I grew up in. What started with laughing as I scrolled down the street, caused me to pause when the house finally appeared.

Again, the house I saw before me wasn’t the one in my memory. The one in my memory had a dark brown exterior instead of beige, the porch that was added on in my early teens was wood stained instead of painted brown. And the cement stairs that lead down to the driveway, where my dad helped me ride a bike that I received on Christmas Day as a kid, when it was an unusual 70 degrees outside, replaces the several large and small stones that made up the stairs that I remember. I even zoomed in to see the garage door and slab of concrete that I used to bounce a tennis ball against for hours in the summer, entertaining myself with stories while my mom would yell out, “who are you talking to?” I think one of the strongest memories I have from that house was Christmas Day mornings, when my brother and I, in our pajamas, would wait anxiously in the kitchen for my mom and dad to prompt us to come down into the living room, where presents and stockings waited. My dad would borrow lighting from his school to make sure our home movies were perfectly lit and looking back, I always said that the basement on those mornings, when we were so excited that we could burst, looked like heaven. Which might sound corny, but to a young kid, that’s what it looked like.

My mind could have continued to wander but I stopped it, opting instead to jump ahead 10+ years to see my old apartment in Minneapolis. I laughed at the sight of the family homes on the street I used to live on, remembering chasing a UPS truck down that street and watching my car nearly be towed due to a city snow emergency. And even though I couldn’t see our exact apartment window, I laughed remembering the bat that got into our apartment and the frog that somehow ended up in our shower. That is the first and that will be the only time that I will live in a garden apartment unit. For sure.

So after tonight’s version of “this is your life” courtesy of Google, I’m ready to leave the “street view” feature alone for a bit, not that the view of me with non-braced teeth running around the yard and learning efficiently to parallel park on a Minneapolis street, was unpleasant. But how it made me feel was a bit unexpected.

29 January 2008

Guidelines

By: Jessica B.

Speed limits are like food expiration dates – both could be considered to be “guidelines.” Tonight on the bus ride home, the bus driver must have been confused because a 50 mph speed limit does not mean you should go 35 mph and then slow down even more as you approach a bump. I appreciate the thought of sparing me that bump in the road, but really, it’s okay. I’m tough, go 50 mph.

When I lived in Minnesota, speed limits weren’t even considered law or guidelines, it was flat out ignored! My road rage really developed when I lived there for two years and I can guarantee you that any speed limit on the road had another 15 mph added on top of them just to keep with traffic. Even my once aggressive driving has tamed thanks to living in Chicago without a vehicle. I can’t even remember how to fully parallel park! That is sad.

While I’m lax on the “guidelines” of speed limits, I’m definitely strict on food expiration dates. Tonight I found a yogurt that expired on January 5 and I was conflicted about what to do, considering Jewel doesn’t carry Yoplait Whips anymore. Normally, I would toss it out for fear of food poisoning but I didn’t…so maybe I’m not so “expiration date” militant anymore. My parents will be pleased.