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Alas, Minnesota too …

I’m in Minnesota this weekend to see my granddaughters (and their parents) and sanity mandates that a guy needs to escape the house (or them from me). Other grandparents can relate. 

The early morning was the perfect time to create necessary space. The trek was mostly about a search for strong black coffee since the household was a good hour from waking up. A little bakery was nearby and a few jelly Danish would fill just out of bed tummies. 

Of course, I can’t just walk. I’m too judgmental about the state of cleanliness and this part of St. Paul seems to fall short of my non-litter standards. But the mess isn’t on the order of Charlotte which has big litter issues. The citizenry here is a fair amount more environmentally conscious. 

Yet the few blocks I slogged along Snelling held several bags worth of debris along the curb, mostly smashed bottles and flattened cans that once contained Hamms and “Lineys.” My praise for Minnesotans can go only so far, however, in the face of what I should’ve been picking up. Any amount of trash is still too much. Maybe I’ll regroup tomorrow morning when I return to the Coffee Bean for another cup of dark roast. 


About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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