Friday's Weekend Column
Down To the Big City

by James Glaser
June 18, 2004

My daughter Whitney is graduating from culinary school today and I will be in Minneapolis to watch. I must say it is nice to have someone come up here that wants to cook and she is good at it.

Everything is from scratch and to tell you the truth, she is as fast as someone using a premixed something from the store. I will admit to being addicted to chocolate and Whitney has introduced me to a higher quality of baking chocolate, which now that I think about it, isn't that good of a thing for me.

If I am able to save all of my real "pig outs" for when she comes up, I'll be OK. Last time up, she said I could look through her bread cook book and pick out any I wanted to try and she would bake them. Hot bread out of the oven, smothered with butter, with a big glass of cold milk... it is a good thing she doesn't live that close.

When I go down to the cities I will stay at my mom's house and sleep in "my" bed and at night there will be the same triangle of light coming out of the bathroom and hitting my bedroom wall, as there was when I was a kid.

Today Americans move back and forth across the country, my mom has been in her house since 1947. Yes, the trees in the yard are a lot bigger and the neighbors are different, but every where I look, old memories come to mind.

Back when I was a kid we played kick ball in the street next to our house. Today you would never get a game in because of all the traffic. Also another change is that every three years, mom pays more in real estate taxes, than she and my dad paid for the house when they had it built.

I don't like going the Twin Cities at all. I like seeing my Mom and my sisters and my two daughters, but after being there for just a few hours and I am ready to head back up here. I think it is that constant hum of noise.

In the cities, if you can hear the wind in the trees, you better start looking for shelter. Up here people wave to each other as you dive by, down there, people don't like to make eye contact. Here, I am sitting in the house at my computer and I can hear birds outside and when I quit typing, I can hear the water lapping up on the shore.

Oh, I guess if I was forced to live down there I could, but maybe not, too many years up here in the northland and you don't fit in with lots of people. Just like chocolate, solitude is addicting.

BACK to the Essays.