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the 411 on 5/29.

30 May
It was a long, wonderful weekend that began on Saturday with the arrival of my mom and sister for a picnic on the lawn of the Bockman dorm on campus.  We ate in the sunshine with my friend, Cassie, and her parents, and then meeted and greeted the CYF staff.  A group photo was taken on the steps of Bockman.  [My sister had my camera and took some great shots.]  Grandma and Grandpa Danielson arrived in time for baccalaureate – a communion service – in a tent as it poured outside and Grandma’s chair got wet. 
After baccalaureate, we ran off to my apartment where my awesome family helped me lift, move, and load boxes and a bed into their vehicles.  Truth is, I haven’t completely moved in the last five years – meaning some of my things had always remained in storage somewhere – and now that I finally have to completely move, I have a lot of stuff.  It’s actually quite frightening.  Between mom’s car, Grandma and Grandpa Danielson’s car, later a car of Aunt Peggy’s and a few bags and boxes into the back of Reilly’s van, a dent was made in getting my things from MN to WI.  [But I still have work to do.  Packing.  Loading.  I procrastinate by blogging.  And by going to the movies later with my friends.  Eh.]  We went to one of my favorite places for dinner – Big Bowl Chinese and Thai – and all settled in for the night with the family staying at a local hotel.  

Sunday was the day!  The family and I – with additions of Karen and Mark from Stillwater, and M. and her parents – had brunch at a local restaurant.  The food was delicious and we were able to entertain ourselves with boots of crayons and the white paper that covered the tables.

From the restaurant, we moved onto Central Lutheran in Minneapolis for the ceremony.  It was a fun service. Clapping, yelling “Amen!” and grinning ear to ear as Joel rapped his speech on behalf of the students.  I couldn’t help but smile after I walked up the steps and across the platform to receive my diploma and master’s hood.  I loved my hood – it felt so great around my neck.  [I think it looked pretty good on me too!]  Four years of class and work completed and symbolized in the master’s hood.  Truth of the matter is that we use the hoods for the ceremony and then must return them after photos.  I wanted to keep the hood and not give it back so I could wear it around the house.  *sad face.*
We took many a photo with the robe, the hood, and the diploma.  It was a mess of searching for family and friends in the chaos outside of the doors of the church, but once we found each other, hugs were given and photographs taken.  Watch the slideshow.  *giddy face.*

My family made off for home right after the ceremony.  I grabbed an ice coffee, stared at my diploma with a goofy grin, and had pizza with pal, James, who was visiting.  More friends and I met at Mannings, the unofficial seminary bar, to celebrate further.  To simply sit at home last night would have seemed far too anti-climatic.
It was a great weekend of celebration with friends and family alike.  With graduation behind me, it’s onto serious packing with hopes of moving home on Wednesday.  Two words: too soon.

oh-em-gee.

28 May
I graduate tomorrow.

I sit at a hotel in Roseville, staying with my mom and sister since my bed is already packed into the back of my mom’s suv.  Three grandparents and an aunt are also here, and we await an aunt, uncle, and two cousins tomorrow morning.

I’ve talked about it before, ad nauseam.  But now it’s so close – within twenty four hours – that I’m really just not sure.  The emotion of graduating, leaving friends, moving home; it’s too much to articulate!  [glass case of emotion!]

One emotion I can articulate – nervous!  I’m not even speaking [as my rapping friend, Joel, is] but I do need to walk across a stage and lean down to be hooded.  [so not a big deal really but I’ll make it into a big deal]  Smile pretty for pictures.  Hug people.  Say goodbye?!

And then it will be over.  My family leaves for home tomorrow night; what my celebration will look like is questionable.  I’m not quite sure what  I’ll do with myself when the hype of the day is complete.

Even the gnomes are being worn by all this transition.  Just look at them –

  

four pictures.

13 Apr
Four pictures that showcase the joy of my day:

My brother, Ben, on his way back from Alaska via MSP, stopped at my apartment to teach me all about car fuses and replace the broken one that killed my radio, clock, and cigarette lighter.  I helped him find the spare fuses in the fuse box that was under the hood.  I asked, “How do I get it out?”  I had no needle nose pliers in my belt.  [I tell you, the ONE time I’m caught without them!]  There is a tool – a little plastic pincher grabber – in the fuse box to grab the fuses from their places!  Who knew?!  [Okay.  Maybe you did.]  I was certainly impressed.  He changed the fuse but I’m confident I could do it in future situations.  [Maybe.]
A letter from my penpal, C., was found in my mailbox today, complete with a flower!
A box of cakepop chicks and easter eggs sent off to my favorite staff members in Dawson.  Here’s hoping the sugar rush helps them get through the craziness that is holy week in a church.
Excuse me?  Say that one more time, please.  The world’s largest textile garage sale?!  I think I found my Saturday study break!  [I’m pretty sure this is the sale you told me about last year, Karen?  Maybe?  I totally happened upon the poster at a store in Stillwater this afternoon and, boy, am I glad I did!  To think I almost missed it!]

M. and I

26 Mar
I spent a lot of time with M. this past week.  She was on spring break and her family is busy in the midst of move preparation.  I went over to her house for two days and the third she came over to my “grown-up apartment.”  We had a lot of fun crafting, baking, and watching Ariel.

M. arrived and walked into my apartment for the first time.  She sized up the room, paused in the middle of the living area, and said convincingly, “This is nice.”  Thanks, M.  She took off her boots and made herself at home.  We sewed and stuffed a pillow [It was her idea and she clung to that pillow for the rest of the afternoon!], and I sewed together a few book signatures for her to take home and continue to create.  We baked cookies, and she cuddled up on my bed to watch Ariel [The Little Mermaid].  
It was just a lot of fun.  It’s been really cool to babysit for her over these last years and watch her grow since I’ve been in St.Paul.  I’ll miss her bunches when I’m off somewhere abouts in the southern portion of the state next year.

adult relationships.

20 Mar
My younger-by-a-year-and-a-half brother stopped over tonight.   With his girlfriend.  [Yes.  You heard that right – he has a girlfriend.  Here’s hoping I don’t jinx it … but he seemed really happy about it too.  Exciting.]  It’s funny.  Really, it’s just humorous to me to think about how my siblings and I have grown up and now have these adult brother-sister relationships.
I grew up on the farm, having mudball fights, shooting bb guns with my younger and older [a year and a half on either side of me – they have the same birthday] brothers, and playing baseball with lots of ghost runners.  I always got along with Ben; never with Matt.  [Sometimes that remains the truth.  But there are times when it’s not; we’re growing up slowly.]
Then there is Emma, nine years younger than I.  I was the live-in babysitter; I loved watching her and dressing her up.  I remember carrying her around in clothesbaskets and being angry that one time she got a hold of a box of kleenex and spread them ALL over the living room floor.  Now she’s 18, preparing to graduate from high school and go off to college.  We exchange scarves and books, and we’re planning a sister trip to Seattle in the month of June [hoping it works out to celebrate both of our graduations].
So my brother stops over.  This is a week after he called me to see if I wanted to have coffee.  I never thought such an invitation would pass through the lips of my bike-riding, lettuce-with-mustard eating brother.  He was in the Cities, visiting formerly mentioned girlfriend, and wondered if we could get together for coffee before they took off for a camping trip to Arkansas for her spring break from school.  [Because everyone thinks of Arkansas when they think of spring break, right?]
I think tonight, as Ben stopped over to my apartment, I got a glimpse of what it might be like someday when we visit one another in each other’s homes for holiday, birthdays, or whatnots.  This is how it went – Ben walked in.  He walked nearly immediately to the stove, on which sat the tuna noodle/green bean/broccoli concoction I had thrown together for dinner.  [Mind you, it’s after 8pm at this point.  Late dinner.]  “Oh, yeah, what’s this?”  I explain.  “Well that sounds good.”  [pause]  I asked if he wanted some.  “Oh, sure, that’d be good.”  Ben helps himself to the hotdish.  Then to something to drink.  Then to the candy in the canisters on the counter.
I simply acknowledge and not complain this comfort level.  I think it’s humorous … and good.  [It reminds me of cousins, Brent and Mike, who would walk into our farmhouse and straight to the fridge.  They lived in our house as much as we did.]  Perhaps it won’t ever really matter that it’s not the farmhouse we grew up in, or the house on the hill our family built and in which we currently reside.  A family member’s house is a home for each of us.  
It’s hard to tell where those homes might eventually settle.  Matt’s in Colorado and Ben has upcoming plane tickets to Alaska to search the possible job market outside of the continental forty-eight.  Emma’s future is yet unknown, knowing only that next year Carroll University will be the place she resides.  I’ll be somewheres in southeastern Minnesota.  I think it’s kinda fun to dream about where life will take us all, and where we’ll settle down to open our homes to each other in the future.  Now I know to have a hotdish of some odd kind waiting when Ben stops by.  And old Starburst for him to chew.  [He’s pretty easy to please.]

ridiculous.

7 Mar
I can laugh at myself.  Here is the perfect example.  You can laugh too.  It’s ridiculous.
It was a balmy 25 degrees on Saturday when I – along with Kim, Krissy, and Lynn [meet them in the previous video post] – boarded a shuttle bus that took us to Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis.  Then I jumped into the frozen lake with gal pal, Rachel Green Sara, and her mom, Jenny.  We were team ‘Just Add Water,’ wearing aprons with ugly frill, oven mitts, and carrying kitchen utensils [a whisk for me].  There were also swim caps.  I’m not sure anyone looks good in such a weird stretchy thing, but I certainly looked horrid.  I will, however, thank the swim cap for keeping my head dry.  I am certain that not having a head of wet hair helped a lot when enduring the cold water and air.
But really, besides looking ridiculous [which was the goal to begin with], it wasn’t bad.  It was actually a lot of fun.  After the count of “1 … 2 … 3 … PLUNGE!” we jumped and then got ourselves out of the water as quickly as we could to run to the hot tubs.  Honestly, I’d do it again.  It was fun.  And just enjoyable to watch people’s reactions when I told them what I did this weekend.
In total, there were 2900 plungers at this specific plunge, raising over $600,000 for Special Olympics!
Thanks to those who pledged for my plunge! 
 

video post.

6 Mar

All your questions will be answered by clicking play.

[Further posts regarding my weekend of visitors and pictures of the polar plunge will follow.  For now, this is all you get.  Make as much sense of it as you can …]

gnome gnews.

19 Aug

When my friend, Amanda, stopped by for a few nights last week, we – of course – visited the gnome folk at gnome park. There has been some gnew gnome business going on since the last time I was there.
Gladys is back! The old Gladys was presumed gone forever so a new Gladys, complete with her notepad with which to write the gossip column for the Dawson paper, was constructed and placed next to her husband gnome, Harland. You can really tell the difference between the old gnome artist and the new gnome artist. Despite the contrast in colors, shape, and style, I’m just glad Harland has his partner in crime back. (Harland and Gladys, the real life couple, were together constantly and even shared a room together at the care center until the real life Gladys passed away just a few months ago. A for cute couple indeed.)
Other gnew gnomes –
There was a new Harris gnome, next to his wife, Eloise, to replace the one that had been stolen soon after it was first put on display.
The AGP gnome from last year finally made its way to the park to join in all the other gnoman games. He looks like he’s about to run someone down. I knew gnomes were mischievous but he seems downright dangerous. The gnome from this year also found its new home in the park, right next to Gladys and Harland.

Riverfest wkend.

27 Jun
Oh, the emotions I felt throughout Dawson’s summer festival, Riverfest, this past weekend.

Accompanied: I drove to Watertown on Friday morning to meet up with my friend, Kate, and then we were off to Brookings to pick strawberries. $1.19/lb strawberries! Afterwards, I convinced her to come back to Dawson with me to partake in some Riverfest activities. Yes! She bought pajamas and a toothbrush at Target and then hopped in the car with me; I had a friend to accompany me to the festivities!
Loved: I love walking down the street and having people, especially kids, say, “Hi, Pastor Lindsay” or stop me to have a conversation. It makes me feel like I belong here and that I’m loved … well. At least liked. Err, maybe acknowledged is the best term.
Awkward: Kate and I attended the new gnome unveiling on Friday night and it felt a bit like we crashed a family reunion. I’ve been in Dawson for ten months so I recognize names and know a good number of people through Grace but the roasting and toasting of Dick, the new gnome, seemed like a family ordeal at times. Dawson is kind of like a big family … everyone knows each other and pretty much everyone is related in one way or another. (Below: The new gnome, Dick, only minutes after is was revealed in a very anti-climatic manner with a black garbage bag. Can’t help but say I was anticipating more but, for the most part, the new gnome lives up to my expectations.)

Comforted: We visited Jesus at the cemetery before the fireworks. Nothing like a little high-five action with the Savior.
Disappointed: My decorated gnome did not win. sad face. But at least I entered.
Caffeinated: Both Kate and I bought the reverend gnome mugs. Perfect for coffee. (Apparently there are gnome mugs for nearly each of the gnomes in the park! If only I had known, I would have started collecting!)
Embarrassed: Kate and I entered the two-person blind lawn mower racing on Saturday morning. (I am so not joking right now.) I drove blindfolded and Kate sat behind me and directed me through the course. In my head, the course went right; it was a circle to our right. We started out and I don’t think I was even really listening to Kate who was saying, “Left. Left.” because I thought I knew where to go and that was right. Oh my. Kate didn’t stop me or tap me on the shoulder or anything … so we went in a circle. Our time wasn’t so great but we did make it though without hitting any of the orange markers, even with our detour. Great laughs were had by all at Lindsay’ inability to know which way is left/right and her inability to relinquish control and listen to her eyes.
Fulfilled: Good weekend.

Easter visitors!

6 Apr
My mom and sister made the trek to Dawson to spend Easter with me … or at least near me/in my apartment while I worked. They arrived Friday afternoon and stayed until Monday morning. It is an eight hour drive from Edgerton to Dawson – phew! – and I certainly hope they feel it was worth the gas and time in a car!
I was excited to play host and to show them around my current “home” for the last seven months. I think it offered my mom some degree of comfort to see my living situation and meet my coworkers, to understand that this is a good place for me and to see that I am really happy with where I am at. My coworkers were (of course) awesome at welcoming and greeting and there were a few congregation members who weren’t shy either. My mom heard over and over, whether from the pew of ladies sitting behind us or other off-the-cuff comments, how she looks like a sister to me rather than a mother. Ego boost!
We did the church thing, shopped in Dawson, met the gnomes, and took the grand tour of the town. We also hung out a lot at my apartment, watched a fair amount of Friends, and all napped at various points. It was pretty much as low-key as you can get for a weekend away but it was enjoyable to have them here. I hope that they agreed that it was enjoyable to be here!

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