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an open letter to raspberries.

21 Dec
[Open letters are cool.  Everyone is writing them now.  I tend to address mine to food.  Check out my apology to hamballs here.]
Dear raspberries,

I’ll be honest.  You know me – I’m not afraid of honesty.
I used to not like you.
When someone offered me raspberries,  I would politely decline.  No thank you.  When raspberries were on a fruit platter, I would kindly pass over for the strawberries, the pineapple, the anything-but-you.  I don’t want your seeds in my teeth, raspberries, I would tell you.  Seeds.  Gross.  You’re gross.
It was this past summer I learned how … delicious you are.  I learned to live with your seeds, but yet, at the same time, avoid chomping and seed-in-teeth-severe-lodging.  You were my favorite fruit to mix in yogurt and oatmeal.  I would grab a handful of you to snack on.  I was constantly buying you at the store.
I found a new use for you this weekend.  I had some of your frozen friends in my freezer.  I had a bottle of clear soda left over from the confirmation party.  And then Marilyn gave me this for a Christmas present –

She knows me so well.  Wine and chocolate.  Throw one of those mini bottles in a glass with a touch of clear soda and some of you, dear raspberries, and it is utterly delicious.  You make my lame Friday night of the treadmill, laundry, and Lars and the Real Girl a little more exciting.  
And for that, raspberries, I thank you.  I take back anything I may have said ill of you in the past, and I profess my love for you, seeds and all.  That’s what love is, right?  Loving as the fruit is; faults, seeds, and all else.
Thanks for being there for me, raspberries.  Thanks for not giving up on me.  Because, as it turns out, you’re delightful.

pity, party of one.

8 Dec
It’s my birthday.
I’m 29, boring, and I loathe sermon writing.
The day started out well.  I woke up on my grandparents’ couch.  I was home in Edgerton for an ever-so-very-brief two nights because of a memorial service I led on Friday in Illinois for a Dancing Banana’s father-in-law.  I was honored to have been asked to lead the service and grateful to have a way in which to contribute and help in such a difficult time.  And the funeral director?  Crazy awesome.  [And by crazy awesome I mean crazy.]
Anyways, I woke up on my grandparents’ couch.  We went out for breakfast, meeting my mom and her gentleman friend.  It was fun and delicious.  Next we went to see the new house of my mother’s.  I shopped local with Grandma and popped by to say happy birthday to my birthday buddy cousin, Connor [who is 20 and had returned from study abroad in Ghana just the night before].  Then I packed up and headed out.  From that point on, my birthday got really lame really fast.
I stopped at Starbucks in Wisconsin Dells to claim my free birthday drink and then I stopped in LaCrosse to claim my Mabel who had been boarded there for the past two nights.  We drove home and I muddled my way through a patchwork, likely-disaster sermon for tomorrow.  [I’d had a funeral at ROG on Wednesday; between that and the memorial service on Friday, no Sunday prep was to be found during the work week.]  When I have to write my Sunday sermons on Saturday night [my birthday, nonetheless], I become a monster.  I become a monster who cries and will say she hates her job.  A bitter monster.  deep breath.

Maybe when you turn 29, birthdays just get boring and bitter by default.  
No?  It’s just me?
Of course.
I used to say that birthdays were my excuse to make my friends do something I wanted to do.  Like have friends over to my house.  Or go on an adventure.  Or play crazy board games.  Or eat cake.  Now maybe birthdays will be my excuse to drink wine at home alone [which really makes it no different than any other night].

Party on, Wayne.

Party on, Garth.

three places on a thursday.

25 Oct
I left work shortly after 4 today, leaving behind a nearly complete sermon [*blog high five*].  I drove to the southern edge of the Cities and I went to three places.  This is how those places make me feel –
Place #1: Byerly’s wine and spirits.  I was early for my appointment at place #2 and had already decided it was a wine kind of weekend.  Byerly’s was on my way and so I pulled in the parking lot and walked through the automatic glass doors.  Immediately, I was approached.  It’s the first day of our wine sale.  Buy one, get one half off!  She was very excited about it.  I acknowledged the greeting.  Another person approached me thirty seconds later.  Has someone told you about our wine sale?  Yes.  Can I help you find something? Something in particular you are looking for?  Here is where I stumble.  How to tell the wine snobs at Byerly’s that my indication of a good bottle of wine is a funny name or silly label under $10?  Hmm.  I always feel like a baby wine drinker in wine shops.  I bought two bottles; one is very large.  The other is normal sized.  Working on the large one now.  It has a rooster on the label.  Silly.
Place #2: Beau Monde Salon.  Hair cut time!  Happy hair cut dance!  I love getting my hair cut.  I love how it feels afterwards and – though she is no Brent – I do like my current stylist, Tiffany.  She is fun to talk with, remembers me, and hasn’t once asked me what my dating status is [the flaw of so many hair stylists].  Happy hair cut dance!
Place #3: Lakeville Super Target.  My favorite Target.  The Target of all Targets.  I didn’t really need anything but rinse aid for my dishwasher and dental sticks for Mabel, but you know how Target works.  Buy-three-get-one-free method hand soap, $10 worth of my favorite yogurt not available at the local HyVee, and stocking up on toothpaste equaled a whole lot more.  Target makes me happy.  The kind of happy American consumerism wants me to feel.  I can’t help but bow to such consumerism when hand soap and Fage yogurt is involved.
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