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I-35: Minneapolis

Posted October 12th, 2016
I-35: Minneapolis

The Mall of America is… just…horrible. My Dear One suggested we visit. We weren’t in the mood to shop but we were curious about this place that is a destination for visitors from around the world. Parking was well-nigh impossible. There were lots outside and multilevel structures under cover. Having no idea as to how…

The Naples Jaunt 4: Mining and Minding the Past     

Posted March 5th, 2017
The Naples Jaunt 4: Mining and Minding the Past     

Ruins. Antiquities. The bones of the dead. Italy is a place where one culture layers on another, razing, reusing, raising new structures for new orders. Italy has commoditized her archaeological past since long before she was unified as a nation in 1860. Romans collected and copied works of Greek art. Greek, Roman, Egyptian relics were…

WWI: Going High on the Bar

Posted October 28th, 2011
WWI: Going High on the Bar

I knew there was an upper town and a lower town in Bar-le-Duc; I was a little less clear on the difference in elevation. The Ornain and its fellow waterway the Canal of the Marne cut through the town’s steep hillsides from northwest to southeast. They plus a few smaller canals lend certain ancient quartiers…

The Dallas-Austin Axis 3: Great Reading

Posted January 19th, 2015
The Dallas-Austin Axis 3: Great Reading

Museum labels—you know, those notes posted next to works of art? What’s not to dislike. More often than not they are written in that impenetrable artspeak (of which curators and critics are so enamored) and filled with “facts” and observations the writer believes are essential to every viewer’s experience of that work. Ironically, many curators…

The Dallas-Austin Axis 2: A Wild Food Chase

Posted January 18th, 2015
The Dallas-Austin Axis 2: A Wild Food Chase

You’d think finding a meal wouldn’t be all that hard. My Dear One keeps a small notebook for notes on restaurants he likes the looks of when those eateries are featured on one of the food programs on television. I take that list and poke around the various wikis like TripAdvisor. I include restaurants along…

WWI: Blue Cows and Saints

Posted October 26th, 2011
WWI:  Blue Cows and Saints

I lay in bed and listened to the rain insistent on the roof. We would go to Liffol-le-Grand, I decided. Liffol-le-Grand is one of the small towns near Neufchatel, an administrative center of the American Expeditionary Force, which provided housing for soldiers. It was where, in late October, my grandfather David Cutler was billeted with…

The Last Day of Christmas

Posted December 29th, 2013
The Last Day of Christmas

How quickly we get from first to last. As I lay abed last night, contemplating the imminence of 2014 and anxious about what the New Year might bring, I thought about taking down the tree and packing away the decorations of the season. Then I fell asleep. When I awoke I said to My Dear…

Lietuva 4: Stork-Spotting

Posted May 20th, 2012
Lietuva 4: Stork-Spotting

As we approached Lithuania’s border with Poland and Belarus in the south, the tall pines exuded a primeval air despite their relative youth, and twisting roads offered glimpses of lakes and streams. In this countryside, gravity secures huge nests, some seeming to approach the scale of hot tubs, atop roofs, water towers, electrical poles and…

Šeima Means Family 3: Tending to the Tree

Posted May 2nd, 2015
Šeima Means Family 3: Tending to the Tree

Researching my Dear One’s Family Tree has been, shall we say, a slow process. Facts and documentation, though, when found, bring a thrill, a surge of excitement that renews belief that the project isn’t fundamentally doomed. The problem is two-fold. Records pertaining to impoverished Lithuanians who immigrated to the United States from the 1880s to…

Good Plants Gone Bad

Posted May 26th, 2013
Good Plants Gone Bad

Such a beautiful Saturday in May, a brisk wind, temps in the sixties, irresistible gardening weather. What to do, what to do. Weeding. Pruning, General cleanup. We are coming up on the 8th anniversary of our moving in. In August of 2005 things looked pretty drab. The slick clay slope behind resisted growth of anything…