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Possessed


Sun, Nov 12th, 2000
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Monday, October 30, 2000

Author Moritz Thomsen writes of his house in an Ecuadorian jungle: "At first it is infuriating to discover what is going on beneath your nose; the books rotted; the phonograph records green with mold . . . boots turning to penicillin . . . prints by Gauguin hanging wetly across the walls turning into hallucinations by Max Ernst. . . . But underneath this rage there is something else; I can feel a mystic and highly complicated--what? It is a kind of satisfaction, a kind of acceptance that I feel with the destruction of my possessions."

My house has more rooms than I thought. One room leads to another. Each room contains possessions I have forgotten about: clothes, dishes, photographs, books, beds, tables and couches. Each room contains a walk-in closet with more possessions. I have to sort through these possessions, but I can't make any headway and my mother is watching me.

This dream has almost played itself out in real life. Three years ago, a big wind blew some shingles off our workshop. We patched the resulting leaks thinking we would soon return to make permanent repairs. As time went by, we had various excuses for not starting what we knew would mean re-roofing the entire shop. In the meantime, our patches failed and we shoved the problem to the backs of our minds, which, of course, gave rise to dreams of rooms, possessions and guilt.

Last summer, my husband fixed the leaks by installing metal roofing. When that was done, we began to work on the shop's interior. The ceiling was in tatters; paneling hung down in chunks; pink fiberglass insulation with black paper backing hung down in strips like giant batwings. Bats slept in nooks and crannies. Mouse feces covered everything, including Art's rusting tools. The drawers contained nests and raccoon tracks
appeared along the walls.

First, we sorted through our possessions in the loft, which stretches over half of the shop. Art also did some preliminary testing of his tools, finding most of them salvageable. The loft contained canning supplies I hadn't touched for ten years, a rotting rocking chair, nests made out of fabric scraps, a broken table and mirror, glass that we saved for window repair, oak and cherry lumber, some of it savable, a desk, two bicycles, two porta-potties, a bookcase full of woodworking supplies, a large painting of a very gloomy man and more.

After completing this job, we had a shamefully large heap of trash .....
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The Living Museum:

Sun, Nov 12th, 2000
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A Historical OverviewBy John LevellMonday, November 13, 2000

So just where in southeastern Minnesota can one experience balmy 80 degree temperatures while viewing exotic tropical wildlife right through those long, cold an ..... 
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Born in the 19th century

Sun, Nov 12th, 2000
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Monday, November 13, 2000

In 1895, Grover Cleveland was President of the United States, Stephan Crane published The Red Badge of Courage, and a six-dollar railroad trip from Minneapolis to California took four days. It was also the year ..... 
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Mr. Pike takes a vacation

Sun, Nov 12th, 2000
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Monday, November 6, 2000


My wife, Deb, and I went back to Door County for a four-day visit after a seventeen-year absence. Our eagerness to get our vacation underway had us driving across Wisconsin in the dark on a highway we dubbed "Dead ..... 
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In love with language

Sun, Nov 12th, 2000
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Monday, November 6, 2000

One of the first things I notice when I travel is the sound of other languages being spoken - Asian, European, Middle Eastern...

I recently travelled internationally and realized how much I missed these sounds. ..... 
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Sun, Nov 12th, 2000
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Sun, Nov 12th, 2000
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Sun, Nov 12th, 2000
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Sun, Nov 12th, 2000
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