You can know anything. It's all there. You just have to find it.

-Neil Gaiman


Monday, June 1, 2009


My parents came to visit last weekend. As an early birthday present my dad is building me an arbor, so he spent last Saturday digging post holes and cementing 4x8 poles into the ground.

Of course this didn't go as easy as it should have. It never does.

About two feet down into the dirt he hits concrete. And bricks. He hauls up a chunk of concrete rock the size of a cinder block. And bricks that were from the 1920s. I think there were some glass bottles too.
"What the hell is this stuff?"
"Um, I think this land use to be a garbage dump."

That's the story I've heard from neighbors. The land was a swamp peat bog and basically the town dump of Minneapolis. People would haul their garbage here back in the day, or burn their trash. I've noticed that the times I've dug a deep hole to plant a shrub I would find something weird in the ground. Like marbles. Or a plastic doll arm. Thankfully, no real bodies.

Mostly, it made me excited. I wondered if I'd find a time capsule or maybe a lock box full of cash that someone had buried in the backyard. No such luck.

So while my dad curses and grunts digging rocks out of the ground, I take my mom to Bachmans, which was a total zoo. After that she wants to go to IKEA, so I have to mentally prepare myself for that excursion.

IKEA scares me. When I go, which is rarely, I always get their early, before the store opens. I already know why I'm there because I'm getting something specific and I'm usually out by the time the unwashed hordes descend. I don't do particularly well in crowds.

But my mom wants to look at everything. And she does. I spend most of the time looking for a couch or chair to sit on. I didn't lay down on any of the beds; I figured I wouldn't get up if I did that. For some reason my energy really plummets in the afternoon. Plus my back hurts now and I haven't figured out what to do about that other than try to ignore it and hobble along like a gimp.

The one thing I did find that I really liked was the Poang rocking chair, which is new. I'm definitely going to get one for the baby's room. I liked the design and the fact that you purchased the chair covers separately so you could pick whatever color you wanted. As I sat in the chair and rocked and watched people I noticed not only scads of babies and tots, but tons of pregnant women, and I realized that IKEA is a pregnant ladies dream. All these family friendly organizational products for insanely cheap prices.

It also appeared to be my mom's dream. "Oooooh, that is so neat," was what I heard her say most. Followed by, "I can't believe how cheap it is!"

So now the baby has its first toy, bought by Grandma. It's a hippo; I hope the baby likes it. Matt certainly did. Yesterday when I walked into the bedroom he was taking a nap with it. Imagine a grown man snuggling one of these.... Absolutely precious.

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