Thursday, August 6, 2009

A River Runs Through It

When we first moved to the Twin Cities, I was mystified by ramifications of the Mighty Mississippi in our midst.

Remember, Lone Reader, that I was raised by East Coast liberals who dragged their children to various places in Oklahoma and Kansas as they sought…hmm…what? They never really cared about greener grass. Peace from their own parents? Big sky country? Freedom from the long arm of the law? I dunno. One can see making the move from the ivy-laden confines of Cornell and Ithaca to the University of Oklahoma for one’s first professorial gig. A sad move, but an understandable one. Why, however, did we live in 3 houses in 4 years? And that’s right, one of those houses was on the edge of a reservation. (It WAS the thing to do in the 70s – send your kids to a reservation school.)

Alas, Lone Reader, I digress. As we moved around the lower Midwest, the constant was “going home” the biannual trek to New Jersey and New York. Every summer and over the winter holidays, we would pack up for the East Coast. While there, my parents would stock up on things one couldn’t get in the Midwest – Spatini spaghetti sauce seasoning, Red Rose tea and raisin biscuits.

What did it mean, then, I mused upon arrival in the Twin Cities, to live in a place where items where available only ‘east of the Mississippi’? Did one half of the metro have Dryer’s ice cream and the others ate Edy’s? Was the a black market of traders along the bridge swapping Hellmann’s and Best jars of mayonnaise in unmarked packages?

Eventually the river that turns one metro into two (among other things – Ed.) became commonplace…so much so that when a visitor said, “Take me down to the Mississippi” I replied, “We’re over it right now on the bridge – do you mean closer?”

Yes, river life’s got its own pace and it’s fast around here. But I still get a thrill when I find a jar of real Marshmallow Fluff on the grocery store shelves.

Happy Thursday, Lone Reader!

No comments: