Browse Category by Photojournal

August 15, 2017 at 09:04PM

We adopted a school supply list for a 6th grade boy this year. It has given me all sorts of feelings to work through. One of the things on the list is “athletic shoes,” and Michael suggested we get the kid a gift card for Payless. I nearly burst into tears. There was a time when Payless was where I went for ~fancy~ shoes, and I Just. Couldn’t. Stand it.

I talked to one of my friends who has two boys, asked if there was anything I should know before we went shopping. She insisted we get a Land’s End backpack and Keen sneakers. Which, cool, but I simply could NOT get her to understand how that’s just not an option for so many families. Yes, it makes more sense to spend forty bucks once than fifteen bucks three or four times a year, but if you don’t HAVE forty dollars, you just don’t.
She grew up financially stable and her college was paid for. But since they didn’t have a yacht or go to Europe three times a year, she can’t see that she was relatively wealthy. It’s like a wall of static goes up when I try to explain to her. “When the bottom fell off of my sneakers, my mom scraped up twelve bucks for a pair to get me by.” “But that doesn’t make sense, Keens would last until you grew out of them.” “So the option was, a month’s worth of eggs and a cheap pair of sneakers, or good sneakers and no breakfast until next payday.” “But it would just make more sense in the long run to buy the good shoes!” O_o

Later we were talking about calculators. The school list said that a TI-30x would get him through 9th grade, while the TI-84 would likely get him through all of high school. I said I felt bad that we couldn’t afford the more expensive one, and she said that he probably wouldn’t need it anyway. The cheaper one would get him through basic algebra, and “he probably won’t go on to the higher classes anyway.” I started going off about how yeah, when your parents can’t afford the fancy school supplies, you’re disincentivized to strive for the harder classes that need them. If his mom is working two jobs, she doesn’t have time to help him with his homework every night. “Well MY parents didn’t help with MY homework, I just had to sit at the table until it was done.”

I had to stop, leave the conversation before I started yelling. I wasn’t mad at her, exactly, but mad at the world, at the injustice that I don’t know how to fight when I can’t even communicate the concept to one of the good guys.

I should be able to do more.


August 10, 2017 at 06:56PM

This sign gave me a feeling I don’t have a word for. That 2 bedroom has been ours for over five years, and we’ve been happy here. I’ve never left a place before that didn’t feel like I was escaping in some way. Fleeing Oklahoma was simple nostalgia-tinged relief, an extrication that was more than two decades overdue. Leaving Missouri was painful but necessary. Our first two apartments in Minnesota were both a joy to leave. This place, though – it’s been good. It’s been really good. Safe, quiet, and spacious for our needs. The maintenance company is amazing, the neighborhood is lovely. We really could have been happy here indefinitely. We talked about it, just staying here, renting forever and spending our extra cash on toys and travel.
That house. That garden. Those light-filled rooms. We had two viable options, two lovely life-paths. Leaving one behind, one where we could see ourselves happy, it’s a weird mind-fuck.

July 29, 2017 at 11:06PM

I cried a little at the Minnesota United game, looking across the stands at the Minnesota sign. My whole life, through four states, I’ve never felt like I fit anywhere. For the past few years I’ve slowly been feeling more like I belong in this place. Today we had an offer accepted on a house, and it’s starting to feel real, like home.
Get ready to see a lot more of this beauty over the next months – she’s about to be ours.

July 23, 2017 at 12:06AM

Today’s adventure: Yoga on the pitch! Michael pictured ~before~ his minor sunstroke. Turns out yoga in the blazing sun on one of the hottest days of the year isn’t as relaxing as you might think. And that’s *before* we factor in the little black rubber crumbs from the turf being ground into every sweaty surface. At least we have a couple new yoga mats to show for it…

July 23, 2017 at 10:50PM

A photo of my friend Robbie, from my&Michael’s wedding in 2004. He’s been gone nearly a decade now. I dug out the photo to show Kadi and Teresa why Sam on Game of Thrones hurts my heart so much.
His own monsters defeated him, no chance of being saved by dragons or sword-wielding heroes. I wish I could have been that hero for him. I’ll never know if one more phone call would have made a difference, if we should have tried harder to find a way to bring him out of Oklahoma, what would have been enough.

June 30, 2017 at 12:01AM

Went in to Moon Palace Books for two books this afternoon, left with four (and a magazine). Also downloaded fifteen library ebooks, and picked up a few books at the Lake Street library for good measure. Oh and there’s that whole 39 books from the Independent Bookstore Day Grand Prize — I may have a problem, you guys. I think I can be a reader OR a knitter, cramming both into my awake-times is just not happening.

June 24, 2017 at 06:56PM

Beautiful evening for another soccer game! We bought season tickets, and I’ve committed to spending the next four months on the experiment of being a Soccer Person. I’ve never been a Sports Person of any sort, but I think if I’m going to be one, soccer has the best chance of sticking.