Friday, June 19, 2009
Time To Unpack, Settle Down In NoMi, Bring Surplus Stuff To Goodwill... (Summer Visitation 2009)
Photos By John Hoff
I have boxes which have not been unpacked since January of 2000, when I left my highly-established life in Seattle to be near my baby son in (shudder) dreary, flat, desolate North Dakota. A lot of moving around happened between then and this moment, a great deal of carting possessions and much pushing at the perimeter of heaven and earth to be near my son, who now lives (quite firmly established, finally) in an affluent southern suburb of the Twin Cities. (shudder)
Finally, I am able to put down roots again. I choose to put those roots down in North Minneapolis (NoMi). The very thought of living in the stale, boring suburbs gives me the willies. That's fine for some people but...not me. I prefer North Minneapolis a.k.a. Divorced Daddyville where the living is easy and the home ownership is highly affordable.
Bit by bit, opportunities come to deal with the old boxes of possessions, which are full of memories, crammed with ghosts...
I had a box of my son's stuffed animals from his previous career as a baby, plus many toys which just kept getting added through his childhood. It was finally time to deal with the box by giving that stuff to charity. My son picked out five stuffed animals which still held some attachment. Most of the rest he couldn't even remember. No, not even the red Teletubby.
Ah, Teletubbies! How innocent that show was before Tinkie Winkie was forced out of the closet by the Reverend Jerry Falwell. At some level, we all knew...the skirt, the deep voice, the affinity for a woman's purse, his penchant for lavender. Even the name: Tinkie Winkie. But the mommies and daddies watching the show along with their children accepted Tinkie for himself and didn't really care.
But then Jerry Falwell had to butt in and everything went so, so wrong. How I loved watching Teletubbies with my little son, and reruns of Emergency.
For my little son, the entire show was filler except for the part when the fire alarm went off and the big red trucks came out of the station. To him, THAT was the whole point of the show.
We took the old box of toys to the Goodwill in St. Paul for two reasons: good citizenship and environmentalism. Plus, well, the sentiment contained in the toys. Who can bear to throw away their children's toys? Nobody I want to drink with, that's for sure. I prefer the thought of some other child loving those old toys to death. That's how a toy should die: hugged to rags, then accidentally left in a sand pile out in the rain.
Looking around inside Goodwill, we found the place where hundreds of stuffed animals sat waiting to be adopted by little children.
"Look," I told my son. "They'll have lots of friends."
He's 12 years old, so this comment made him groan and roll his eyes, kind of like when I tell baby stories about him.
But I still felt the need to say that.