On catching up…

… I largely won’t be while I’m traveling. It’s called a vacation for a reason. I will be driving for hours most days and enjoying my time with family and friends when I’m not.

Reading back through my various streams will not occur. Feeds will be marked as read without further reflection. Tweets and posts happening anytime in the past will be ignored. If I do take the time to look at things it will be with an eye on what is happening in the present.

I have found that the important things always have a way of finding their way to me if needed. That the things I truly care about I will take the time to seek out. The rest can be safely ignored. (This is also true while not on vacation. I simply give into thinking otherwise too easily as my time allows for it.)

The Fair

Today is the first day of The Great Minnesota Get Together — The Minnesota State Fair. What is commonly known here as simply, “The Fair”. It is the largest state fair in the United States.

There are many, many, things to love about the Minnesota State Fair. But the one thing I love the most is how it unites us all. If I were to walk up to any of the 3.4 million people in the Twin Cities Metro Area and ask them what their state fair traditions are, every single one would have an answer. Everyone would have a story to tell about the fair, how this thing or that thing became the thing they always do, or about some offbeat thing they have found there that no one else seems to know. They might tell you the day they always go or where they always park, or the exact order they always plan their day, or the things they always have to see or eat. No matter, everyone has at least one state fair tradition and most people several.

I, of course, have my own. I always have to eat a Scotch Egg for breakfast at the stand near the livestock barns. I always have to get a malted milkshake at the Dairy Building. I always try to get a bucket of Sweet Martha’s Cookies which always overflow the top such that one can not put the lid on unless you eat a couple of dozen which are always best washed down with several glasses of milk from the “All The Milk You Can Drink For $1.00” truck (it used to be .50 cents).

Around this time of year, I often think to myself where else in America (or the world) one could find such a thing? An entire city or region or state united by the shared experience of something so fun, uplifting, and meaningful. Something so full of tradition that often spans generations and crosses culture, race, and gender. Our state fair is a great state fair made greatest by the love of all who frequent it.

I suspect it is rare and increasingly more so. Hence I (and many other Minnesotans) am always just a bit more thankful and proud to live here this time of year. And we are, rightfully, just a bit more proud of ourselves too. Because we can pass a stranger and know that no matter our differences there is something we likely share — we love The Fair.

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The Next Three Weeks

Here is another one of those cases where the whole "working for yourself pie in the sky dream" that everyone who does not actually do it runs head on into the "gosh it really blows sometimes" reality of it.

I will be going on "vacation" next week for a bit more than a week. Vacation is in quotes because those that work for themselves often don’t get that option. This will certainly be the case for us. My little girl’s last day of pre-school is this Friday and there is a two week break before starting Kindergarden in September. This meant that we would have a couple of weeks without any place for her during the day. So, this normally would mean trying to fit both mine and my wife’s (who is also my business partner) work schedules around care of Beatrix — a Herculean time management achievement.

Instead, we figure it is easier to take a week long road trip and thus have a valid excuse for emails, calls, and work not being done until after she goes to bed — and even then ignoring and delaying most of it.

And that is just what we are doing. With extended stops in Indianapolis, IN, Columbus, OH, and Asheville, NC. Not to mention plenty of lunch and rest breaks in between (a meal at one of my favorite restaurants — Bluephies in Madison, WI for instance if we can work it in). I would love to meet anyone in these locales if we can work it out schedule wise. (Get in touch if you’d like to try to arrange it.)

Of course this also means that much of the work that would normally get done in that time is being squeezed in before we go. So this week is abnormally hectic for us both.

All of this is an extended way of saying that posting here will be dramatically lighter in the coming few weeks. That said, road trips usually result in long conversations and dramatic revelations and clarity for me. In large part to being a captive audience
to my two greatest sources of wisdom and inspiration — my wife and daughter. Therefore, don’t be surprised if I pull a zinger out of the hat during that time.

Thanks for your patience and sticking around.

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