On A Holiday, Lake Briggs, 2012

January 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Rural Minnesota in the winter may be the most romantic place in the world. Ice fishing huts are scattered across the lake. Kids and parents and old fishermen go from one to the next to see who is catching what. Inside the huts people drink light beer and aquavit around tiny propane heaters and talk about how mild the winter is. A couple girls are playing hockey in a rink they’ve cleared. A middle-aged woman is trying to play catch with her new puppy, but he’s having a hard time not slipping and sliding everywhere. Smoke pours from chimneys around the lake as the sun sets and people start their evening fires. I can imagine, as it gets dark, all the fishermen going inside to sit down to a dinner of tater tot casserole with some kind of bar for dessert. After dinner they drink decaf coffee and talk about how every year it seems they catch less and less fish, every damn year don’t you know.

I miss Portland. Some days so much my heart hurts. I miss people with tattoos and I miss microbrews and sushi and live music and boutique groceries and the smell of weed wafting from a bedroom window on NE Alberta Street on a Thursday afternoon.

But it is hard not to see the earnestness here, the way people here love the simple things, the way they aren’t too cynical to admit how wonderful it is to pass a holiday afternoon ice skating and sipping homemade hot cocoa, and not fall into a sort of limerence with this place.

There’s a feeling that all you’d need to be happy here is someone to love you and a decent truck with four wheel drive.

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