Sunday, October 18

The Dirty Greek

Kate and I are at the cabin – closing it up for the season. It’s been a cool but great Saturday. Lovely drive up here yesterday in our new Venza. Perhaps because we had a canoe on top of the car, I got to drive – an experience I enjoyed immensely.

Kate slept in this morning, so Greta and I took a nice walk to the corner where we turn down Bartlett Road to our cabin. A woods of constancy or gentle change for the two decades we’ve owned the cabin. This spring Barny and I saw a big flock of crossbills there. But in the past week or so radical change has ensued, as the company that owned the woods now owns a big pile of wood and a field with lots of tree branches strewn about in it.

The web of ATV trails that I knew like the back of my hand and have used so many times for bird watching and dog walking is no more. Barn and I will have to find other woods to search for crossbills and scarlet tanagers and “indago” buntings. So it goes. Things do change, after all. Sad to see this particular habitat go. Then again, our best warbler area was similarly cut four or five years ago.

After another walk this afternoon we took out the last section of the dock. I had a nice sauna to warm my feet after spending a little time in the water. Took the last outdoor shower of the season, and was ready for an adult beverage. One of my favorites in this situation is a dirty martini, with blue cheese stuffed Sicilian green olives. We’re winding down the cabin for the year and I didn’t bring any green olives. But there were some pitted Kalamata olives. In this case desire, if not necessity, was the mother of invention (I believe Frank Zappa was the father or the Mothers of Invention – but that’s another matter). So I invented “The Dirty Greek”! It suffices quite well, and the pinkish cast is a nice touch.

All these changes. New car. No woods. New drink. At least they came in threes. Cause change is hard. Though with each sip I’m becoming more and more accustomed to The Dirty Greek.

Wednesday, October 7

The End of the Dome

I've always been a baseball fan. It's a great game. No time clock. Lots of strategy and subtlety. And our local team the Twins are just the sort of team I've grown to like best - though since I live here I'm sure I'd be a Twins fan in any case. Next year the Twins move outside to a new stadium - which will be great. I'm looking forward to summer nights at the stadium.

One of the consequences is that the dome won't be hosting any more baseball games. For a regular season game in mid-season, that won't be much of a loss. It's a football stadium where they play baseball. But when it's packed and the crowd is roaring, there is no place where I've had more fun watching a baseball game. The first game of the 1987 World Series was one of my great sports memories. And though I didn't go in person, the best 3 games I remember were all played at the Dome.

The 6th game of the 1991 World Series between the Twins and the Braves - the Kirby Puckett game - was amazing.

Kirby made an amazing hit-robbing catch, and followed it up with a home run to win the game. The next night Jack Morris pitched 10 shutout innings and the Twins won the series. Two great games.

But last night the Twins beat the Tigers in a one game play-in game for this year's playoffs that was even better. The Twins had been chasing the Tigers since May - but really only started making any progress in early September. It was just a great, great game. For Twins fans things had been building to this game for a while. And it was just a thrill ride.

If the other two games were movies they would have been tense thrillers like "Rear Window." Last night's game was "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark". In a way it was too bad that either team had to lose. But if one did, I was glad that it was the Tigers.