Steo and I decide to take a weekend trip up to my cabin. Partially because it is good to get out of town, partially to help with getting things running for the summer, but also because my parents haven't met her and, thus, Judgment is necessary.

We end up leaving Minneapolis rather later than we mean to and stop in Hinkeley to play tag in the parking lot and get food at Tobies. As we're leaving, there's an odd smell in the air, but it seems inconsequential. Later, just as we're approaching town after successfully navigating miles of little back roads without a map, Steo glances down at the dash and makes a… noise and rapidly pulls onto a side road and stops.

Sure enough, the temperature dial is waaaay up high. It's also about 1:30AM. We sit there and discuss things. This is bad. And there's a gas station not too far away. We opt to wait a while an the gauge drops to a more reasonable level. Steo starts the car and begins to crawl into town at perhaps 5 mph while the temperature gauge ominously rises. We get into the gas station just as its reached the point where we need to stop again. We sit a moment, letting our hearts stop pounding, and then get out.

Somehow we end up in conversation with a State Trooper and he knows all about this problem. Pulling on big leather gloves, he pops the hood open and a cloud hot, dry air puffs out. There are splashes of green everywhere: the coolant hose has ruptured. Fortunately, Steo's father is super-prepared and left spare coolant hoses stashed in the car. The Trooper hooks one of these in and we fill up the system.

A few minutes later, and we're good to go.

It's been a stressful start to an otherwise relaxing weekend. We successfully put in the dock, get the boat in the lake, and take a couple of kayaking trips.

Both days out of the weekend, we drop in to visit my grandmother. The first day we take her out to the Sawmill and have pop-overs, delicious Spinach-Raspberry salads, and Kiev. The second day, we go to the Forest Lake and end up with Italian food. Both days, she regales us with stories. How her first two fiances were killed in the fighting, how the first chicken she made was undercooked and burst with blood when they tried eating it, how she knew would get vaporized in bomb shelters, how she snuck out to go dancing. “It was a war, but I was having a great time!”

Later, watching silhouettes of trees in the dark, Steo asks what will happen when I go to Germany. But neither of us know.

The next day, we pack up the cabin and leave just as a storm breaks.

Check if this is a private message just for Richard: