Day 7: St Joseph

Shirley's home cooking

A sleepy day. Yawn. In a somnolent town. Yawn. Walking around. Sitting down. Yawwwwwwwwn.

Slept in, did projects, read some more of Moby Dick, went to the bookstore at College of St Benedict to pick up some gift items, came home, lazed around. Had a fish fry feast, with sunnies caught by Joe Miller from three different lakes, as well as cheesy potato hot dish and creamed cucumbers from the garden. The day was warm, humid and yes … delightfully (yawn) soporific.

Church of St Joseph

Joyce (one of Shirley’s sisters) and Butch weren’t able to make it, so we’ll go visit Joyce tomorrow. Her health is failing and she’s under hospice care, so we hope to be able to see her before we hit the road again. Tomorrow afternoon we’ll head down to Stillwater to stay a couple nights with my sister-in-law Dana and family.

John and Darlene

Darlene (another of Shirley’s sisters) came over for dinner though — as did two of  Angie’s brothers, a niece and sister-in-law, and after dinner Darlene, Angie, Shirley, and I talked about family histories and genealogies. Shirley produced an old spiral-bound family cookbook from 1984 that had been dedicated to her grandparents, as well as a binder of family stories, clippings, and photos from the Duclos side. Northern German Catholic and Alsatian and French Canadian, they’ve been in Minnesota for at least three generations already.

All in all it’s been a restful day. I’m happy to have been able to drop anchor midway through my trip across country at a familiar place with wonderful family. There are plenty of stories in this family — and I don’t need to go back in time to past generations for them, either! — and it’s been great to get to know another family as big and storied as my own. Someday I’ll tell some of those stories. For now, I think I’ll put my feet up, read some more Melville, and drift contentedly to sleep…