Welcome back to “7 Quick Takes Friday,” an occasional feature that offers a glimpse of where my thoughts have been lately. My last Quick Takes post was in May. At that time, I was recapping my middle child’s 10th birthday and preparing for summer. This time, I’m going to be sharing a summary of my 42nd birthday week.
LAKE WOBEGON: As part of my birthday gift, my mom, who has been here visiting for a few days, bought tickets to the Garrison Keillor “Summer Love Tour,” which included his tour guest, fiddler and singer Sara Watkins. The concert took place at the new Trollwood Performing Arts Center main stage near the Red River in Moorhead, MN (just over the bridge from Fargo).
Clouds began to hover not long before the show, and though it wasn’t canceled, the rain did eventually come.
That said, Keillor carried on and we enjoyed watching and listening to this legendary writer and performer share tales of small-town Midwest. He even walked up toward where we were sitting and was just feet from us at one point.
(To hear a sampling of Keillor and Watkins performing, click here.)
ON MY BIRTHDAY IN 1901: Speaking of Garrison Keillor, I receive his “Writer’s Almanac” newsletter daily by email. After sharing the poem of the day, Keillor states various facts about writers and/or other historical figures. Today, Keillor revealed:
It was on this day in 1901 that Theodore Roosevelt uttered his famous words “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” He was vice president at the time and was giving a speech at the Minnesota State Fair.
Less than two weeks after Vice President Teddy Roosevelt uttered these famous words…, President William McKinley was assassinated, and Teddy Roosevelt found himself the youngest person ever to serve as president of the United States. His Big Stick diplomacy, as it came to be known, served as the centerpiece of America’s foreign policy under his administration.
BIRTHDAY INDULGENCE #1: I really did have a lovely birthday. I like even numbers so I know it’s going to be a good year! Seriously though, it started with a morning walk with a friend, followed by coffee and pastries at a fine pastry shop. I had an almond croissant that had a creamy custard filling, and a fresh-brewed cup of coffee. A great way to start the day.
BIRTHDAY INDULGENCE #2: Later in the evening, our family enjoyed a birthday dinner at Kobe’s Japanese Steak House. Kobe’s is one of those places where they cook the food right in front of you.
Most of the chefs are Asian, but ours called himself the “Caucasian Sensation.” He was quite talented, drumming with his cooking utensils and flipping eggs and other items up into the top of his hat.
(For a sideways glimpse of the Caucasian Sensation in action, click here.)
Needless to say, the kids and we adults all enjoyed our entertaining meal!
INDULGENCE #3: We came home from Kobe’s to a Cold Stone Creamery specialty cake — coffee and toffee bar with dark chocolate icing. I didn’t hear any of the kids, nor my mother, nor Troy complaining about this flavor of cake, which I had dropped subtle hints about when I saw it in a Cold Stone freezer a few weeks back. No one attempted to find 42 candles or a lighter. We just dug in and enjoyed every last messy moment.
WORDS FROM THE POPE (ON ART):
My friend Maria, moderator of a list serve to which I belong, shared this with our writing group the other day:
“In order to communicate the message entrusted to her by Christ, the Church needs art. Art must make perceptible, and as far as possible attractive, the world of the spirit, of the invisible, of God. It must therefore translate into meaningful terms that which is in itself ineffable. Art has a unique capacity to take one or other facet of the message and translate it into colors, shapes and sounds which nourish the intuition of those who look or listen. It does so without emptying the message itself of it transcendent value and its aura of mystery.”
— Pope John Paul II in his Letter to Artists, 1999
WHAT’S NEXT: Rescheduled tennis game, soccer practices and games, dance and piano lessons, homework details, and mounds and mounds of paperwork for Peace Garden Mama to go through…this is what will permeate our coming days.
May your weekend be filled with Labor Day merriment!
Q4U: How are you planning to spend your Labor Day?
For more “quick takes,” visit Jennifer @ Conversion Diary!