Archives for posts with tag: Fall

Sometimes I like to listen to podcasts when I walk the dog (This American Life, Radio Lab, Freakonomics, Stuff You Should Know, The Moth, etc) Podcasts fill a space in my brain that I am afraid might disappear. A space of delirious curiosity. A space that, when I was little, thought there were enough hours in the day to learn everything I wanted to learn. Now that space is a little calmer. It understands that sometimes life is boring. Sometimes traffic forces you to sit behind the same hateful bumper sticker for 35 minutes and that’s okay. That has to be okay. Podcasts reignite the fire in that little space. I can wonder about the science of quicksand fear or Tylenol overdoses or historical mass murders or any number of topics my brain didn’t even know it wanted to wonder about.

But sometimes I like to walk in silence.

Having headphones in makes me feel a little vulnerable, like someone could sneak up on me. I want to hear how my neighborhood sounds. Dogs barking. Cars crunching over gravel. Footsteps over fallen leaves. A squeaky storm door. Maybe a vicious dog that has just wrenched the leash from his owners hand that is rounding the corner to snatch up my little pup. I want to hear that bastard coming.

Maybe I’ve been listening to too many podcasts about murders after all.


We’ve been talking about building a fire pit since we bought our house six months ago. Work and time and a wedding and sunny patios with cold beer got in the way. Then the leaves started to turn. Squirrels started burying walnuts in our flower pots. Our sensitive poodle got extra snuggly. Fall arrived.

It’s time for a fire.

The internets told us building our own simply fire pit wouldn’t be too hard – just fifty bucks and an hour or so. Today I learned the internet is always right. Always. We documented our adventure to prove it:

Step 1: Rip up the soil.


Step 2: Level the bricks and let the wife relocate a little worm because she is a wealth of compassion:


Step 3: Allow a toy poodle to inspect.


Step 4: Bask in the glory that is the finished product. Bask.


This is going to be a lovely fall.

Each morning, I leave my house before the street lights switch off. Before the frost begins to fade from roofs and cars and piles of leaves. Before my little poodle thinks it is reasonable to leave her tent. By the time I reach the highway the sun is no more than a ribbon of pinkish, orange on the horizon.

I am not a morning person.

These early starts can break my spirit, particularly because grad school spoiled me. I just want to stay in my warm bed and sleep until the sun rises and let Charlie Rose tell me about all the day’s news.  But, alas, I’m an adult. So I get up, make myself presentable, and try find the things I can be grateful for after I leave my warm home.

Today I am grateful for no frost on my windshield, a green light at the corner, reasonable bus drivers and pedestrians down Lyndale, Brandi Carlile on the radio, no wait at the interstate ramp, only one jackass Minnesotan merging like a crazy person and this view as I walked into work:

Yep, I was right. Gratitude lists make me feel better. Happy Monday, folks.

Today really might have been the last warm day. All of Minneapolis seemed to be outside. Running. Biking. Walking the dogs. Yelling in the streets. (Our windows have been open all day, maybe that’s why the yelling seems so prominent. Kids these days.)

Then, we bought the dog a Halloween costume. I think she loves it.

You’re welcome.

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