Hi. I’m Maery, a writer in the Twin Cities. Although I no longer have the body for extreme adventures, I love to bicycle, go horse trail riding and take hikes with my dogs.  

One thing you should know before you join me on my quest -- I don’t have a map. And I’ve been known to wander off course and stop to listen to birds and look for agates. I also have a few issues with fear and anxiety. In other words, I’m not a good role model or adventure guide. But in this time of uncertainty and polarization, I'm not sure anyone has a reliable map. We'll just figure it out as we go.

Minnesota State Fair
Time to harvest the fields
To many of us
Eating is a pretty big deal 
For now there is fun
Before school has begun
So let’s joyfully swing 
To and fro
Many come for the food
Some come for the rides
Some teens come looking for love
I remember those times…
Now I come to hear music
Such a variety of bands
And I pause as always
As nature takes me by the hands
Bees and plants catch my eye
Moving, splashing water too
But then a parade rounds the bend
With many floats that go moo

Not like the Macy parade
Oh, no not a bit
But with this Minnesota crowd
It’s still quite a hit

(You have your super heroes, we have ours…)

(Was Smokey always this out of shape?)

(Only in Minnesota is a snowplow part of a parade)
A caramel sundae for breakfast
A Greek wrap for lunch
A micro brew to cool off
It all packs quite a punch
When the crowds overwhelm me
It’s time to head out
But I’ll be back next year
Without a doubt

As summer draws to a close, I wanted to take a look back at the summer’s festivities, starting with the Irish Fair, which took place in early August.

I tried to find a GOOD Irish poem to accompany my photos, but alas, Google failed me. So here is my first attempt at Irish poetry and blessings all tangled into one.

My Irish Heart

Oh what tugs at my Irish heart?
So many things, where do I start?

Music and dance
A horse that will prance

A published book
A man that can cook

An Irish blessing
That makes me sing

Ooooohhhh, soooo…

May your Lucky Charms
Never be soggy

May you always have
An obedient doggie

May your pot of gold
Be right where you stand

And may all your days
Be zany and grand 

So far Xena (my kayak) and I have explored a little bit of the Mississippi River and a little bit of the Rum River. The skinny, little Rum surprised me. There were partially to fully submerged tree sections to frantically steer around. It wouldn’t have been such a frantic effort except that it was also very windy and between the current and the wind, I wasn’t always going where I wanted to go.  Isn’t that a metaphor for life…

But I rather enjoyed staying at the level of alertness the Rum River required. It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t still sight see, looking for wildlife and river art, which is what the river does when it makes collages of branches and sand and weeds.

The conditions were hell on taking any picture of the best parts of the river, though. Seriously, it was choppy!

Along the way, several Kingfishers kept flying over Steve and I. They have a rattley call that you can hear at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (a fun site to browse if you like to listen to bird song).

I also saw an eagle fly down and over the river for a bit, while the crows swore at him from the trees. And there were several turtles sunning on logs and rocks. A couple of them were very LARGE and I tried to sneak past them, picking up speed when they dove in and appeared to be swimming toward, rather than away, from me.

I don’t know what I was imagining — like one would swim up and grab my paddle and pull me overboard and turtle me to death in the muck? Yes, something like that or that their powerful little snapping turtle jaws would remove a finger or two. Hey, if you are one of those people afraid of garter snakes, spiders of all sorts, or bats, I am allowed to have my own little turtle phobia…

I hesitated to show the following photo because I look like such a dork! But I’m a happy dork who is learning to embrace her dorkiness.

Steve and I had planned to paddle down the river and then go back up it, back to where the truck was parked. After all, we’d managed to paddle in both directions on the Mississippi. How hard could it be on the Rum River? Well, apparently tougher than the Mississippi.

After going through a couple passes where our kayaks picked up a speed all on their own and did some kind of polka step, swinging off in a couple different directions, we came to the conclusion that the only way we could make it back up the river is if we got out of our kayaks and pulled them along behind us. Given the muddiness of the river, that didn’t seem like a very good option.

When we reached the overpass for the road that led to the Rum River Park, we beached our kayaks. Steve walked back to the truck, while I waited with our stuff.

Next time, Steve and I will plan out the drop off and pick up points so we can take a longer trip down the river. And there will be snacks and beverages involved.

I’m enjoying the feeling of freedom at being able to see the river from the river, rather than the shore. And that too is another good metaphor for life.