My oldest brother and I had one goal on our trip to Chicago: See Howlin’ Wolf’s grave.
He had thought of it a few summers back on a drive-through trip with his wife on their way to visit friends in Indiana, but it had never fallen into place for them to stop. This time, with me backing him up and our mom surprisingly also on board, it came as a three-against-two vote against our significant others, and our trip home found us taking a twenty-minute detour due west to Oakridge Cemetery.
Google Maps has us completely passing the entrance to the place, which happens to be about fifteen times larger than any of us anticipated. “Where exactly is his grave?” My brother asks, turning onto the main road and driving slow.
“Fantastic question,” I reply. Continue reading
Sunday, February 23, 2014. The morning of the Gold Medal Men’s Olympic Hockey game of Sweden versus Canada. At puck drop–7am EST–I found myself standing behind a warm espresso machine, arm on top of the stainless steel with my head on top of that, staring out at an empty dining room that was Peet’s Coffee & Tea.
7:13am, my phone buzzes in my pocket. “So I’m in Amsterdam, sitting at a cafe at the airport ready to watch the Canada/Sweden game…” An iMessage from my brother from his iPad. Mostly about hockey, but ending with “Enjoy your last shift at Caribou!!!” I smiled. I texted back and said I wished I was at home, sitting on the couch, watching the game.
As I’ve said many times to people who have asked, the last shift is sadder today than it was yesterday (the day of the shift). Yesterday, I was too tired to care. Today, the fact has sunk in a little more. Maybe John Mellencamp can sum it up best from the song that happens to be playing in my ears right now: “Yeah, we had some good times. Reckless at heart but never, never unkind. In a perfect world, we’d have done just fine.”
So am I positively crazy now to be feeling this way? Continue reading