“Wanna have a night in Dalbo on Saturday?” A text from my good friend Bri vibrated at me late Thursday evening. A night in Dalbo, I pondered into the following hectic Friday morning at work. Dalbo…a town consisting of a post office, embroidery shop, & an old (now extinct) hole in the wall bar called the Dusty Eagle – affectionately nicknamed the “dirty bird” by locals. I felt like a ping pong ball, watching my inbox keep me on my toes, accepting new emails almost as if to find my breaking point. Hastily dialing mobile numbers to reach contractors and office lines to meet the needs of high maintenance customers, the pressure to perfectly meet everybody else’s needs brought me to an obvious conclusion. A quiet weekend in a town of 360 residents was what I needed. I shot Bri a text, “I am game!”
Bri promised to make my hour drive up to the Cambridge area as “country” as she could, if only for the humor of it all! Armed with New Belgium Somersault Ale, a grinning and flannel-donning Bri greeted me with open arms. The only rule was that I agree to wear a flannel that she bought me at a local establishment called “Target.” ;p How could I argue with that? We caught up on each other’s lives and I slowly fell in love with her cat, aptly named Cat.
I admired a wall of cocks over dinner at The Brass Rail, a restaurant in nearby Grandy Minnesota which proudly advertises “world famous chicken.” The chicken truly was delicious and cheaper than a value meal at McDonald’s. Needless to say, I was in heaven. Our “adventure” continued after dinner when Bri drove me around Cambridge, Dalbo’s neighboring city which she has had the privilege of calling “home” her entire life. I always find myself in wonderment at those friends of mine who grew up in one place, maintained the same network of friends, and were surrounded by the stability I like to imagine it all brought.
I moved so frequently growing up that I wasn’t ever connected long to the houses I lived in or the friends I made. Up and moving, sometimes with just a couple weeks’ (if not days) notice, was an oddly familiar feeling in my youth. I would even say it was a comfort in some ways as change was a close friend to me. I find that as I’ve “settled” so to speak I crave that change more and more. I’ve worked hard to pay off debt and keep myself virtually “untied” to anything that could keep me from being carried off by the wind on some new adventure. Even though that may not be what God has planned for me, there is something comfortable about being in that place. That root-free place that offers the freedom of adventure. I think more positively about my childhood circumstances than I think I did when I was actually a child. My parents recall many times my brother and I would cry, missing the place we had just lived – places we were only able to call home for a few months. I think we were probably more negatively affected by it all than I like to think, but I prefer to focus on the positive that came out of it.
After our post-Cambridge tour, Bri took me out on a 4-wheel ride, touring me around on quiet, dusty, vehicle-free dirt roads. She knew the story of each building we passed on our six mile ride, who had lived there, what their history was, and how that person was connected to her life. She told of a tragic death on a now hauntingly silent softball field and showed me a creepy old cemetery buried in the dark cold woods by her house.
Our weekend didn’t end up being quite like the drunken adventures of our early twenties – although Bri did manage to slice open her finger which was followed by her passing out…I like to think I had the situation under control and that I calmed her down, but she says it was the panicked look on my face that sent her reeling! Haha Despite (or perhaps because of) the small trauma experience, the weekend was quite memorable and enjoyable! It was wonderful to get a snapshot of my dear friend’s life. Hmmm…If I were to re-visit all of the places I’ve lived it would involve a lot of gas, a couple flights to Texas, & I suppose a little self-discovery. Want to start in Austin? I guess the only question left to answer is Austin, Minnesota or Austin, Texas… ;p