Daughter Alice is in town briefly on her way to International Falls/Rainy Lake/Camp Koochiking where she will spend most of the summer teaching songwriting. (Yes, I misspelled the camp’s name and the county it’s in. Ah, well.) It’s upset time as the family dog was injured by an encounter with a large truck at the camp and is in Duluth for emergency care. Duluth is a three hour jaunt from the camp. Alice has a new recording out and I listened earlier this evening. Two of the cuts made me cry–hard.

Marina and I spent a delightful afternoon with three of my former foreign student advisees, one from China via Austria, an Ethiopian-Italian entrepreneurial dynamo, and a delightful guy from Palau who was a pioneer in computers and their applications. The latter two became residents here and Jane married an Austrian and has a business not far from the Italian border. I’m not doing them justice in my descriptions; they are highly successful people, three among a remarkable group of people I was privileged to “advise” almost half a century ago. They credit me with much of their success, which is untrue. I tell them that we at Macalester College had scholarship money and selected people we felt had the potential to make the world a better place. And as much as I can tell, they have done just that! We met at Cafe Latte, which is a noisy venue, but their food (especially the desserts like strawberry-rhubarb cheesecake) makes up for it. We’ve had a dry spell lately and so we drove through welcome periodic rain showers. Adding another 45 minutes to our drives to The Cities makes the travel seem much longer than it did when we were 20 years younger but coming home is nice.

And things are shaping up at home. Tomorrow carpenters come to finish off a bit of outside work, some electric and a heat duct to be cut into the bedroom. I hope to get the dock in on Tuesday and Wednesday I pick up an electric stove and range hood. We are switching out the stove because it’s dangerous for Marina to be putting her hand over flame and it’s hard for her to see whether a burner is lit or not. Thursday sees an electrician for powering up the new stove, a dryer line to be run, electric for future a/c, some floodlights for what will become a gallery downstairs and putting power to the wiring in my office.

The Amery Arts Alliance reading went well, although the audience was small. Writers generally don’t draw big crowds, or at least those of us who are not well known don’t draw big crowds. The Alliance has a matching grant of $20,000 and if Friday’s event is any indication they have a good ways to go to meet that challenge. The effort is to save the classic downtown theatre, a throwback to the 1930’s that has been restored but has a leaking roof that needs repair. The Alliance would love to do that and own the place, too. I’m hoping for a larger turnout this Friday when LaMoine MacGlaughlin and I read (it’s a return engagement) as a fund raiser for St.Croix Festival Theatre. If you’re looking for a cheap date, tickets are $10 with all proceeds going to Festival. We’d love to see you there!