The Geek’s Garage – A Verbal Portrait

Cartons and boxes piled high
Former homes for routers and towers
used cisco servers
Liberated from the powers
that be

Tools hung haphazardly on the wall
A snow shovel kept just in case
(It never actually snows enough
to need such a thing in the place
we live)

Endless bits of cat-5 cable
In many different hues
Connectors and phone cords
USB dongles in boxes marked “shoes”
taped shut

Escaping leftover styrofoam
A jungle of bubble wrap
A bike unused since 2004
A dusty baseball cap
From Gateway

Missing it’s base,
The old Christmas tree
Meant to be left on the curb
I wanted to mark it “Free”
Last November

He said we couldn’t
Set it out
While still missing parts
Might be lying about
I gave up.

Next sunny day
The plan is to clean
And flatten the boxes
And sweep til things gleam.
One can dream.

Inspiration Comes in the Oddest Places

Thanksgiving, 2005.
We’re in Branson Missouri for a week of hanging out with Fuzzy’s family. Part reunion, part vacation, much togetherness and frighteningly unhealthy food.

On the way home, I realize we were just a short drive away from where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived the bulk of her married life with Almanzo and Rose. Sadly, it was too late to turn back. We settled for pausing for a couple hours in a place called Artist’s Point, where I bought homemade sorghum molasses and watched the sun set in a valley worthy of being on a thousand postcards.

But it was Laura who followed me home.

Ever since then, I’ve had this idea, one that was expanded by an October, 2006 trip to South Dakota, of doing a modern story juxtaposed with Laura’s journey, of showing the contrast between DeSmet when it was young and Charles Ingalls worried that there wasn’t enough breathing room because the town was growing up so fast, and the sadness of witnessing the death throes of towns like the one where Fuzzy grew up, where family farms are being sucked up by corporations, and kids are fleeing to the big cities.

There’s sadness, but there’s beauty, too.
But I’m a city girl, and I worry that I couldn’t tell the tale properly.