Here I go again;
I'm headed west. Tonight I shall have supper with my parents in Faribault, Minnesota, and will stay the night with them. I do not see them as often as we would like, of course, and I cannot miss this opportunity, since I pass nearby on my way to Sioux City. Mom, I'll be there by suppertime.
Then tomorrow I'll drive the rest of the way to Sioux City, where on Wednesdsay I'll meet with two writing classes at Briar Cliff University to talk about "place" and my memoir of the place I grew up, Curlew: Home. In the evening I will read from my poetry and prose for the Briar Cliff community and the public.
Bright and early on Thursday I will head west to Fort Collins, Colorado, for another visit with my daughter and son-in-law (you may remember reading about them here). My daughter will be finishing a short hospital stay when I arrive, and I will help out there as needed and enjoy their good company until they get tired of having me underfoot. They are very patient with me, but when I start getting in the way more than I'm helping, I'll head east.
Along the way home I intend to see "Carhenge" at Alliance, Nebraska, again, and the Sandhills in the northwestern quarter of Nebraska; perhaps once again, too, I will visit Mari Sandoz's lonesome and wind-blown gravesite in the heart of those Sandhills. Mari is one of us, a writer who looked after the particulars of her own place first, to hell with fame and fortune.
Then, before I cross into Iowa, I'll try to meet up with poet and publisher Greg Kosmicki in Omaha, Nebraska. We don't know each other yet, but maybe we should - we're both of us lumbering ol' grumble-bear poets. By then my appreciation of Greg's newest book, Some Hero of the Past, will have come up here (on October 15) as part of The Middlewestern Bookshelf feature. You'll see that I call Greg "the Warren Spahn of poets;" read the appreciation to find out why. (If you don't know who Warren Spahn is, your education is sorely lacking.)
And then home to Mary. It's about eight hours from Omaha to Fairwater. Mary, patient and eternal, will once again be holding down the fort in Fairwater while I'm gone. Perhaps she'll be glad to see me when I return?
Of course you will find the usual features here while I'm away: "Lines" each morning, and the "Morning Drive Journal" entries. Tomorrow there will be another report from Ivan Burgess's Echo Echo, and next Sunday my remarks on Greg Kosmicki's book.
So, as we used to say in an earlier, less frantic time:
"Gone Fishing. Back Soon."