Taking in the Sights

14 Mar

I think I’ve finally weaned off my boxful of prescriptions from last week’s surgery. Now, with several new holes in my mouth evident only to me, I’m a whole week closer to transplant time.

Last week my brother bolted from Minnesota in a van cramped with seven college dudes on a spring break road trip stretching from Nebraska to Colorado to Nevada. My dad asked for daily updates via text. So far we’ve got: “Day 1…alive.” “Day 2…alive.”

Suffice it to say I’m getting cabin fever. I miss DC. I miss late-night metro rides with stranger passengers whose behavior could easily land them a viral video or two on YouTube. I miss working next to a church so old that Jefferson Davis once prayed there. I miss lapping tourists on the sidewalk just because I like moving fast.

My parents knew I’d feel like this as soon as the anesthesia wore off.

So, to remedy things, my dad came to New Ulm yesterday with a two-pronged approach: look at used car lots in the hopes of finding some cheap wheels whilst stopping at all brown (historic, to the lay person) signs along the road.


My dad keeps a pair of binoculars in his car to read historic signs along the road. This is a trait I will soon continue.


Anyone who has lived in New Ulm knows you need a car or you very well may go crazy. Coming from DC where the Metro gets me around just fine, and without any junkers lying around to borrow, I’ve begun my car search. “You’re almost 25,” said my mom. “It’s time.”

So with an eye for used car lots, my dad and I drove to Sleepy Eye, stopped in Essig for fun, out to Courtland, and back again, stopping in between for the sights: a string of coyotes creepily hung by the hind legs in someone’s back alley, the hill overlooking New Ulm where Indians camped before they attacked the town during the Civil War, an old shack beneath the smokestacks that my dad swears was a good bar in the 80s.

Things are also moving in DC, where my roommates have graciously packed my belongings to be shipped to the Motherland. Since my lease ends in early summer, I’ve found a sublet.


Providing joy for my roommates.


No more living in a DC apartment building where Russian spies hide out and local Pentagon-types make you look like a weakling in comparison at the gym, but there’s plenty of fun to dream up around New Ulm, too.

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11 Responses to “Taking in the Sights”

  1. Robin Hall Guadagnini March 14, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    Hey Jenna! Wow..getting a car?! How exciting..and yes you need something for a diversion right now for sure!! LOVE your brother’s texts …glad he’s alive! and Dancing DC Metro guy was hilarious!!!

    I know it must be hard to have your things packed up and sent to you….that is a tough time for all I am sure..if you need anything…let me know!

  2. Ashlee Suker March 14, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    Dear Jenna..

    When Ben and I return from our vacation we shall plan you a visit to the large city of Mankato. I’m sure we can dream up some fun things to do. If nothing else I’m sure there are some water puddles we could frolick in 🙂


  3. Ann Bergemann March 14, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    Since you guys live on the Lutheran side of the river, you’ll appreciate this. Enjoy

    Born a Lutheran…..

    Each Friday night after work, Ole would fire up his outdoor grill on the shore of Big Stone Lake and cook a venison steak. But, all of Ole’s neighbors were Catholic. And since it was Lent, they were forbidden from eating meat on Friday.

    The delicious aroma from the grilled venison steaks wafted over Ortonville, and all the way to Clinton, and was causing such a problem for the Catholic faithful that they finally talked to their priest.

    The Priest came to visit Ole, and suggested that he become a Catholic. After several classes and much study, Ole attended Mass. The priest sprinkled holy water over him, he said, “You were born a Lutheran; raised a Lutheran; but now you are a Catholic.”

    Ole’s neighbors were relieved…. until Friday night arrived. Again the wonderful
    aroma of grilled venison filled the neighborhood.

    The Priest was called immediately by the neighbors, and, as he rushed into Ole’s yard, clutching a rosary and prepared to scold him, he stopped and watched in amazement.

    There stood Ole, clutching a small bottle of holy water…. which he carefully
    sprinkled over the grilling meat and chanted: “You vuz born a deer; you vuz
    raised a deer; but now you is a walleye.”

  4. Rose March 14, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    Hey Jenna,

    Nice update, hopy Jack is having fun along with being “alive”. Just make sure the car you find can get up the hill to your mom’s house, that is a nasty one. Thinking of you often, Rose

  5. Glaweh March 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    You are the best blogger! I love reading your updates and the accompanying brilliant links. As for cars, what about resurrecting the old Escort… it was an Escort, wasn’t it? I just remember watching out the window at 6 am for a ride to dance practice–I still owe you for that one. Take good care.. all my best wishes.


  6. Karen March 14, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    I love the binoculars and the trips around Southern Minnesota! But I have to say…the next road trip should include a stop in St. James! The Younger Brothers (part of the James Gang) were captured in Watonwan County. You can find the brown sign just outside of La Salle. Make a pit stop in St. James at the Stray Cat Coffeshop to refuel and greet the owners for me. 🙂

  7. Alaina Lynch March 14, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    I miss DC too! And I miss you! But I am rather jealous that you will have a car soon – I don’t need one in NYC, but growing up in MN has had it’s effects on me. Love the binoculars btw.

  8. Ted & Marcia Kunze March 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    Hi Jenna,
    We met you once–we’re Karen’s parents that you saw thoroughly soaked at your apartment in the District.
    We were so sorry that you had to leave DC suddenly to tend to your health. We’ve been following your blog. We enjoy your refreshing outlook on life. We will keep you in prayer as you go through the process of finalizing a bone-marrow donor. Sending you our love and prayers for healing!

  9. Cate March 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    Did you find a car???

    Always knew your dad was kind of a dork. So it does run in the family.


  10. tricia March 17, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day, do redheads celebrate too? Or would you look like Christmas 😉 Just want you to know you are constantly in my prayers and I’ve beefed them up lately! Also, several of our family members have registered at Be The Match, thank you for encouraging us.


  1. Good Riddance and Happy New Year « The Redhead Report - January 1, 2012

    […] all the baldness, anxiety, fluids and scars and returned them with juvenile jokes. I relied on a father (also stupid, but welcome, jokes), a brother, grandparents and other friends and family with the […]

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