Finally back from MN. Was there for a week visiting family. Finished typing up chapters 5&6, and wrote the first half of chapter 7. I had to figure out the “something brilliant happens here” for chapter 7 before I could start it. My sister-in-law gave me a wonderful kernel of an idea, that blossomed nicely into the full chapter. It makes me very, very happy.

While I was in MN I went to the Mall of America, which, for our family, is similar to visiting the grave of my dad. He walked the mall every day during the week, for the last several years of his life. (It’s MN. A lot of people walk the mall. It opens its doors early, before the stores are open, so people can walk. Even has a club for mall walkers.) I had walked the mall with him every time I had visited him. It surprised me how much I still remembered. I felt as though he walked with me most of the time I was there. I talked with him as I walked, pointing out the new shops, visiting his old favorites. I spent much of the time tearing up, and ended up sitting and crying in the car afterward.

It’s a strange place to have such a relationship. But it was part of his extended neighborhood. He knew many of the shopkeepers. I visited one who was still there (the pen shop, I had unused gift certificates and yes, I bought a new pen. Hush.) She remembered me, remembered my dad, said she still missed him.

We all do.

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