In with the new….

In a few hours a new year begins.  I’d like to suggest looking ahead; maybe looking back as a prompt.

For the last 21 years, my “office hours” most days have been for about two hours in early morning at Caribou Coffee (City Centre) in Woodbury MN.

I offer two end of year photos from my corner:

December 24, 2021.  My “vintage” Caribou Cup will be on Antiques Road Show some day.  Priceless.  (Don’t I wish.)

At time of the above photo, the store was quiet.  Usually it is quietly bustling: people on the way to school, or work, or perhaps meeting to start the day, mostly quick in and out, pick-up, take-out.  A kind of scene most of us are privileged to experience.  A little calm before the storm.  Yes, a privilege.

Caribou is where I pick up the vibes of my town.  I’m there by myself.  Yes, it’s a habit.  We all have our own.  I seem to pick up energy from a certain amount of bustle around me; but I don’t aspire to be in the middle of it!

You see no computer in the picture.  No laptop or smart phone.  Personal choice.

If you’ve received a handwritten letter from me, it was probably written here.  As you’ll note below, my office has two windows, and is close to an exit – sort of plush digs for an old guy.

Dec 30, 2021, note mask at the ready….  Photo by daughter, Lauri.

“In with the new”?  It is easy to write a negative commentary about the year now almost passed.  Makes no difference which ‘tribe’ you’ve been pigeon-holed into (you don’t need to apply: you’re assigned.)  A war was decreed, and we’re the combatants.

I have a lot of time to think, in my corner, and I also see a lot of people just being themselves, not only at the coffee shop but also other places: ushering at church; walking at the health center; in line at the post office or store; on and on.

Basically, we don’t fit the tribal stereotype.  People, generally, I find, are community centered, which is to say, polite, understanding, generous, tolerant.  We’ve learned things like ‘social distance’, basically.  We generally don’t swagger around with the tribe colors, whatever they are.

The news emphasizes the others – the ones  I really infrequently see in real life – the bullies, loudmouths, etc.  Yes, I experience them, but rarely.   They aren’t among friends, and they know it.

We are basically a decent bunch, all of us.

But we can’t take any of this for granted.  It’s too easily lost.  Democracy takes work from all of us.

Just something to consider as a New Year begins.

Happy 2022.


A good summary of the year just passed is here.  Check out Heather’s self-description – an impressive lady.  It’s very easy to subscribe, simply click on her name.

My next post will be January 6, 2022.


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