Moms, and Mother Earth

May 9, 2021.  Mother’s Day.  In Minnesota, this year, it is six days before Fishing Opener, a sacred ritual; often scheduled the same weekend.  The specific date is set by formula, sort of like Easter.  Here’s a History of Mothers Day;  (here’s the formula for fishing opener in Minnesota).

Last year. this day, we were deep into the pandemic. Today, some sense of normalcy seems to be reappearing in the United States, though we are by no means out of the crisis, and there has been an immense loss of life from the virus – over 580,000 dead in our country; 3.3 million world wide thus far, India currently deep in the throes of Covid-19.  The credible estimates are far higher, and still rising.   We are ill-advised to be careless.

My universe, like everyone’s, is surrounded by Moms.

This year I want to spotlight one particular Mom – the young woman who manages the Caribou Coffee in Woodbury City Centre which has been a hub of my early-morning life for years, and which is, like every other place, slowly and carefully beginning a process of recovery after a year of Covid-19.

Autumn is seasoned in the job.  Not long before the Pandemic began her store had been recognized as one of the top 10 in the Caribou chain which presently has 442 stores.  She was, and staff were, deservedly proud of that award.

I gather from brief conversations that she has four kids at home and, my guess, has a pretty balanced life.  Her crew mostly is young women, college age and 20s – or so it appears – and theirs is always a pleasant store to enter.

In recent weeks, I’ve begun to sit in again, depending on available table of course.  I watch good busyness in person.  They seem to have survived pretty well, though for most of the pandemic everything went to carryout, and it’s only recently that indoor seating began to return.  I think people come to this store because of the pleasant personality of the place.  Each of us know places we like to frequent; they are much more than product or appearance: they are the people.  And the people reflect the management of the place.

Here was the crew as of this morning – their self-descriptors.  Visitors visit this space, too.

The Caribou staff “bio board” May 8 2021

Happy Mothers Day to all, today, regardless of age, marital status, gender or being a biological mother….  We all can and do fill the role of “Mom”.

Oh, and “Mother Earth”.

I came across this United Nations website when thinking about this post.   Of course, every day is “Mother Earth Day”.  We ignore this at our ultimate peril.

But I was thinking mostly about an upcoming event which may interest you, wherever you live.  It’s part of the annual Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival  May 13-23, 2021.  Last years film festival was entirely virtual; this years is mostly virtual as well.

But the culminating event, May 21-23, is both virtual and live: After Antarctica, “polar explorer Will Steger’s life journey as an eyewitness to the greatest changes to the polar regions of our planet”.  Check it out and participate.

Here’s a couple of photos from ‘back in the day’ from the time of the 1989-90 Polar Expedition.

1990 Antarctic Expedition map from an exhibition in Minneapolis Oct 4, 2013

The Antarctic Expedition team, 1990

Will Steger and Team welcomed by Gov. Rudy Perpich at Minnesota State Capitol March 25, 1990

COMMENTS: (More at end of post)

from Flo & Mary Ann (my sisters): Flo: Ironically, I’m the speaker at our church today! I’ve credited you with a piece you sent to MAM and me in 2002, by Linda Holzbauer in the Ithaca Journal, May 10, 2002 – The History of Mother’s Day, by Julie Ward Howe’s Mothers Day Proclamation.  Mary Ann: Nice tribute to mothers, of course!  Thanks. So many things to recognize and honor that we are running out of days to set aside!  Maybe it will ultimately be better to be nice and to respect and to appreciate every day!  Wonder if I will live that long.

from Fred: Nice piece on Mother’s Day, Richard! Of course, the info on Autumn, Woodbury Caribou’s star resonates. Won’t be long before the fabulous two-some [Fred and David] return to that haunt.

from Judy: What a nice piece on the young woman at Caribou.  I hope your household continues to do well. Would it not be fun to have a reunion of our trip to Eastern Europe ( it was 21 years ago at this time!).  [NOTE: about 40 of us from Basilica of St. Mary and Temple Israel visited holocaust sites in Czech Republic and Poland in late April early May 2000.  It was an extraordinary and powerful journey.]

1 reply
  1. Lydia Howell
    Lydia Howell says:

    Dick: thank you for a thoughtful post as always. I appreciate your honoring your local coffee shop! & also linking the “mother of us all”–MOTHER EARTH to Mother’s Day. Bravo.


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