Sunburns & Sentiments

My boyfriend (or, as I should call him, my better two-thirds) left today. He has been visiting Iowa for a little over ten days now. As always, it was difficult for me to say goodbye. Never mind the fact that one, we both have numerous ways of communicating with each other; and two, I will see him again in August, when school begins.

Despite the fact that we text, Skype, email, chat, and talk every day, I knew that something--something that I loved and caressed and petted and entertained and argued with and laughed with and embraced--would drive away and die. Die in a spectacular crash that would leave him on the ground, choking on the dust of the passing cars. I
knew this, and that is why I cried.

I cried. I sniveled. I whimpered.

"Why are you crying?" he asked, kissing one of the tears that had slipped from my left eye. "Do you think I'm going to die?"



"Then why are you crying?" He hugged me tighter and I buried my face into his sun-burnt shoulder.

"Because you're leaving me," I whined in a high-pitched toddler voice.

"You silly girl."

We hugged for a few more minutes and shared one last kiss (I leaning through his car window) before he drove off.

I then went into the house. Allowed myself a few moments of sentimental emotional expression evocative of Jane Austen's
Sense and Sensibility. Deciding that it was best not to be as emotionally provocative as Marianne, I sucked up my tears, blew out my snot, and left for work. To keep my mind off things.

Editoral non sequitor: I just realized that I am writing in fragments today. I think it is a habit I have grown accustomed to in reading Annie Proulx (good writer, by the way). Right now I am tackling her Pulitzer, The Shipping News. She has great fragmentations:

On the threshold lay three wisps of knotted grass. Some invention of Sunshine’s. He went behind the great to which the house was moored and into the bushes. His breath in cold cones.

Perhaps I am subconsciously trying to replicate her trenchant speech … I am consciously failing, however. Anyway, back to the boyfriend.

Do I really think that he would die?


Does he tease me about the potential of that actually happening?


Do I love him anyway?


So, in honor of his visit to Iowa, I will share a few photos of our local, mini-adventures, which included, but are not limited to:

-- attending the July 3rd Omaha Royals Game & Fireworks Show
-- going swimming at the quarry
-- attending Shakespeare on the Green
-- eating a picnic lunch (or three)
-- visiting the Union Pacific Railroad Museum
-- galumphing through, around, near, and about the Old Market
-- trying on clothes at a vintage store called "The Flying Worm"
-- watching my cousin's softball games
-- getting bug-bitten, scratched, bruised, and sporadically sunburned

beginning of the finale on July 3rd

The set used for the 2010 Shakespeare on the Green festival. We watched the Montagues and the Capulets hack away at each other.

The museum used to be the the Council Bluffs Public Library...a Carnegie library, actually. It is supposedly haunted.

The room in which a visitor can test his or her Morse Coding skills.

an antique store in the Old Market

11th Street, Old Market

Jackson Street Bookstore

a view of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge from the Nebraska side

straddling state lines

A nice group of people were waving bubble wands.
"Got some?" the man inquired, watching me take photographs.
I looked over at him. "Yeah. Yeah, I think so."

Nishnabotna River Journey
(A. and I canoed fourteen miles over the span of six hours.) We tried to look for beavers, hippos, alligators, mountain lions, and rabid badgers. Unfortunately, we only saw some hawks, several blue herons, a dozen turtles, and a potential otter.

the sandbar on which we ate our picnic lunch...
...and followed the park ranger's advice of: "If you need to go to the bathroom, just go anywhere!"

"Look at that!"
"It looks like a heart! You should take a picture of it!"

This bridge was actually collapsing. It was one of two unused bridges that we passed.


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