I’m writing right now in a Panera’s in my home town of Cedar Falls, IA, the day after we had a combined Christmas/Thanksgiving celebration. It’s kinda short n’ sweet because this is the year all the Krause kids head to the in-laws (we’re going to Florida to see Annette’s folks) and also because some of my sisters and hubbies have plans. Jill and Dan (hey Dan, loyal reader, you!) left last night to catch a flight today, and Christine and family left early this morning so she could get back to her store for the busiest shopping day of the year. Hope it goes well.
Anyway, the thing that occurred to me just now is the possibility of being recognized by someone, especially someone who recognizes me who I don’t remember. It happens to me all the time. In fact, the last time I was sitting in this place, I talked to the father of someone I used to know, and I hadn’t seen this guy in at least 15 years. On the way up here, we stopped at the I-80 Truckstop in Wallcott, and some guy came up to me, introduced himself, and pointed out we went to high school together. I have no idea who he was. But that might not be that bad; I mentioned his name to my sisters, and they told me he wasn’t in my class.
It’s always a little strange going out and about in Cedar Falls like this…awkward is the word, I think. Maybe that’s the real reason why I didn’t go to my reunion.
Will and I spent some time wondering around downtown Cedar Falls this afternoon. It’s an area of town that has really come a long way. When I was a kid, about all that was down there was the public library, Simpson’s furniture, and a bunch of bars. Those things are still there, but the library is in a brand-spankin’ new building (and a nice one, too), a lot of the bars are now restaurants, one of my favorite coffee shops anywhere (called “Cup of Joe”) has been open for at least four years now, and there are a bunch of artsy-fartsy stores of various sorts.
One thing I don’t get though. Downtown Cedar Falls also features a store where you can go and string your own beads to make necklaces and such, and two paint your own pottery stores. Who knew there was interest in pottery painting and beading here in the heart of the midwest?