The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour on Turtle River Lake
Bemidji, Minnesota USA

E.B. White once said:

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day.”

Note that he didn’t say that it was impossible to balance these seemingly competing impulses, but rather that it creates some planning challenges.  As a human rights lawyer, I believe that is is crucial to find that balance on a daily basis.  I try to show my kids that every day you can find a way to improve the world, in big ways and small.  It may not seem like much, but when you say something nice instead of something mean or share your lunch with a friend who forgot his, you really are making an affirmative choice to improve the world around you.

At the same time, it is important to look for beauty in the world around you.   It’s there, we just sometimes forget to look. Or listen.  I pulled up short during my run the other day to listen to a robin.  The robins have been back for months, so I usually don’t even hear their songs, but this particular robin was balanced on a telephone wire over an alley,  stretching her (or his – I guess I can’t tell) body high to belt out a string of clear whistles. “Cheer up! Cheer up! Cheer up!” sang this avian Aretha Franklin.  Beautiful!

When I was 11 or 12, one of my favorite books was Never Miss A Sunset by Jeannette Gilge.   Told from the perspective of a 13-year-old girl, it is part of a series about a large family struggling to survive on a homestead in the early 1900s.  It has been decades since I read it, but I still follow the advice of the father.  No matter how hard the day’s work has been, you should take a moment every day to enjoy the sunset.  For me, it is not so much the sunset that I try to take time to enjoy, but The Golden Hour before the sun sets.

Maybe E.B. White had trouble planning his day, but there is a fixed moment on my daily schedule to enjoy the world.  For the Weekly Photo Challenge this week, I am sharing some photos of The Golden Hour that I took in northern Minnesota recently.

Sunset at Bukkesjøen Bemidji, Minnesota USA
Sunset at Bukkesjøen near Bemidji, Minnesota USA
The path to Bukkesjøen
The path to Bukkesjøen
The Golden Hour at Bukkesjøen
The Golden Hour at Bukkesjøen
My daughter dances with friends from her cabin. Skogfjorden Norwegian Language Village, Bemidji Minnesota USA
My daughter dances with friends from her cabin. Skogfjorden Norwegian Language Village, Bemidji Minnesota USA
Sunset on Turtle River Lake
Bemidji, Minnesota USA
Turtle River Lake
Bemidji, Minnesota


My Blogger Space

This week I participated in Blogger Space, a series devoted to showcasing the spaces where bloggers choose to write. Blogger Space is the brilliant creation of divorcedpauline.  This Blogger Space profile is posted on her blog perilsofdivorcedpauline. She’s a great writer and her blog is definitely worth checking out.  I’m so flattered by her kind intro – “whip-smart” may be one of the best compliments I have ever received!

Jennifer Prestholdt’s Blogger Space

Jennifer Prestholdt is a human rights lawyer and fellow Open Salon blogger. I first became aware of her when her funny, whip-smart  “Raising Boys Not to Be Total Jerks” post went viral and garnered the wrath of internet trolls who accused her of actually damaging her sons for teaching them to be respect women. I was as impressed by her humorous, nuanced writing as by her grace under fire from crazed commenters. Check out her many versatile Blogger Spaces and inspirations for blogging below.

Let’s begin with the understanding that I don’t actually have a Blogger Space. I have a husband, three children, a full-time job, an old cat. What I don’t have is a dedicated place for blogging. Once upon a time, I had a home office but I gave that up when our third child was born. Now I battle her Barbies (and the occasional Darth Vader) for space for my laptop.

Not only do I not have a physical Blogger Space, I also don’t have much time to blog. So I write in the corners of my life, wherever I can find a few spare moments. This often means blogging at hockey rinks during my sons’ practices.

In the summer, I may blog on the dock at the cabin while I’m “watching” the kids swim.

I travel a lot for work, so more than one post has been written on a transatlantic flight.

I have only been blogging for a year, but so far I have found myself blogging in:




Mostly, though, I write on the run – literally. I do some of my best thinking when I am running. Often I can work out almost all of the details of a piece so that it actually takes only a short time to type it up on my laptop.

I like to think of it as “rlogging”.

I am fortunate enough to live in Minneapolis, a city that was purposefully laid out so that no child would have to walk more than six blocks to a park. There are miles and miles of biking and running paths.  I often blog while running along the Mississippi River …

…and across the Stone Arch Bridge back into downtown.

Sometimes, I “rlog” along Minnehaha Creek, where we catch tadpoles in the summer.

But here is a peek at my very favorite Blogger Space.

My favorite rlogging route goes …

…through the Lyndale Park Rose Garden, the second oldest public rose garden in the U.S….

… along the shore of Lake Harriet. Although we are in the city, I have seen both foxes and bald eagles near this spot on the southeast corner. My grandparents Olaf and Lillian walked around this lake in their courting days, barely catching the last streetcar back to downtown.

I think about things as I follow in their footsteps.

I run past the Lake Harriet Bandshell. In the summer of 1961,my parents first met here. On a blind date.

Through the Roberts Bird Sanctuary …

… past Lakewood Cemetery.

My “Lemondrop Grandpa”, my grandfather Orville, is buried here. Also Paul Wellstone and Hubert Humphrey.

And then I run home, through the Peace Garden.

This Blogger Space always gives me inspiration.  And then I sit down and I write.

Wanna show off your digs? Participate in Blogger Space! Send a photo of your space, a blurb about why you write where you do, and a link to your blog to