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Cold can’t take away excitement of a daughter coming home

March 16, 2008
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer
Odd, isn’t it, how 32 degrees F — the point of freezing — is bone-numbing cold going into winter, but a portend of spring when you’re coming out of winter and, as such, the signal to shed coats and gloves.

I can understand, but I cannot make myself go without a coat. And not just because I’m afraid I’ll catch a chill that will turn into a cold that will slip into pneumonia that will knock me on my behind and keep me in bed for a month.

Sleeping for a month doesn’t sound like a bad idea, but Dana is coming home next weekend and I refuse to spend her time here in sick bay.

I’m not sure I should call it coming home for her because she never lived here, but it’s home for me, and where I am will be home for her, wherever it is. Rather, wherever we are — Walt, too, of course — it’s just that I think of her and me as one.

That’s Walt’s fault. He always said, “You two are just alike,” so as a youngster, she always drew pictures with three people around a house, and two of the people looked just alike. That was us.

As she’s grown, I don’t think we look alike, but I never thought I looked like my mom, either.

I should probably throw Mom in the mix, too, when talking about being alike. She liked being up late at night, and both Dana and I would rather spend the better share of our day at night. Neither of us like morning.

It used to drive me crazy when she’d sit around the house until 9 or 10 on a weekend, then get ready and go out. She and her friends spent a lot of time around bonfires at a house in the country, and those fires, I expect, roared better at night. She took my Trivia game with her once, but never got home with it. Perhaps it committed firecide.

I’ve taken a few days off work to be able to play when she arrives, but I haven’t the foggiest idea what we’ll do. I don’t really care. Just having her here will be so great, I don’t care if all I do is sit and look at her for five days.

Maybe for old times’ sake, I’ll take her somewhere to buy her a Matchbox car. Oh, how she loved those cars when she was little. For her sixth birthday, we bought her a racing setup with slot cars that raced around the figure 8 track. She spent hours playing with those slots cars.

I could take her to my basement under the guise of looking for stuff she might want. Maybe I could get her to look through a few of those boxes.

Unless the weather warms up considerably, we’ll likely spend the greatest share of her time here inside. She’s not a cold-weather person. When she was looking for a place to move just after college, she tried Portland, Ore., but that was during rainy season, and she doesn’t like the dampness. A few months later she hit Albuquerque during dry season. Dust kicks up her allergies. (So, a good house cleaning is in the works.)

When she decided on Denver, she was certain she could make it through the winters all right because even if it snowed, the sun would come out and melt that snow quickly. But, this winter has been crazy weather in Denver, too, and she called one day to complain, saying “I moved away from Wisconsin to get away from all this snow.”

I’ve been careful not to talk about the snow piled up in our front yard. Surprise is always a good thing.

So long friends, until the next time when we’re together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or


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