After having written nothing by hand since my release from prison, I’m back to it with this journal I received for my birthday from Ms. Toaster. I think it will help because I can write a little here and there and maybe not feel so rushed sitting in front of the computer screen trying to think of something to write. It was a very thoughtful gift from a very thoughtful woman.
Today, my friends Curt, Sara, Seth, And Seth’s daughter Audrey came for a visit from down in Fillmore County. They brought my dog Willie who I had not seen in two years. I was so excited when I saw him and all my friends. Unfortunately, only four out of the five recognized me. Willie didn’t seem to have a clue who I was. It was the exact opposite of what I pictured our reunion being. I felt terrible. I knew it was my fault because I had left him so long ago. I pet him, and scratched him, and hugged him. But he didn’t show any sign of affection that I thought he would have. I had him for about 10 years before I left for drugs, and I hoped he would pick up on a scent or the familiar face, but nothing. I was heartbroken, but I didn’t want to admit that so we continued on with the plan for the day.
We packed in the car and drove to Woodbury which will be his home until I can move out on my own. My aunt has a nice back yard and a playful dog for him to hang out with. He moped around and peed and pooped. Good boy. I will be able to visit him once a week for now as my restrictions allow, and as transportation is available. I am going to have to start from scratch with him. Get to know each other all over again. I’m sure there’s something inside his little dog brain that will be triggered at some point that will make him know who I am again. And if that doesn’t happen, at least I will know who he is, and I will love him for as long as he lives. And that will make me feel better about it all.
We left Woodbury and headed to Afton State Park on recommendation from my aunt. I wanted to look for agates along the shore of the St. Croix river and hike around with my friends. We paid five dollars to get in and started the walk down. The place was beautiful. I don’t often care about the colors of leaves, but they really stood out there. As far as the eye could see in any direction were rolling hills, babbling brooks, and multiple colors of leaves of so many trees. The downward path was mostly wooden stairs. We heard many languages as we made our descent into the colorful valley. I felt quite like a tourist, and my friends probably felt like the minority for the first time in a while. When we got to the beach it took me about 12 seconds to find my first agate. It wasn’t big, but it’s always a good feeling to find the first one: you know they’re there. I found a few small keepers and proceeded to a bench where I just sat and enjoyed the view. Children were everywhere and I was happy to see that a few of them were looking for rocks too. We decided to make the journey back up because I’m on a schedule, of course, but not before Curt took a dreidel out of his pocket and suggested we do a little gambling at a picnic table. It’s a tradition with us four. We gamble for quarters, and I lost a dollar. Not a bad day.
The walk up was much more difficult than the walk down as you may have guessed. I did pretty well with my new shoes that I received for my birthday. Man did I need them. We had a very nice, small gathering for me yesterday. Overall, it has been a great weekend. There are many more to come as long as I keep doing what I have been doing. Good boy.