Before cycling this morning, I wrote in my blog, relaxed on a soft couch, and talked with Mandee, Andy’s wife. As mentioned in my last post, Andy’s my nephew, and I stayed at their place last night. Like most of my closest friends, Mandee calls herself and introvert, but the questions she asks and the comments she makes keep conversations going, at a nice “thoughtful” pace.
After cycling away, I passed through Clearwater Minnesota, about 15 miles later. I felt certain someone called out my name. I looked left and saw a small SUV drive by, and the guy waved. Then, he pulled over and said my name again, very cheerfully. I responded cheerfully and asked who it was. “It’s me, Andy. They let us off work early, and I was surprised to see you.” Fun stuff.
Later on, I cycled along the Mississippi River for a long ways and eventually came up to St. Cloud State University.
I studied writing there as an undergraduate, and when I became Dr. Malikowski, I taught there, about eLearning. I could have been tenured, but I applied for jobs in the UK instead, eventually was hired by the University of London.
St. Cloud State University will always be special to me because it’s where I fell in love with learning and made some wonderful friends, some of whom are reading this now. One took me to Japan, and another sparked my interest in England. Karl & Beth, it’s wonderful how our friendship has continued after more years than I want to count. And in that time, I also can’t count all the moments I’ve enjoyed sharing with you.
After leaving St. Cloud, I found a farmer’s market in St. Joseph, and had a very tasty peanut butter cookie and a croissant.
My last stop for the day was staying with some new friends, Dennis and Brook. They’re part of an organization called “Warm Showers.” (http://warmshowers.com)It’s like AirBnB, but only for cyclists. And even better, I always enjoy talking with people who let me stay at their place. We just met today, and they made kababs on a grill, very tasty. Desert was ice cream with maple syrup they made. And all this is for free, though warmshowers.org.
Pictures tell the rest of today’s story.