From Madison, Wisconsin

It’s hard to believe I went to summer school here FORTY years ago. Yes, 1969. Summer of Love. Yet I was distinctly solitary. The scholarship girl, studying Portuguese on Lake Mendota, while my generation was working up to Woodstock.

My girlfriend and I took the bus to Chicago one weekend that summer to visit my Portuguese mentor, Sister Terese Avila, who was sick with liver cancer. While we were at Mundelein, we watched the moon landing on a big screen in the college auditorium. My dear teacher died later that year. History happens. Life goes on.

Today was hard travel. Rain. A driving rain chased us from Brookings, South Dakota, across Minnesota, and all the way to Madison. Bleh. I could tell that the cornfields, the grasslands, and the woodsy areas were all sprinkled with gold and red — the kind of early fall colors I love — but everything was washed out with clouds and fog.

But our hotel room is fine and a good supper has filled our bellies… what more could we want?

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