Speaker 1 00:00:02 Welcome to Chicago Musician. I'm your host, Shawn Stengel. What makes a home? Is it a house? Well, it usually involves a house. But what happens when you finally have to let go of the house that's been your family home for over 50 years? That's what the Stengel family was contemplating as we gathered one last time, probably, at our home in Brainerd, Minnesota, over Memorial Day weekend.
Speaker 1 00:00:44 Welcome to episode seven of Chicago Musician. Yeah, it's been a hot minute! I guess it's just turned over to June 28th. . . Tuesday, almost the end of July. So it's been a while since I put out an episode and there's a number of reasons why, mostly concerning going back to work after two and a half years of pandemic-ness. And I'm gonna talk more about that in my next Cadenza, because it'll be mostly about me. Yeah, me going back to work. I gotta figure out if I remember how to go back to work. So I've had a few responsibilities that pay me money that have prevented me from getting my act together here for this episode about 'Home'. Over a Memorial Day weekend, my entire immediate family gathered in Brainerd, Minnesota at our family home. But my parents don't live there anymore. We moved them to senior housing October 4th of last year.
Speaker 1 00:02:00 And since that time, actually since before that time, my brother and sister and I have been trying to empty out our very full house and get it ready to sell. . . eventually. And the eventually seems to be soon. My sister lives in Seattle or Bellevue outside of Seattle. And I live here in Chicago and my brother's in the Twin Cities. So none of us live in Brainerd. But it has been convenient to still have our house there when we go to visit our parents, which we try to do regularly since they're getting pretty old now. But it's been really challenging for a number of reasons. Well, we're a family who hasn't thrown out anything since right after I think the Spanish inquisition? Might have been during the Spanish inquisition? But since then we've thrown out nothing. So there's a lot of cubby holes and chests of this and drawers full of that.
Speaker 1 00:03:12 And, it's been kind of overwhelming. So we've been doing it piecemeal. And I know a lot of people my age at least have gone through this. And it's a real dilemma about old family heirlooms that no one knows anything about anymore and family photos and that sort of stuff. But our gathering over Memorial Day weekend was sort of to say a group farewell to our house, and maybe give the grandkids, (my nieces and nephew, I have five of them) so my parents have five grandkids and two great grandkids now. . . give 'em a chance to, you know, put their name on something, express an interest in tchotchkes or a piece of furniture or something like that to take now or eventually. But mostly to have one more family gathering at a home where we've had a lot of really good family gatherings.
Speaker 1 00:04:25 And the cool thing about this weekend was everybody made it: my brother and his family, my sister and her family. And we brought my parents back to their house for the first time since October. Where they live now is only a mile and a half away from the house, but it seems several lifetimes away in actual function. So, I had the foresight, I guess, to pack up my Chicago Musician studio (well, my microphones!) and,recorded everybody that was there that weekend. Or almost everybody. I'll get to that in a second. We just talked about memories of being there and whatever else came up, sort of like my regular podcast. And now that I've finally, a month later, had a chance to go back and listen to those conversations, two things became apparent: one- it's way too long for one episode.
Speaker 1 00:05:43 So I'm splitting up my 'Home or, you know, getting rid of the house' episode into two parts. For a couple of reasons. First, all my nieces and nephews now are in their twenties and thirties and it turns out they're quite well spoken, thoughtful young people. And I didn't really wanna edit what they said very much so I'd like them to have their say. And so that will be the gist of episode one, the grandkids of my mom and dad and their range of experiences, memories of this place. And then part two, which'll be my next episode, will be the next generation: me, my brother and sister, my sister-in-law and my brother-in-law and my parents themselves. . . and that's kind of cute and kind of sad and kind of all of this rolled up into one little segment. So this episode, Home-Part I, I'm gonna talk to my five nieces and nephews about their memories of 1510 South 7th street in Brainerd, Minnesota.
Speaker 1 00:07:27 First up is Livia Mae Cerna. She's my sister's youngest daughter, and she is just finishing up her second year as a middle school, bilingual science teacher out in Oregon. By the way, I had everyone do a little video introduction of themselves, which I will post on my sksyphotos.smugmug.com site. And if you find your way to bestshawnstengel.com for my podcasts, there's a link there to 'Shawn's Photos' and I'll have a little gallery just of the Stengel gathering over the weekend. So you can look at that or not, but if you wanna see what these folks look like, that's how you can check that out. So let's get to Liv. My guest right now is Livia Mae Cerna. She is mom and dad's youngest granddaughter,
Speaker 4 00:08:31 The youngest,
Speaker 1 00:08:32 The youngest. You're the youngest of all the grandchildren.
Speaker 4 00:08:35 Yes, sir.
Speaker 1 00:08:36 Okay. So is it weird being back here in Brainerd?
Speaker 4 00:08:42 Um, yes, it is. It's been three and a half years for me
Speaker 1 00:08:48 To Brainerd or to Minnesota?
Speaker 4 00:08:50 To Brainerd.
Speaker 1 00:08:51 Oh, that's right. You and Wendy. . .
Speaker 4 00:08:53 Exactly hree years. Mm-hmm
Speaker 1 00:08:54 <affirmative>. Do you have any memories of the first time you were here? Or when you were first here as a kid?
Speaker 4 00:09:01 Um, I don't believe I have a memory of my first time in this house. I was probably an infant, I would assume.
Speaker 1 00:09:10 Right. Do you have any childhood memories here from a Christmas gathering or anything?
Speaker 4 00:09:15 Oh, sure. Many, many, many memories in this house. Most of which involved either some kind of Christmas gathering or summers, which involved a lot of scootering and biking and mosquito biting.
Speaker 1 00:09:33 Mosquito biting. <laugh> the Holy Trinity of Minnesota summer!
Speaker 4 00:09:38 And jello. Yes.
Speaker 1 00:09:40 <laugh> jello! Of course. Yeah. Wendy did a good job of getting you guys here a lot. Yes. And keeping you connected to Minnesota when you were kids. Right.
Speaker 4 00:09:49 Well, and part of that was just cost wise that we drove every other summer. Right. Which was always a fun, 'let's go on a road trip!' but we're driving a distance you should drive in five days in two days. Cause we gotta get there.
Speaker 1 00:10:04 <laugh> Yeah. It's a long ways from Seattle to Northern Minnesota. So, do you have a favorite story or of an adventure of when you guys were here together? Or boating with grandpa or something? mm-hmm <affirmative>
Speaker 4 00:10:22 Well, you know, when I think of the Brainerd house, I think there's so many memories that all kind of melded together and I, I just really enjoy the feeling of all of those collective memories. You know, lots of exploration out into the neighborhood and the, um, as we got older and we were riding the bikes further and further distances and exploring. The train station really captured my attention for a long time.
Speaker 1 00:11:01 Oh, wow. Okay.
Speaker 4 00:11:03 If I had to pick a specific memory that stands out, I think, you know, it felt like we were always all here together, but now that I'm trying to recall, I think there was maybe only a handful of times where everybody was at the house. When everybody was in Brainerd. And of course the iconic Scooter Olympics that we hosted one year where I'm sure everybody was thrilled that we kept ourselves occupied for so many hours in the driveway, rehearsing and just working away at our routines.
Speaker 1 00:11:45 But you know what, that's exactly how my parents survived our childhood. Yes.
Speaker 4 00:11:50 Keep yourselves busy,
Speaker 1 00:11:50 Go outside and play. We'd have carnivals. I thought it was perfect that yesterday you and Laney went across the street and bought bracelets. Right. <laugh> from the girls selling 'em out in their front yard, because Wendy and I made awful jewelry and went door to door. <laugh>and made people buy that when we were kids too. Yeah. So we are here, mm-hmm <affirmative> grandma and grandpa are still alive. They're obviously pretty diminished, but it's still, I mean, to me, it's been a good. It's a good weekend. We're all here. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> It's sad on a certain level. Right, right. Like it's hard. We're gonna have to let go of this house probably, maybe the end of the summer or this year. Right. Um, there's just so like even bringing mom back here for the first time she was, you know, weeping, but she's like, oh, it's tears of happy, just so many good memories. Most of the memories in this house, even for me are like positive.
Speaker 4 00:12:53 Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:12:54 I mean, you guys were usually on adventures,
Speaker 4 00:12:56 Right? Yeah. It was. I mean, it was our vacation. This is our vacation every summer. And
Speaker 1 00:13:02 The neighbor pool was still here when you first came, right?
Speaker 4 00:13:05 Yeah. For many years. I mean, probably, I don't know, maybe up until I was in high school.
Speaker 1 00:13:11 Yeah. And that was Debbie Lu and John, they ruined it
Speaker 4 00:13:16 For us.
Speaker 1 00:13:16 <laugh> our neighbors outta the pool for, since we were kids and we used it way more than they were when they ever did. So, um, uh, yeah. What do you think, um, do you think you'll ever be back to brainer if grandma and grandpa don't live here anymore? <laugh> I mean, it's not an easy place to get to, right?
Speaker 4 00:13:37 No, it's not, but you know, the weekend, my me and my siblings have already talked about that possibility of, and you know, other places in our lives like where my, my, my dad's mom lived, that I've never been to and things like that, that, but it is special enough to me that, you know, I would like to make an effort in the future, in my future life to come here at some point. And, um, it's still a place of significance and, um, you know, it even coming back here this weekend, it feels, there was always a sense of, for me, I just like a magical feeling, you know, brainer is this mystical land that we would travel to. But
Speaker 1 00:14:31 I don't think that's, I don't think that's wrong actually. <laugh>, you know what I mean? This weekend that everybody could come and did come.
Speaker 4 00:14:39 Yeah. It's pretty miraculous.
Speaker 1 00:14:42 Yeah.
Speaker 4 00:14:43 And you know, I mean, we're all a pretty sentimental sappy people together. I think myself, especially. And
Speaker 1 00:14:52 So, yeah, well, I don't know, especially, but we're, we're doing pretty good at the sentiment, but you know, a lot of, a lot of pounce being played mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, at the highest levels,
Speaker 4 00:15:03 <laugh> the professional professionals here. <laugh>
Speaker 1 00:15:06 Professionals only elbows out. Yes.
Speaker 4 00:15:09 But even the, the lore and the story that the legend that exists behind all of that and watching that for many years and finally, you know, being a part of the pounce table and
Speaker 1 00:15:22 Well, you know, here we are, it comes from mom. Yeah, grandma, you know, she was mm-hmm <affirmative> they were card players. And, um, she was pretty fierce back in the day. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, it's weird how we keep getting, you know, then Wendy and I surpassed and now you and Phil have sort of taken the mantle and,
Speaker 4 00:15:41 And my arch nemesis, Kyle Curtis, Kyle, anytime I can be Kyle, it's a good day for me. <laugh>, it's a <laugh> I feel very proud of myself when that happens. <laugh>
Speaker 1 00:15:54 Well, excellent. I'm so glad you guys were all able to come this weekend and I think it's just added to, I don't know, you know, none of us know if it's the last chapter, right. Maybe it's just the last chapter in this house. Right. As we've known it mm-hmm <affirmative> but I, I mean, it's, I'm glad that you guys are so connected to this place. Mm-hmm
Speaker 4 00:16:16 <affirmative> yeah. And that's, you know, part of our inheritance as well of just the value of that. We did come out here every year, at least once. And when we make, you know, make a priority for, for this family, and that's pretty special to come by. I think
Speaker 1 00:16:37 <laugh> yeah.
Speaker 4 00:16:37 Your mother, as far as I know,
Speaker 1 00:16:38 Your mother did a, a good job. It's not, like you said, it's not easy to get five people from Seattle to Minnesota.
Speaker 4 00:16:45 Yes.
Speaker 1 00:16:46 It's expensive. It's long.
Speaker 4 00:16:47 Yeah. Now four different states. Yeah. Yeah. But we pulled it off. We pulled it off, you know, even if it means flying home from stock home a day early, we'll pull it off. <laugh>
Speaker 1 00:17:01 Exactly. We, I think we must genetically like the challenge.
Speaker 4 00:17:06 Yes. I mean, look, we seem so nice on the surface, but the challenge, we will rise to a challenge that's for sure.
Speaker 1 00:17:15 I have to say, I think one of the best things about our family say pounds, we are super competitive and most of it ends there
Speaker 4 00:17:25 Doesn't matter. It
Speaker 1 00:17:26 <laugh>, you wanna, you wanna win, you play to the death. Yeah. And then it, and then it's whoever wins. Yay. Yes.
Speaker 4 00:17:33 You know? Well, my theory is it's part of our passive aggression as well.
Speaker 1 00:17:38 <laugh>
Speaker 4 00:17:39 Oh, you know, it's, it's the one time where it's really appropriate to just let loose. <laugh> it's been a very healthy outlet for me. I would say
Speaker 1 00:17:48 <laugh> I, well, I have to say when we, when you guys started getting good and we started playing and mom was still, you know, a viable player Uhhuh and she's super competitive. And so the first time she ever yelled shit, we all just sort of dropped our jaws. Cause you know, grandma and grandpa didn't really swear. Yeah.
Speaker 4 00:18:05 And then of course she keeps playing and the shock of it all
Speaker 1 00:18:08 That's right. Got a few extra cards out on the table. So yeah. All part of the folklore.
Speaker 4 00:18:14 Yes. <laugh>. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:18:17 Excellent. All right. Thank you for being my first victim on of course. Yes. Chicago musician.
Speaker 4 00:18:22 Hey, well, thank you for having me
Speaker 1 00:18:24 Big to it. That's li may Cerna. My lovely niece next up is another youngest. My brother Randy's youngest son, Kyle Curtis. He lives in the twin cities. He's a graduate of Concordia college in Moorhead and he does some crazy thing with data analytics that I will never understand. And I'm sure he gets paid more than I'll ever get paid. Um, and yet he's a decent enough chap. Let's have a chat with him next on the docket. Chicago musician podcast is my youngest nephew. Kyle welcome.
Speaker 5 00:19:20 It's an honor to be here.
Speaker 1 00:19:21 It is. I know <laugh> um, so what do you think of our weekend gathering so far?
Speaker 5 00:19:29 It's been really nice. I was asking, you know, all the cousins when the last time that we were all together here in Brainerd and I don't think any of us could really come up with a time. I mean, it's been at least 10 years, I feel like, but probably not so long as, as, since grandpa and grandma's 50th anniversary. That was
Speaker 1 00:19:51 No,
Speaker 5 00:19:52 But it's, it's been at least 10 years, I think,
Speaker 1 00:19:55 Because it's often been almost everybody or yeah. One missing or yep. Or we made it to Matthew's wedding in the twin cities, but we weren't here.
Speaker 5 00:20:06 Right. So it's, it's been a really unique kind of combination of nostalgia, but also just like, you know, some new memories that, that we can all kind of take from it. So it's, it's been really fun.
Speaker 1 00:20:18 I think it's fun to see, you know, I was talking to live about, you know, the connection to this place and to each other and fun to see that like you cousins, you know, your parents have done a good enough job of keeping you connected that there's another generation that's pretty tight, you know, that just picks up from wherever you left off.
Speaker 5 00:20:41 Yeah. I mean, <laugh>, I don't think we'll ever be as close as kind of your cousins, the first cousins of, of your generation just by virtue of distance. Yeah. As you know, throughout the years, like, you know, you guys growing up were, you know, hours away. Yes. You know, and, and, and saw each other all the time. But, but it is, it is nice, you know, even though the Sur have lived in, in Washington for all this time and you know, we're down in the twin cities that we've been able to stay relatively close and, and have that relationship. It's, it's really special to me at
Speaker 1 00:21:13 Least. Yeah. And I was thinking about this weekend, it's like, it's cool that everybody came.
Speaker 5 00:21:20 Yes.
Speaker 1 00:21:21 Everybody could come and everybody wanted to come. Yeah. And, and made the effort to clear this couple of days.
Speaker 5 00:21:30 Yeah. <laugh> yeah. I mean, it's, it's especially more challenging, you know, as those, the youngest of us are, you know, getting closer to 30, you know, and, and have our own lives and schedules that, you know, we're all trying to clear out for this and, you know, Matt and Heidi have two kids now, so it's, it's a miracle to get them anywhere for a weekend. It feels like right. Even just 30 minutes to <laugh> to my parents' house for, for a weekend, you know?
Speaker 1 00:21:57 So yeah. So we have the Ford generation gathering. That's very cool.
Speaker 5 00:22:02 Yes.
Speaker 1 00:22:03 And, um, what I was wondering, what your thoughts on grandma and grandpa are at this, where they are right now in their lives,
Speaker 5 00:22:15 You know, it's a really challenging thing to kind of watch because you watch them in slow motion, kind of deteriorate from the person that you have always known, um, into something that, you know, grandpa has always been the storyteller of the family and to watch him deteriorate into something that, you know, he can give you clues like one word clues today. He was telling me some, he was trying to tell me some stories like
Speaker 1 00:22:49 You
Speaker 5 00:22:50 Sing and car. And I, I mean, I couldn't figure it out today. Sometimes, sometimes you can figure it out. Other times you've, it's
Speaker 1 00:22:58 Become harder and harder to track.
Speaker 5 00:22:59 So, so that's been really challenging and tough on him too, but also on grandma, you know, with her memory. <laugh>, I, I mean, just at, at lunch today, she asked me three times, um, kind of if there was anything new with me and every time I, I tell her that, you know, I'm closing on a house for the first time as a, a first time home buyer. And every time it's like the first time I told her, which <laugh> makes it good, but also, you know, you kind of shorten it each time, a little bit of fewer and fewer details. So
Speaker 1 00:23:33 Yeah. I mean, I guess there's, she has like four questions yep. That are always asked to me and they used to annoy me and they still sort of do because they keep coming. Yeah. And then you're like, at least that part of her brain is still attached to something about me.
Speaker 5 00:23:51 Yes.
Speaker 1 00:23:52 Or is Chicago theater opening up is how is Lucia? Is Mildred still alive? No mom she's been dead for, you know yep. How is my grand dog?
Speaker 5 00:24:02 Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:24:03 You know, uh, just yep. And I'm sure she's got a couple of markers for Kyle. Yes. You know, and those,
Speaker 5 00:24:10 Yeah. And I mean, I have a, a little bit of a perspective on, on kind of going through some of this a second time, basically, because I watched this with my mom, with grandma Bev, my mom's mom, and, you know, it was dementia Alzheimer's and, you know, seven or eight years kind of was able to watch. It was a little more challenging cause I was in high school and college at that time. Right. So like, I didn't see her as often, but you know, it, it's different going through it the second time, but there's a lot of similarities and, you know, it's equally as sad and, and frustrating and, and everything, but,
Speaker 1 00:24:49 And it, and you know, where it leads.
Speaker 5 00:24:51 Yeah. But, you know, ultimately I, I'm glad to be able to still have these moments, like we've had this weekend where it's like, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, even if she doesn't remember it tomorrow, I will. And you know, can kind of carry that forward, which is relieving and, and comforting for me.
Speaker 1 00:25:10 Yeah. Well, I, I think it's moving in that it's harder and harder to just give mom joy. Yep. Dad, uh, for all his challenges is still interested in stuff and really overestimates his own ability to do it, but he wants to, whereas mom just is tired. It's so hard for her to hang onto anything that, that she's here and says she's full of happiness is quite an achievement. Yeah. Maybe more for us than for her.
Speaker 5 00:25:42 It's, it's been like the most engaged. I've seen the, both of them in a while be, you know, whenever they come down to the cities, you know, for, for Easter, for Christmas, like they kind of just sit there and don't really try to engage. But I, I think having them in the house this weekend has kind of been a good comfort for them and, and kind of engage them. You know, we, we did bowling where it's, it's just stuff they know. And like it, they just felt really comfort, damning grandpa didn't bowl very well yesterday. So he wasn't very comfortable with that,
Speaker 1 00:26:18 But it's actually kind of nice to see him a little bit ornery <laugh>
Speaker 5 00:26:21 Yeah, it is. It is.
Speaker 1 00:26:24 Um, so do you have any, uh, first memories of being here at 15 10th, south seventh, or just overall feelings about the place or anything?
Speaker 5 00:26:36 I mean, I have a lot of, of personal memories, but I mean, like the one that I have that I don't remember, but it was always told to me was when my parents left me here, when I was like six months old, when they went off to Alaska, you know, for, on their trip with, with Matt and, you know, they left me with grandpa and grandma and they were told I have a good, I had a good time here, but I'm still kind of bitter about it. I guess I probably had fun, but you know, they left me so
Speaker 1 00:27:04 <laugh>, um, scarred. So yeah. Yeah. It's so basically this house is full of scars.
Speaker 5 00:27:10 Yeah. I need to, I need to talk to my therapist about that one and, and really hash that one out from trauma from 27 and a half years ago.
Speaker 1 00:27:18 Well, I think of Chicago musician as a therapy session. So, so how does that make you feel? Um,
Speaker 5 00:27:25 No, but, but I, I do have some really specific memories as I think we all do, you know, over the years of, of kind of having it all centered around one place. I mean, I have specific memories related to family, you know, kind of these big group fam family gatherings that we've had here, but I, I also have some ones that are just kind of unique to, you know, individual relationships that I have with grandpa and grandma and, and, you know, the ones that, that immediately come to mind are kind of all centered around, around the dining room, in the kitchen. That's kind of where we have spent all of our time. I'm sure people listening to this podcast will hear plenty about pounce and all the cards that, that we play and stuff. And that's right. That's kind of what we do to fill our time. But you know, the specific memories that I have that are different than that is, you know, I, with grandma, the game that we always used to play was a game called golf,
Speaker 1 00:28:22 Which a card game,
Speaker 5 00:28:23 Still a card game called golf. Yeah. We haven't been actually out on the links. Right. You know, with our clubs, I'm a very bad golfer
Speaker 1 00:28:30 And I'm worse,
Speaker 5 00:28:31 But in terms of the card game golf, I won't try to explain it, but it's, it's a much slower paced game than, you know, pounds. And so it always kind of acted as this breath of fresh air amidst, you know, kind of the, to fill the time between activities here,
Speaker 1 00:28:49 But that was what you and grandma would play. Oh,
Speaker 5 00:28:51 All the time. Yeah. Like, especially when it was just kind of my family here, like Matt, me, mom, and dad, and, you know, just kind of here and, you know, grandpa and, and Matt would be off doing something and, and my dad would be napping and, you know, grandma and I would be kind of up and we would just be playing golf and filling the time and chatting. And so that'll always be a really special memory for me, you know, which is different than kind of the experience of playing pounce. And,
Speaker 1 00:29:20 And what was your one on one with, with grandpa then?
Speaker 5 00:29:24 <laugh>, I mean, I,
Speaker 5 00:29:27 The thing that I always always take from our time in this house was, you know, grandpa is, and always has been the biggest sports junkie ever in, in, you know, if he it's a local sports game, it's, you know, the Minnesota twins, it's Vikings, it's Timberwolves, you know, he's always gotta find a TV to watch it. And I just, you know, that has always been something, you know, at the end of the day, when we're up here in brainer, you know, we gotta sit around in the kitchen watching sports game and he's always super adamant about it, but, you know, if it's a twins game by about the fourth inning, he starts to nod off and he's, he's famous for being able to fall asleep anywhere.
Speaker 1 00:30:11 That's right.
Speaker 5 00:30:12 I mean, sitting in that spot over the years has gotten him into trouble as well, falling
Speaker 1 00:30:17 Forward, and a few face plans into the cookie jar,
Speaker 5 00:30:20 But, and, you know, a couple hospital visits here and there, but in his, in his younger days, I mean, he, he was able to maintain balance in his sleep there. So I, I don't know, that's, it's, it's kind of just the day to day memories that accumulated over time, like the things that happened all the time, you know, when we were up here as opposed
Speaker 1 00:30:38 To yeah. Not big fancy events, just the, did you ever like bake cookies with grandma or,
Speaker 5 00:30:46 Yeah, I, I mean, I, some, but, you know, it was
Speaker 1 00:30:49 Which usually us playing cards in the kitchen where grandma was working, you know, or, or baking or
Speaker 5 00:30:54 Right. And, and she used to do much more baking in those days.
Speaker 1 00:30:58 Did you do jigsaw puzzles with her at all? Not so much. Um,
Speaker 5 00:31:02 I think we all did puzzles of, of some sort at, at varying points. I was not as big into the puzzles as, as some people were, but I, you know, I did my fair share contributed here and there.
Speaker 1 00:31:15 What more could we ask?
Speaker 5 00:31:17 Yes. Yes.
Speaker 1 00:31:19 Do you have, um, memories of Christmas times here?
Speaker 5 00:31:23 Oh yeah. I mean, they all were kind of structured very similarly. Like, like the Christmases in and of themselves, you know, we'd get up here, we might hang around, you know, it might be the 23rd or something. We hang around, we, you know, have good food kind of the night before. And then we go into Christmas Eve and then, you know, there's there's church. We are always a, a Christmas Eve family, right. For church service, we would
Speaker 1 00:31:51 Go to church and presents
Speaker 5 00:31:52 And presents. Yep. We would come home from church. We'd do dinner, which is usually lasagna
Speaker 1 00:31:58 We're because of course we're so Italian.
Speaker 5 00:32:00 Yeah. O of course. So, and then, you know, we would do presents always Christmas Eve. And so, you know, and stocking Christmas day morning,
Speaker 1 00:32:11 Which was your mother's addition to our family.
Speaker 5 00:32:14 Yes. She has always been Santa's elf, which, you know, over the years is a lot of work. So <laugh>, yeah. I don't, you know, I don't blame her if, if
Speaker 1 00:32:24 She, but we never did. We never did Christmas morning gifts or stockings until Karen came here. Really? Yeah. Yeah. And then she, that became a tradition that she brought to our family.
Speaker 5 00:32:35 So, I mean, I mean, the structure was always the same, but you know, the people kind of in and out ha have been slightly different over the years, you know? I mean, we've had Eva for some of those Christmases, right. You've been here for some of them, um, right. You know, Heidi eventually, you know, when, when she and Matt started dating had been up here, so it it's nice. It, it's nice to kind of see some of the evolution over the years.
Speaker 1 00:33:03 Yeah. I think it's cool just that everybody was available for this weekend and came and, you know, we are kind of mushy sentimental types in a way, but like it's mostly laughter.
Speaker 5 00:33:17 Oh yeah. Oh yeah. It's we, we do have a lot of fun and it's not, it doesn't always make sense. You know, it's like last night at the, at the card tail, I don't know what concerns were. I mean, they were on some Italian mob type stuff, but they were laughing and having a good
Speaker 1 00:33:35 Time beside themselves. Yeah. <laugh>
Speaker 5 00:33:38 Yes. Yep. So the, the one story that, that I did, I don't know how many people will, will bring up, but the one that I, I always do remember is, oh God, we must have been like 10 or something was the, the scooter Olympics was, you know, we, we always used to enter the kids. You know, the, the grandkids we, you know, as, as kids do like to try and entertain ourselves with, with varying things. And, you know, we had a bunch of razor scooters that were in grandpa and grandma's garage, um, over the years. And in order to entertain ourselves one, uh, one day we, we decided to take them out and create some fan fancy routines that, of course we had to display for all the adults. And right. I think you guys had scorecards that you would give us scores on our routines, which oh, nice. Which was just a great touch. Um, but, but that one always sticks out. I, you know, it's, it's these weird it's being in this space that kind of these weird memories will just pop in at, at different times. I, I thought about that one for the first time yesterday, just kind of just being in the garage and, and kind of in the driveway. And
Speaker 1 00:34:52 It's kind of visceral, isn't it? That yeah. You walk into this building and it unleashes a lot of sense memory, I guess, is what I feel.
Speaker 5 00:35:03 Yeah. You can't really control it either. I mean, it just,
Speaker 1 00:35:05 The hilarious part is you kids, you know, you don't even know the, another layer of the onion that like Wendy and I, especially, but some Randy, we had more festivals. Oh yeah. And Olympics and carnivals and sold rotten jewelry door to door in the neighborhood than, you know, we did all that shit. So seeing the next generation, like out in the driveway, practicing for the show that they're gonna make us watch is like, you know, driving us insane and driving others like, oh, we have to watch that. And Wendy and are like, yes,
Speaker 5 00:35:40 <laugh>. Well, and we've done it. We had to be confined to the driveway cuz you know, this wasn't, you know, the 1970s where it's, you know, grandma could just be like, well, I don't care where you go, but just be back for dinner,
Speaker 1 00:35:51 Be home for supper.
Speaker 5 00:35:53 Yes. Supper. Yeah. We had, we had to be like around where kind of where you could see us. It was different.
Speaker 1 00:35:58 No, we literally had up and down the street was an entire neighborhood of kids. Yeah. Like when we were in elementary school, all of us were, you know, in, in that same elementary age. And so we had, we would just be out until the mothers started yelling supper time and each kid, it was usually like a five 30 or six and then we would all, we would go eat and then back to the street to play, kick the can or, you know, Ali, Ali oxen free where we'd throw a ball. I don't know all these games until it was just about dark, which you know, here last night I looked out at nine 30 was still pretty light mm-hmm <affirmative> and we were even at dinner. You and I said, Kyle, the, um, the long evenings are so nice in winter, uh, winter
Speaker 5 00:36:48 <laugh> well maybe they're if they go to permanent daylight saving time.
Speaker 1 00:36:51 Oh, that's right in the winter too. But in the summer, the long, the long sunset in the evenings, as it just sort of, I get real specific feelings about Minnesota when I, I feel that kind of thing. And then I slap a few mosquitoes off my leg and go like, yeah, I'm glad I'm gone. So anyhow, that's been great. Thank you so much.
Speaker 5 00:37:14 Thank you. It was, that's a real
Speaker 1 00:37:15 Pleasure. Kyle Curtis on Chicago musician onto my one west coast nephew, Phil Jr. He's currently in the band Daphne and he knows a lot about plants and birds. I don't really know about the bees. There's not much evidence one way or the other, but uh, an interesting cat. So my next guest here is Phil Jr. In, in Minnesotan, we call him Peto.
Speaker 7 00:38:05 Yep. Short
Speaker 1 00:38:06 For PTO. Mm-hmm
Speaker 7 00:38:08 <affirmative>. That is the, that is the translation to Minnesotan. Yeah, exactly.
Speaker 1 00:38:12 So how does it feel to be back here in the old 15, 15, 10th house seventh <laugh>
Speaker 7 00:38:19 Uh, I, it's a, it's a strange experience. Lots of emotions. I would say. Um, I, I dunno if you can call any of it bad necessarily, but it's uh, a bittersweet, I
Speaker 1 00:38:33 Guess there's some melancholy. Sure.
Speaker 7 00:38:35 Absolutely. Well, it's weird. Like, like walking into each room, there's like a, a memory attached to everything, you know, like some, some moment captured in time and it's like, oh, I don't know if I'm gonna ever come back to this house either.
Speaker 1 00:38:52 Yeah. So I mean, this weekend, it's fun. Everyone's here. Yeah. It's cool that everybody could and everyone did, but it's it's um, yeah, everything seems sort of visceral. Mm. Almost like your sense memory is very specific. Yes.
Speaker 7 00:39:11 Oh, I, the smells <laugh> walking into the kitchen, even the stairs, like, oh my gosh, I'm transported back when I was 10 years old or something.
Speaker 1 00:39:20 Well being the oldest Cerna you've been coming here the longest mm-hmm <affirmative> the most I was saying to, um, live that, you know, Wendy's done a good job of connecting you guys to this place.
Speaker 7 00:39:33 Yeah, absolutely. Well, it's weird. I mean, it, I do feel connected to this part. I mean, just part of the, the country, you know, I like Minnesota in general, but like it's, uh, seeing the neighborhood and the trees and I don't know, just, I feel connected to the land in some way.
Speaker 1 00:39:59 Yeah, yeah, no, you guys have, have a Minnesota connection. Mm. And this, you know, this place specifically now it's sort of weird, you know, mom and dad, your grandma and grandpa are pretty diminished.
Speaker 7 00:40:13 Certainly. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:40:15 And yet you can tell they're, they're loving this weekend being here.
Speaker 7 00:40:21 Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:40:22 For whatever they can express.
Speaker 7 00:40:25 Yeah. And it's good that grandma, grandma can still express it and how much happiness she's feeling. And she wishes that she could spread it over weeks, but just to, to be, to be a part of this whole weekend and to impart joy, I guess, just by being here, being present and
Speaker 1 00:40:53 I think imparting and partaking also. Oh
Speaker 7 00:40:57 Yeah. I'm, I'm enjoying myself, certainly just to reconnect with, with the cousins and with, I mean, even with you and grandpa and grandma. Yeah. I mean,
Speaker 1 00:41:06 Even, even me and grandpa and grandma, how, how come I'm in the same breath with them? All right. I get it. Um, do you have any specific, you know, we have all these group memories, we play P and we've, you know, we eat meals and we seem to laugh a lot here, but do you have any memories like of, with grandpa himself or what you did with grandma or,
Speaker 7 00:41:30 Um, oh goodness.
Speaker 1 00:41:32 Like, did you, did grandpa make you go fishing or,
Speaker 7 00:41:36 Yeah, but that, I mean, I, I never loved going fishing
Speaker 1 00:41:41 <laugh> no, neither <laugh>. So
Speaker 7 00:41:43 That, that wasn't like that, wasn't a big thing. I, I remember when I started taking, um, my horticulture classes this year, um, the first, uh, plant identification class, my teacher asked. Okay. So where are you from? What are you doing? What's your program? And what's your favorite plant? And I actually, I picked raspberry bushes
Speaker 1 00:42:04 <laugh>
Speaker 7 00:42:05 As, uh, every summer there we are out there picking raspberry bushes. And I mean, certainly I didn't wanna do it every time because right. <laugh> mosquitoes and
Speaker 1 00:42:15 Backbreaking and
Speaker 7 00:42:17 Oh yeah. The work.
Speaker 1 00:42:18 Yeah. But that was, yeah. Well that became grandpa's, you know, pride and joy. The last, I don't know, what is it? 10 years, I guess it's longer than that. I,
Speaker 7 00:42:28 I feel like it's been long took
Speaker 1 00:42:30 Over the backyard.
Speaker 7 00:42:31 Yeah. <laugh>
Speaker 1 00:42:32 The, the raspberry orchard.
Speaker 7 00:42:34 Yeah. Oh yeah. She started a whole operation outta here.
Speaker 1 00:42:38 Yeah. And then, um, anything with, with grandma? Did she ever make you bake cookies with her?
Speaker 7 00:42:47 Oh yeah. Well, yeah, that baking cookies is probably probably the most clear, clear memory, I guess, with grandma. And that, that tradition still carries on, even in Seattle. Yeah. We're always baking cookies and it
Speaker 1 00:43:03 Just, well, you know, the, the card playing comes from mom,
Speaker 7 00:43:06 I thought, I thought it was that both families stings and the loots had a version of it and they came together.
Speaker 1 00:43:14 I think so. But
Speaker 7 00:43:14 The, is that the lore? Is that the, the reason why they got married? Yes.
Speaker 1 00:43:19 <laugh> oh, you play POS. Oh, you, I play no. Wait, is that innuendo? No, it's a card game. <laugh> oh, I love you. Yes. It's yeah. Um, well, yes. I think there was card playing in both, um, camps, but mom seems to be of more of that tradition. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and she, well, when grandpa Lou, our, our grandpa mm-hmm <affirmative> would come mom and he would play cribbage a lot. Ah, see, that was their game. Yeah. But, um, games were very much part of our, our family.
Speaker 7 00:43:52 Yeah. Yeah. Well, I think probably my favorite part of when grandma was still, uh, competently playing
Speaker 1 00:44:03 Competitive,
Speaker 7 00:44:04 Competitive. Yes. In the fray. Very much. The best was always getting her to the point where she'd throw in it. Oh
Speaker 1 00:44:11 Shit. Right. <laugh> shocking.
Speaker 7 00:44:15 Grandma. <laugh>
Speaker 1 00:44:17 It's like, well, when it's, when it was high crucial. Oh, well it was high crucial
Speaker 7 00:44:21 That factor. Oh man. Yeah, exactly.
Speaker 1 00:44:24 Yeah. Nothing. Nothing else quite got her wound up like that.
Speaker 7 00:44:28 No, not that I know of.
Speaker 1 00:44:30 No, I don't never see
Speaker 7 00:44:31 Either.
Speaker 1 00:44:32 The first time we ever heard her swear was playing cards and we're like, what?
Speaker 7 00:44:36 <laugh>
Speaker 1 00:44:38 So mother you're just shocking us all the language.
Speaker 7 00:44:44 It's like she had a life before all this, all these kids and stuff.
Speaker 1 00:44:47 Imagine that. No, I couldn't. That we once were. Yeah. So, um, what do you think it'll be like once we don't even have this location available to us anymore?
Speaker 7 00:45:01 Gosh,
Speaker 1 00:45:01 It's not like Brainerd's an easy place to get to
Speaker 7 00:45:04 <laugh> no, no. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:45:06 From the west coast,
Speaker 7 00:45:09 Certainly not. I, I was talking about this with, with live and Laney too. Just like, is this going to be the last time we come to Brainerd? You know? And, and that's, you don't, you don't necessarily know if you're ever gonna come back to a place for any random reason. Right. But I would, I think that the lakes, I think the Northern lakes hold a special place in my heart and you gotta go north. So why not stop in brainer? Just be like, well, you know, see here on seventh street, this is where grandpa and my grandpa and grandma used to live pointed out to the kids if you know, that ever happens. But we'll see.
Speaker 1 00:45:55 Yeah. It's um, yeah. It's, it's sad. It's inevitable. Yeah. Yeah. We don't know if this is the last weekend, but it certainly feels like the last likely weekend when we could all be together.
Speaker 7 00:46:10 Mm-hmm
Speaker 1 00:46:11 <affirmative> I guess that's why everybody cleared their schedule and made it happen. Absolutely.
Speaker 7 00:46:16 It's too special to not.
Speaker 1 00:46:19 Yeah. And I think it's hard as it is to see my mom and dad sort of disappearing. There's very few things that can give them joy anymore. And one of them is what we're doing.
Speaker 7 00:46:30 Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:46:32 And it's not just for them.
Speaker 7 00:46:34 <laugh>,
Speaker 1 00:46:34 You know, that's,
Speaker 7 00:46:35 It's just, yeah. It's for you guys, for you and for you and Randy and Wendy to see, to see your parents.
Speaker 1 00:46:42 Well, and also to say farewell to this house. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, the weird thing is we haven't lived here for 30 years either, but mom and dad lived here for 56 years.
Speaker 7 00:46:51 <laugh> wow.
Speaker 1 00:46:52 Yeah. You know what I mean? So a lot of our life, if not our actual hours of living are connected to this house, you know, it's funny to think of, it's not a big house, it's not a fancy house. And it was even smaller when we grew up here Uhhuh <affirmative>. But like, we didn't know it was a shitty house. Right. It was just our house mm-hmm <affirmative>, which is kind of funny now, cuz you know, we're sitting in the basement. It ain't glamorous
Speaker 7 00:47:19 <laugh> no, no that would be the last, last word I would choose.
Speaker 1 00:47:26 But it's a pretty good home.
Speaker 7 00:47:29 Yes. It's quintessential in the feeling for home. I think it for me, I, you know, certainly I, this is not where I grew up, but it is where I came every Christmas or summertime and that's peppered into my childhood. Like yeah. That's what, yeah.
Speaker 1 00:47:52 And I think for most of us, most of our sense memory or memories are, are good ones. Mm. Not that there's not been pain here and conflict and arguments and, but we, we do pretty good as a group.
Speaker 7 00:48:09 Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:48:09 We've getting along
Speaker 7 00:48:10 Mm-hmm <affirmative> and diplomatic when we need to be. And I have a good time.
Speaker 1 00:48:16 Yeah. It's a, well, I'm glad you were able to make it.
Speaker 7 00:48:20 Yes I am too. I, yeah, it's a busy time of the year, but
Speaker 1 00:48:29 Yeah, we don't, we don't have many of these available to us.
Speaker 7 00:48:33 Yeah. Oh yeah.
Speaker 1 00:48:35 So it's cool that everybody made it and um, and that we're still having fun.
Speaker 7 00:48:41 <laugh> yes.
Speaker 1 00:48:42 And even mom and dad are, are having fun. You know, they wear out pretty quick, but um, yeah. So that's been great. I'm glad you guys came. And this has been great having Phil junior and let let's hear your best podcast. Sign off with a, a deep thought from Phil junior, the youngest CNA, man.
Speaker 7 00:49:07 You wanna deep that with it? Yeah. I can just give you like a, like an outro real quick. Okay. I'm just like a, this has been the Chicago musician. I'm Phil Cerna. Junior.
Speaker 1 00:49:17 It's great. I don't really call
Speaker 7 00:49:18 It. No, you don't call it the
Speaker 1 00:49:19 Chicago musician.
Speaker 7 00:49:20 Oh, just Chicago. Sorry. This
Speaker 1 00:49:22 Is Chicago musician.
Speaker 7 00:49:24 I don't know. I think mine sounded better,
Speaker 1 00:49:25 But oh, you're maybe you're right. I mean you're younger and hipper. I mean maybe not better looking, but your younger
Speaker 7 00:49:34 Hipper. Okay.
Speaker 1 00:49:35 <laugh> okay. Enough. All good. Thanks.
Speaker 7 00:49:40 Thank you.
Speaker 1 00:49:45 So we're halfway through the nieces and nephews episode. All right. You don't have to be math major Kyle. To know that three out of five is more than half, but I'm a musician. Come on. I go to seven, maybe nine, if I'm stretched. In any case, we're gonna catch up with Laney Lou and my godson Matthew. Unfortunately he and Heidi had to flee back to the twin cities due to lack of baby formula up here in the north woods. But I was able to grab Matthew for just a few minutes before he hit the road. So we'll be back with those last two interviews right after the interval. Today's interval was a perfect fifth plus in Octa. What you Jazzers might call a 12th myn you? In any case? It's like my nieces, nephews, all five of them. The perfect fifth, uh, yeah, stretch plus in Octa. Just for experience. Anyhow, it's brought to you by no one Chicago musician is still shockingly advertisement and revenue free avoiding all the pitfalls of capitalism, socialism, and most other isms. So let's get back to the loon sea. So next up is the lovely Delaney. Mariah Cerna. Hello?
Speaker 9 00:51:46 Hello, uncle
Speaker 1 00:51:47 Sean. Welcome to Chicago musician.
Speaker 9 00:51:49 Wow. What an honor.
Speaker 1 00:51:51 Yeah. Everyone says that. Yes. And they're lying, but it's still nice to have you here. Um, what do you think of our weekend gathering so far?
Speaker 9 00:52:01 It has been everything. We, I think we all needed it to be, although exhausting.
Speaker 1 00:52:08 <laugh> it's a lot, all cramed into a couple days.
Speaker 9 00:52:13 Yes.
Speaker 1 00:52:14 But um, mostly do you think mostly good.
Speaker 9 00:52:19 Yeah. And when I say it's everything we needed it to be, isn't something that is, is good or is bad. It's like some deep emotional work and that yeah.
Speaker 1 00:52:35 <laugh> yeah. So when you come into this house, what do you feel?
Speaker 9 00:52:41 I, so I hadn't been here in a number of years. Um, and so it was easy to step in and feel like a little kid and the feelings that we were so privileged to have here were, um, total safety and <affirmative> and a bit of wonder. And so I, I felt that again, when I walked in,
Speaker 1 00:53:05 Yeah. I still feel that. And you know, I haven't lived here in 40 years, 50 years. Um, yeah. Do you remember some of the, your early visits here when you were a real little kid for Christmas or summers? Yeah.
Speaker 9 00:53:21 Well, I was saying I, um, listening to the cuckoo clock upstairs, if you close your eyes, you can tell that there's, um, a half done puzzle, a bit of snow. And I know there was an easy bake oven under that tree, you know, <laugh> I remember that distinctly <laugh> um, and then some other stories I could tell that that me or my sister were young, um, based on our temperament and our <laugh> now, now I know to just go take a nap when I need a break, but the breaks we needed mid rehearsal in this basement were <laugh>
Speaker 1 00:53:57 Went different. I was
Speaker 9 00:53:59 After some, some good tears and
Speaker 1 00:54:02 <laugh> yes. Many, many production.
Speaker 9 00:54:05 Yes. And then my momager would come down and give me a pep talk and yeah,
Speaker 1 00:54:09 Your momager. Yeah.
Speaker 9 00:54:10 <laugh> I remember sitting on this bed in a different arrangement and I had had enough of director Matthew for the night, but I, yeah.
Speaker 1 00:54:20 <laugh> okay. Interesting. Yeah. Well, when you're kids, you know, you gotta figure it out. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so it it's, I, I think it's nice that you, um, five cousins still have a relationship that, you know, just starts up where you left off.
Speaker 9 00:54:37 It does. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:54:39 You like it's, even though you don't see each other all the time
Speaker 9 00:54:44 It's as in hardly
Speaker 1 00:54:45 At all, it's grounded enough. Yeah. To be important. And I mean, this is me talking, so you talk well
Speaker 9 00:54:53 <laugh> I know we're all great sentimental people. So we, we know those contexts and we put a lot of value on our relationships, but yeah, we, um, we spent a lot of days sitting with Kyle on the grandpa and grandma's bed watching cart network and, or doing our projects and, and it feels the same, the same.
Speaker 1 00:55:16 Yeah. There's a comfort in this house.
Speaker 9 00:55:18 Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:55:19 And I was laughing with, I think Phil earlier, it's like, it's not what you'd call a glamorous house. It's not much of a house at all, actually, but it's a pretty good home. Mm-hmm <affirmative>
Speaker 9 00:55:32 Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:55:32 Even you can see it in mom who can't connect too many dots these days, but her saying how filled with happiness she was, or she was these last few days.
Speaker 9 00:55:46 Well, and she said it quietly, a number of times that just feels like, oh, that like <laugh>
Speaker 1 00:55:53 Yeah.
Speaker 9 00:55:54 She knows that feeling. And I guess I have a theme of sitting on the beds, but, um, I was, I was taking my needed break yesterday. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and grandma came in wandering about living in that, that feeling. And she sat down with me, like I was the little kid again, and she was doing the same thing. We were all like, we're all phrasing and processing the same feeling. And so she, you know, um, would she say something like, well, as you get old, you have to remember all those good memories and this feeling, this home where our kids grew up and it was, it's like a simple little speech, but it's the same
Speaker 1 00:56:43 Thing. What's so nice. She, you guys had that moment. Oh
Speaker 9 00:56:47 Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:56:48 We don't have, you know, not to be Macau, but all of us come to this weekend knowing not that this is the last one, but it might be right. But certainly in this context. Right. And probably in this house. So I think it's so cool and important that everybody busy people could come, did wanted to come and did make time to come.
Speaker 9 00:57:16 Yes. We put a lot, a lot of effort to be here and, um,
Speaker 1 00:57:21 Connect with not only mom and dad, but with each other. Right. Still
Speaker 9 00:57:26 We knew, we knew that it required that effort. And then, and I guess like grandma has an awareness that it is all of those things too, that it's limited and it's precious and this is the processing moment. So that's also what was so interesting about her giving me that little speech is cuz she has so little literal understanding of what's going on, but she knows it the same.
Speaker 1 00:57:59 She still has the feeling.
Speaker 9 00:58:00 Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:58:02 Yeah. When Wendy brought here on Friday, she was crying and Wendy was worried. She'd made a mistake. She goes, no, they're happy. They're tears of happiness. So many memories here. And I'm like, okay, we're lucky. Even in that regard. Yeah. That she feels happiness even though we can't let her live here anymore.
Speaker 9 00:58:22 Yeah. That was sort of a surprise. Well obviously it was surprise for my mom in that moment. <laugh>
Speaker 1 00:58:28 Yeah. Well they hadn't been back since we moved him eight months ago. Yeah. And we were worried about, you know, cuz literally mom was like a, you know, a scene from Camille when we had to almost drag her out of the house. It was pretty melodramatic and heartbreaking. Um, but um, yeah. And poor grandpa, he just can't, you know, he's full of emotion. Oh
Speaker 9 00:58:54 Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:58:55 The sentimental ones of all of us, but he can't say it
Speaker 9 00:59:00 Captain sentimental.
Speaker 1 00:59:01 Yeah. Although, you know, to all of your credits, you still let him try. Oh
Speaker 9 00:59:09 Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:59:10 <laugh> give, put out what he thinks he can, you know?
Speaker 9 00:59:16 Cause we recognize that feeling too. It's yeah.
Speaker 1 00:59:19 Well, sure. I guess so there's the irony of the guy who would talk to anyone anywhere, anytime who just can't talk now and get the stuff out. Um, did you ever, did grandpa take you fishing? Did you guys go out in the boat and stuff? Oh,
Speaker 9 00:59:35 Of course. Of course.
Speaker 1 00:59:37 Did you like fishing?
Speaker 9 00:59:39 Well when I was really little, um, I loved fishing when I was like three to five, my, my cousins on the other side, um, told me regularly that I wanted to be called fish or girl in that timeframe. Okay. So <laugh> I guess so, so Minnesota was a pretty good deal. Um, and then as I got a little older, I think, you know, it was, I, I knew even then that it was something that grandpa wanted to do and grandpa really valued. So it was, let's go experience this with grandpa and his little slice of
Speaker 1 01:00:20 Life. Yeah. It's what he wanted to share with you guys. Yeah.
Speaker 9 01:00:23 Yeah.
Speaker 1 01:00:25 And uh, yeah, I mean, I was a terrible fisherman too, but you know, you think back at it like, ah, time in a boat, on a lake it's not so bad.
Speaker 9 01:00:35 No. The other thing, yeah, the, one of the biggest feelings of this house in this place is like slow Minnesota time, all slow, Minnesota time <laugh> and that's another snippet of it is sitting.
Speaker 1 01:00:51 Well, I love that. You said that like you just felt safety
Speaker 9 01:00:55 Mm-hmm <affirmative>,
Speaker 1 01:00:57 You know, it is almost, even now it feels almost like going back in time. We always, we make the joke in our family that we used to get on our bikes at eight in the morning. And we're just told to be back by supper time and like who in the world could let their kids do that in this day and age.
Speaker 9 01:01:18 Yeah. And I got to do that when I was here. Just go on grandma's cruiser.
Speaker 1 01:01:24 Yeah.
Speaker 9 01:01:25 Just go,
Speaker 1 01:01:26 Just ride around the neighborhood Uhhuh <affirmative> yeah, yeah. That feeling of, of freedom. Yeah. It'll um, what do you think you'll miss the most when this, at least this house isn't available to us anymore?
Speaker 9 01:01:50 It's, it's funny because we all in our Senti mentalness love these objects and the memories that live in objects and that live in spaces. You we're visual artists. Like we, yeah. We attach to those things, but I think the experience of, of Minnesota slowness and safety and, um, connectivity lives so far outside this house that I don't, I don't feel like I'm gonna miss it as much as, as you might or, and my mom will. I think the loss of it is a cornerstone, but
Speaker 1 01:02:34 Yeah, you didn't, I mean, you didn't live here ever.
Speaker 9 01:02:38 Right.
Speaker 1 01:02:40 I mean, you know, our, our connection to it and your memories here, but yeah. And, and you still have, I still have to remember. It's just a thing mm-hmm, <affirmative>, it's just this, you know, when I'm trying to convince mom and dad, you know, when we're moving him and tell 'em when they can't live here anymore, I keep saying, well, dad, you know, you paid $16,000 for you. You got your money's worth sure. You know, 56 years worth of, um, and that seemed to kind of please him, you know? Yeah. Like I guess, I guess we did have make a good investment.
Speaker 9 01:03:16 Totally. It's it's totally valid. Every experience that was here still exists and has the same value as it did, even if we aren't here. Like
Speaker 1 01:03:29 That's a nice way of saying it
Speaker 9 01:03:31 That's I almost wish that I put down a recorder to what me and grandma said in our little bedside chat. Cuz I can tell that she feels a sadness to not live in those old moments. But for that time she saw them still as part of herself.
Speaker 1 01:03:57 Yeah. I don't think she gets those flashes too many times anymore.
Speaker 9 01:04:02 Yeah.
Speaker 1 01:04:03 That must be frightening to lose.
Speaker 9 01:04:05 Definitely.
Speaker 1 01:04:07 You know,
Speaker 9 01:04:09 I had the, I had, um, I guess I I've been working on that phrasing this whole weekend cuz like we saw the sippy cups we used in the nineties Uhhuh <affirmative> I just threw those away. <laugh>
Speaker 1 01:04:22 We're not a family who throws anything away if you haven't noticed in our discussions. Yeah.
Speaker 9 01:04:29 Um, I mean, and to their credit, they were pretty cool. There was like a penguin one and like a lion. And I do recall like fighting over which one because yeah, that was important.
Speaker 1 01:04:41 And those, if you, if you think about it are some of the newer artifacts in this house. Yeah. We have Tupperware from the sixties. We have glasses we've been using for drinking juice out of, since the sixties, you know, there's a lot
Speaker 9 01:04:59 Of, there's plenty of depression, era artifacts. I'm sure
Speaker 1 01:05:02 <laugh> well, there's even, there's like measuring cups from mom's mother. Right. You know, so there's some, it goes
Speaker 9 01:05:08 Back,
Speaker 1 01:05:09 We get good value out of our, our purchases I guess.
Speaker 9 01:05:14 Yeah. So I don't think also these, these sippy cups, to be honest, I don't even think they're from the nineties. They may be older than that, but they served their purpose and were to the delight of us when we were small and we were here and I just like, I don't know why that was such like a aha moment. Like I'm so terrified of losing the good years we had them like or yeah. And we still have obviously good years and new ways, but like we really, we had them, we lived them. It doesn't, they didn't go away
Speaker 1 01:05:55 <laugh> no. And even, yeah, like the cups don't matter at all. No they're stupid things. <laugh> right. That made, made something for you that connected you. Yeah. I think I'm sure we did that out at our grandpa's house in North Dakota. You know, he never knew that we, you know, played with the stupid Baton ball or in the backyard or the ball. And we made a Foursquare court in the basement, you know, the, none of that stuff was valuable or stuff you could buy for kids. We just made up stuff. But those were the memories we cherish. Yeah. The events, maybe the things, but mostly the events we created with them
Speaker 9 01:06:36 That, that our grandparents made a place for us here.
Speaker 1 01:06:40 That's oh my God. Yeah.
Speaker 9 01:06:42 That's what it
Speaker 1 01:06:43 Was. You guys were, were in our so greatly loved.
Speaker 9 01:06:47 Oh yeah. We got the, uh, captain crunch fresh every time. That's how I knew. <laugh> <laugh>
Speaker 1 01:06:54 Or lucky charms. Yeah. You know, depends on your, I love those individual tastes. That
Speaker 9 01:06:58 Is my love language.
Speaker 1 01:06:59 It's that's also why I have no teeth, you know, I, I hate captain crunch with crunch berries for my whole childhood, but back before we believed in nutrition. Yeah.
Speaker 9 01:07:11 Well, we just had them for those two weeks.
Speaker 1 01:07:13 Exactly. And I had them every day.
Speaker 9 01:07:16 <laugh>
Speaker 1 01:07:16 Yeah. Think of that. How did I live this long? I don't know. That's one of the wonders of Chicago musician. Yeah. Well, anyhow mysteries yet to unfold. Delaney. I'm so glad you made it for this weekend. And uh, yeah. I look forward to lots more years of our making moments.
Speaker 9 01:07:35 Me too.
Speaker 1 01:07:36 That's Delaney on Chicago musician. Apparently the fourth generation kids AMA and case were unable or unwilling to sign the nondisclosure agreement that I required for my podcast, but I was able to strong arm their father into speaking with me just before they headed back to XON avenue or Zertech avenue X something. So my contestant now is my godson and mom and dad's oldest grandson, Matthew.
Speaker 10 01:08:22 Hello.
Speaker 1 01:08:23 Hello. Thanks for doing this. I think it's interesting that reality has crept into our weekend here in that the baby formula shortage is forcing Heidi and Matt to go home early. Cuz we can't find any here in Brainerd.
Speaker 10 01:08:37 Yeah. And we did not bring enough apparently
Speaker 1 01:08:40 So well, so life happens,
Speaker 10 01:08:43 Live and learn.
Speaker 1 01:08:44 So, um, does, what does it feel like, like walking into this house sort of, you know, you've, you're the kid with the most mm-hmm <affirmative> experience here and like knowing this it's probably the last Harrah for this place.
Speaker 10 01:09:01 Yeah. With stuff still in it where it still feels like grandpa and grandma's house,
Speaker 1 01:09:05 It almost feels normal. Right?
Speaker 10 01:09:06 Yeah. It still feels like they're home. Um, and then I think after today, it, it won't feel as much like home because it'll be less and less of their things in, in the house. Um, but yeah, to your point, I mean, well, they lived in this house for 60 years,
Speaker 1 01:09:24 I think 56, maybe we're in 57 now. Okay.
Speaker 10 01:09:27 Yeah. And so that's a long time to live in one home. Uh, not many people can say live in a house for that long and been a part of my life for 37 of those years. And I don't think many grandkids can say that about a house that it's been a part of their lives for that long, unless it's, you know, the house they grew up in which right. In some ways that is kind of this house, um,
Speaker 1 01:09:50 Way. Do you have early memories from being here?
Speaker 10 01:09:55 Oh yeah. I mean fishing trips are probably the first early memory I can remember. Um, and that was, you know, moving on from this house was bittersweet, but I also remember when grandpa, you know, had to sell his boat. And that was a, a hard moment cuz there was a lot of memories in that boat.
Speaker 1 01:10:14 Well being the oldest and the golden grandson, you know, you and grandpa are about as tight as a grandson and grandfather get mm-hmm <affirmative> so it must be, um, amplified hard for you to watch him as he's declined and can't really communicate to you in the ways he used to at least.
Speaker 10 01:10:41 Yeah. I mean, especially considering he was somebody that used to love to talk and I think to
Speaker 1 01:10:47 Everybody
Speaker 10 01:10:48 Still, still would love to talk. It's just, he can't, he can't get the words out. And so yeah. I mean that's, that's been tough to kind of watch him decline in that way. Um, and not being able to have those conversations with him that you used to have. I think we all probably feel that way. Yeah. Um, but you know, he's still here with us and so we just try to appreciate that for, for what it is and, and the time that we do have together because you know, I still remember, you know, not too many years ago when we, you know, almost lost him to that, to that right. Brain infection that he had that, you know, is the reason that he has kind of his speech, speech issues today.
Speaker 1 01:11:27 That was about as basic as you get, we stood at the foot of his bed and they're like, we don't know if he's a vegetable or not. Mm-hmm
Speaker 10 01:11:36 <affirmative> mm-hmm <affirmative> yeah,
Speaker 1 01:11:38 That was pretty tough. Yep. So we've had about what 12, maybe more bonus years I called them. Mm-hmm <affirmative> where we basically thought we lost him. I don't know how our family, uh, has been so lucky in that regard. Yeah. Not that we haven't had pain and stuff.
Speaker 10 01:11:57 Right, right. Yeah. I mean, for the most part, they've both been very healthy, although grandpa's had his fair share of
Speaker 1 01:12:04 Well
Speaker 10 01:12:05 Traumas, I guess if you call that
Speaker 1 01:12:07 Nine fingers and one work an eye and it's
Speaker 10 01:12:09 Like a black cat with nine lives <laugh>
Speaker 1 01:12:13 Yeah. Um, but I think you can see where mom has more struggles connecting to the moment. I felt like we actually brought her some joy this weekend. Mm-hmm <affirmative> even if it's just in the feeling of the nostalgia of being in her house mm-hmm <affirmative> but like dad lights up when he sees you an AMA and case, you know, there's still a little bit more presence in his knowledge, even if he can't communicate it. Mm-hmm <affirmative> I hope you feel that.
Speaker 10 01:12:47 Yeah. I mean, it's been, it's been a busy weekend.
Speaker 1 01:12:50 Um, it's hard being a dad.
Speaker 10 01:12:52 Yeah. It's hard being a dad. Um, definitely have an appreciation for my parents, uh, prior to a greater degree than I've ever had, uh, now going through it myself, um,
Speaker 1 01:13:07 The circle of life. Right?
Speaker 10 01:13:08 Yep. Yep.
Speaker 1 01:13:10 Yeah. So it'll be, um, I've loved though that how you and your cousins, you know, Wendy did a good job and your parents did a good job of connecting you to this place and making sure that you were connected to grandma and grandpa mm-hmm <affirmative> and this place and each other mm-hmm <affirmative>. So that even cousins that you don't see in person that much, it's sort of like, let's just start going from where we left off.
Speaker 10 01:13:38 Right, right. Yeah. And I think that's, you know, when I think about my own kids, Aidan case, you know, that's where I get a little bit sad because they'll never know this place. Right. Um, I mean, this is the second time ADA's been here, but she's not gonna remember it. No.
Speaker 1 01:13:55 Um,
Speaker 10 01:13:56 And you know, that makes me a little bit sad cuz it's, again, it's been a place that for me is just full of so many memories. I mean every, every room um, that I walk into in this place, um, has so many that I can attach to it. And, and even just like smells too. I mean this, this basement that we're sitting in <laugh>, I mean, just the smell of the basement, you walk down the stairs, like that's such a distinct smell of my memory just, and it's hard to describe what the smell is, cuz just like old musty basement, but it's like this basement smell.
Speaker 1 01:14:32 Right.
Speaker 10 01:14:32 And so I've tried to just like lock that smell in my memory. But even coming here today, it doesn't smell the same, like there's stuff out of it now that it just, it didn't have quite the same old musty basement smell.
Speaker 1 01:14:45 Right. They haven't lived here for eight months. Right. The house is basically empty. Right? Yeah. It's going away. I mean, I don't know if it's grace to lose your parents slowly to lose this house slowly. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, there's no clean break here. We're sort of right. Dwindling away. I, I think it's good. It allows you to grieve it sort of as it goes.
Speaker 10 01:15:09 Yeah.
Speaker 1 01:15:10 You know, and even Phil junior was saying, you know, none of you kids lived here, you know, Randy and Wendy and I lived our lives here. So there's another level of connection to it other than just, you know, Christmas and fishing and mm-hmm <affirmative> and, but you have a lot of those, you know, being the only grandchild for quite a while. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and the closest one. Yeah. You know, you were pretty adored in this house.
Speaker 10 01:15:39 Yeah.
Speaker 1 01:15:40 I mean, still are <laugh> so, I mean, I think it's really cool that you and Heidi could carve out even these two days to get up here. It's not easy for you guys these days, but I think it shows, um, whatever character we've inherited and been given that we all found a way to get here and to make it happen. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, so I, at the very least appreciate that effort and I think it was important.
Speaker 10 01:16:12 Yeah. Well, yeah. I mean, I think, I don't wanna say it's an expectation in this family that we show up for events like this, but I certainly think that grandpa and grandma have instilled that expectation if we want to use that word. Um, I mean, I, you know,
Speaker 1 01:16:31 Well I think the fact that we want to right, as well as our kind of expected to, right.
Speaker 10 01:16:38 But I mean just growing up, I mean, I don't know how many baseball tournaments and basketball tournaments and choir concerts and things that they always made the trip down from up here to come down to the cities, to be at those events for myself and, and for my brother Kyle. And so I think just growing up, seeing them go out of their way to make it happen, I think it's the least we can do to show up for a weekend like this for them and, and celebrate them and celebrate the life that they built in this home. And yeah. Then became a home to, to people like myself.
Speaker 1 01:17:16 Yeah. It's kind of a crappy house and a pretty great home. It's
Speaker 10 01:17:20 A great house. It's a great house. Yeah. I love this house. I dunno. I'm gonna miss it so much.
Speaker 1 01:17:25 I was trying to get Kyle to buy it. <laugh> I say, look, Kyle, you, you work remotely. Yeah. You know, you're a bachelor, you can, you know, work the Brainard scene he's he wouldn't go for it. Yeah. So, all right. Well thanks for, um, giving me a couple minutes on your exit from town. Absolutely. And uh, yeah. Delaney had another nice thought about, you know, it's not like we're Mo losing the moments we had here, those live on the stuff who cares about this stuff. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, it's only that it connects us in the sort of visceral smells and memories mm-hmm <affirmative> but we still, we still have all that stuff. Yeah. And it's kind of cool to get to live in it at least one more time. Mm-hmm
Speaker 10 01:18:07 <affirmative>,
Speaker 1 01:18:08 You know, and feel we all have our individual fields
Speaker 10 01:18:12 Mm-hmm <affirmative>. Yeah. And I think, you know, we're all, we're all taking a little piece of this place with us, you know, whether it's,
Speaker 1 01:18:20 I hope so
Speaker 10 01:18:22 I'm taking raspberry stocks with me home putting those in my backyard so that ADA can grow up picking raspberries, just like I grew up picking raspberries in the backyard with grandpa and
Speaker 1 01:18:31 The pride of uncle Casey, grandpa Casey, the raspberry patch. Yeah. That's cool.
Speaker 10 01:18:37 Yeah.
Speaker 1 01:18:38 So, alright. You better hit the road. Thanks. My godson.
Speaker 10 01:18:42 Absolutely.
Speaker 1 01:18:43 Matthew Stingel
Speaker 10 01:18:44 Thanks for having me on
Speaker 1 01:18:45 Yep. On Chicago musician
Speaker 6 01:18:48 <laugh>
Speaker 1 01:18:53 So that's some thoughts from the younger generation about the house in Brainard, Minnesota. Remember to check back for the next episode. When I talked to my siblings and their spouses and even my mom and dad, of course, all of us have much longer histories with this place. So there's more baggage and uh, more emotional connection to work our way through as we get ready to let go of the family household. Now I know some of you are saying, what does this have to do with music in Chicago? Well, even musicians have dark sorted histories. We weren't just plopped onto this earth as the angelic music makers that everyone thinks we are. Oh wait, I'm sorry. Oh, I'm being told no one thinks that. Okay, well fine. But we do have families and houses and uh, lives. And, uh, this is part of mine. I think it's kind of interesting because I think it's universal not to go all lion king on everybody, but you know the circle of life, man, this is part of my circle of life.
Speaker 1 01:20:06 In any case, I always encourage you to make your way over to best Sean stingel.com, where my podcasts are hosted. And especially if you're on Spotify or apple podcasts over on best Sean STLE, you can see not only on my episodes, but a link to my photos. And there's a gallery specifically dedicated to the Chicago musician podcast with photos and videos from a lot of my guests and uh, historical shots and ones of us making the podcast. And it's a lot of fun. And of course there's 50 million other photos there. If you wanna sort your way through my life in a photographic way. So I'll see you again soon on home. Part two on Chicago musician. I'm your host, Sean STLE. That looks like I'm talking to you. Are you talking?
Speaker 3 01:21:11 I am talking.
Speaker 1 01:21:12 Can hear you like how you, how you talk.
Speaker 3 01:21:15 That is how I talk.
Speaker 1 01:21:16 You could be a little bit closer.
Speaker 3 01:21:18 How is this? Oh,
Speaker 1 01:21:21 That's magical.
Speaker 3 01:21:22 Magical.
Speaker 1 01:21:23 What would your normal talking level be if you were talking?
Speaker 9 01:21:27 Um, it'd be about here I suppose.
Speaker 3 01:21:30 Oh,
Speaker 1 01:21:30 Seems.
Speaker 3 01:21:31 Yeah.
Speaker 1 01:21:32 And if you laugh,
Speaker 3 01:21:34 I'm like a,
Speaker 1 01:21:35 It's just amazing. It's
Speaker 9 01:21:36 Just a little and laugh. Not a great G and not a deep one.
Speaker 1 01:21:43 It's yours.
Speaker 3 01:21:44 Thanks.
Speaker 1 01:21:46 Am I am really the host or not? I think you are. That seems like now maybe we're are you talking? I'm talking. Are you talking? I, I feel like I am. I feel like you are too nice. Sounds good. Oh, thank you. That's so kind. Yeah.