Monday Musings: Writing & Curiosity

One of the many benefits of letter writing is it affords an opportunity to learn new things. All one really needs is curiosity and a search engine. For example, Sunday's outgoing letter was destined for St. Peter, Minnesota. I was telling about my recent vacation at an ocean-side town and I wondered if the Great Lakes offer a similar experience. Duck Duck Go provided information about waves and Weather.com told me that my vacation spot and Duluth on Lake Superior share the same temperature with a variant of only 2 degrees. I suppose I imagined all of Minnesota to be under snow eight months of the year and the Great Lakes to be inhabited by icebergs. 

That is not dissimilar to some people thinking that everyone in California lives near the beach. The truth is that California is a vast state encompassing a variety of climates and cultures. Even going from one county to another one finds change. I digress here, but Interstate 5 in Los Angeles County is something of a driver's purgatory. Everywhere one sees graffiti and barbed wire. The traffic congestion can be nightmarish. Crossing the border into Orange County is like crossing the border into another country. Suddenly one is in Driver's Paradise, the freeway seems suddenly twice as wide with half as many cars and there's no longer any such thing as a pothole. If ever you find yourself on that stretch of highway you will realize I am not exaggerating. Digression concluded.

One of my most interesting dinners was Beef Cheeks. A fellow conversationalist in Queensland, Australia sent me a recipe she clipped from a magazine. Cooking being Mr. Duffy's art form, he was eager to try it. After some searching he was able to find beef cheeks and the fun began. I've learned many things from pen friends and have learned even more from internet searches about things and places they've told me about. Letter writing is an experience not unlike travel but at much less expense. I highly recommend it.


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