Growing up in southern Minnesota had it's pleasures. We had plum trees laden with fruit which were made into plum jelly and jam to last through the winter. We had no sense of what a treasure those jars contained. And now I search specialty stores for a similar product. The price tag slows me down, yet the flavor of rich ripe plums on a scone from Rustica Bakery takes me back to the few pleasures of my childhood. We were poor and many, yet we had what we needed for the most part. And as a popular and available babysitter I had a little stash of my own personal funds to turn to when I found something I didn't want to live without... Like my guitar. Purchased in New Ulm for around $100 it was a ticket to another world. A world of independence and charm, popular music, classical, flamenco, and funny improvisations. It was a place where I could escape my younger sibling encroaching my territory. No privacy, only chaos. With tension an underlying element of my parents relationship I grew up thinking that was the way all marriages worked. It was a mark of success. However it is simply a mark of having successfully duplicated the model I observed. I graduated from high school vowing to never marry. To never enter into that contract which would rob me of my personal identity, compromise my values and tempt me into a submissive role where I would shrink and cower like so many of my female ancestors.