Drove to Clearbrook this morning to speak and sing to a "Lifelong Learning" group. It is an educational program meant for senior citizens.

The gentleman who introduced me said right away that he thought I would be "longer in the tooth," given my columns. Once again, I will take this assumption that I am elderly as a compliment, although it still puzzles me.

The meeting was in the basement of a Lutheran Bretheren Church in Clearbrook. The pastor was named Tom Seaver, which I found fascinating since Tom Seaver is a pitcher in the Hall of Fame. The Rev. Tom Seaver seemed like a nice man, in contrast to the Hall of Fame Tom Seaver who is reputed to be something of a jerk.

It was a nice crowd. They had muffins beforehand, which I delved into. The piano was in relatively good shape, although the low F keys were a little warm. "A little warm" means, in tuning terms, somewhat off. Two of my songs were in F. So, I played the left hand a little light on the Fs so my ear wouldn't crack up.

On the way home, I was, as usual, running through the performance in my head, wondering what I could do better. I did some readings and I did some monologue, and it went okay, but it can always use polishing, and I have to give the same show about three times in the next two weeks, so it is fun to analyze.

That means that I drive distracted and miss this turn-off and that turn-off, and pretty soon I was very lost, knowing only that I wanted to go south and west and figuring by the angle of the sun that at least I was going the right direction.

I meandered and took pictures and drove slow. Clearbrook is only 50 miles from home, but the flora is so different. Norway pine, tamarack and native spruce are scattered through the woods unlike they are around home, where all varieties of those trees are planted, and usually in rows.

Eventually came out of the woods on US Highway 2. Stopped for supplies in Fosston. Picked up a birthday cake for Leonidas who turns 22 today, less than 24 hours after seeing his first snowbank. We had a party for him at afternoon coffee break.