Week two of the “Best Things” feature!
1. My family gets multi-culti
I am Minnesota born-and-raised, but I am also a dual citizen of the USA and Ireland. Such a thing is possible because my grandfather was born in Ireland. My mother and all her siblings were automatically citizens, and my generation had the option to apply too. Last October, my mom and I took a trip to the Irish Consulate in Chicago to drop off my application; just over a week ago, my paperwork came through. What does this mean? It means I can travel on an Irish passport, or move to the European Union someday, or just feel super authentic at the upcoming Irish Fair.
My amazing sister-in-law is also a new dual-citizen: on Friday, she passed her US Citizenship test. She’ll also maintain her Kenyan citizenship, and thanks to a new ruling by the Kenyan government, my brother is eligible for Kenyan citizenship, too. No telling yet if he’ll do that or go Irish like me, but I know I would genuinely enjoy introducing K as my “African-American brother,” because people who are whiter than my brother include Conan O’Brien and ghosts.
2. Baby Ez and Arboretum Nostalgia
After I graduated from college, I spent a year working at Saint John’s Arboretum. It was an interesting, bizarre, wonderful experience. I kept a blog of my adventures which has since disappeared from the website; if I can track down what I wrote for it, I may post it here – for, uh, posterity’s sake. Future generations will need to know how hard I failed at snowshoeing! I cannot deny them that!
Anyway, I also made a great life-long friend in my Arboretum office buddy, Cassie. On Sunday, I visited Cassie and two of my other favorite humans: two-year-old Ira and 3-day-old Ezra. The cuteness was almost unbearable, and the Arboretum-reminiscing with Cassie was equally excellent.
3. Lookin’ awkward on TV (but for a good cause)
In May of this year, a deadly tornado hit North Minneapolis. Like many people in MN who saw the aftermath, I donated to the Red Cross, and signed up to be a disaster phone bank volunteer with the Salvation Army. Today, I got to smile awkwardly at the camera on WCCO until the phones started ringing off the hook. A good amount of donations poured in for North Minneapolis, which is impressive considering it’s been almost two months and the rest of the state has had quite a few severe storms in the meantime. Good job, Minnesota! No matter my citizenship, you will always have my heart.
PS: To learn how you can help the Salvation Army’s North Minneapolis Tornado Relief, and North Dakota Flood Relief, visit this website. And thanks to everyone who told me I did not look that weird on TV.