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33 days
2005-02-03 @ 4:59 p.m.

So in the past few days I had total recall of exactly where I was and what I was doing when Pope John Paul I was elected.

We had just moved into Mpls, and school had just started. One Friday my parents said to my sister and myself (Mollie Jo was just a little baby so they didn't consult her at all) "We've found the greatest FISH FRY. We're going out for FISH FRY since it's all you can eat!"

It was also Friday, but even when we were practicing Catholics, we never did the no meat on Friday thing unless it was Lent. Unless it was an excuse for going to an all you can eat FISH FRY..

So we drive out of Minneapolis past St. Paul to White Bear Lake. Since I was ten, I just recognized it as "the way to Nana's" which meant as if we were off to Wisconsin. We didn't go all the way to Wisconsin (although Hudson is really close, close enough to drive there Sundays to buy a case of beer, or to get a Wisconsin title loan) we only went in that direction until we got to the really good FISH FRY.

It was at a Holiday Inn.

Right there, I should have wondered, except of course, I was 10. I was 10 and we'd moved in the past two months and everything was so weird with the looking for houses, finding a house, planning to move, actually moving, and not knowing anyone in the neighborhood and living in the CITY for the first time and I wasn't noticing anything other than the fact I wasn't going to have to be sitting around my new home wondering why I didn't have any friends yet.

So we ate the really good FISH FRY, and my parents said "Do you like this place?" and we said yeah sure it was great (and I think I was actually eating fried clams and finding that they were delicious and my parents had just actually just bought some stupid trifling stuffed animal thing I'd found in the restaurant and asked for instead of saying no much to my suprise) and they said "should we stay here for the weekend?" and my sister and I probably got a look of disbelief over this great luck continuing and said "Yes!" and we did.

My parents actually played it off as completely spontaneous until I saw the suitcases come out of the car.

Cause the hardwood floors got refinished and we had to not be there since it was fumey and I suppose the floor had to "cure" for a few days or something..

And it was fun, because we swam, and every time I went into our hotel room to see what was up the only thing on TV was the Vatican. We were all waiting for the smoke to go out of the window and the next Pope to be elected and it was all that could be watched.

I thought maybe I was not remembering right so I checked things out, and you find precious little about good ole John Paul the first from google. He was apparently the smiling Pope and was maybe smiling since he might have known his reign would be a mere 33 days- "the length of our Lord's earthly life." (that's really funny to me. I want to right cozy little references like that into every press release wherever it might be appropriate)

At ten I found it a big waste of time to watch for the smoke (again!) only two months later.

So wow with my total recall.

Apparently I can't shut up...
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