big beach lake nokomis

An Afternoon at Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis

Lake Nokomis

Pug strapped in backpack of bicyclist at Sandcastle concession stand at Lake Nokomis Big Beach.

Lake Nokomis in south Minneapolis is the neighborhood where I grew up. Although, I’m not a person who spends time looking back on her life and analyzing it, like some people do. I’m too busy with my present and setting in place plans for the future. However, it’s kinda hard not to reflect on the past when it’s in your face at the moment, as it is with me in Minneapolis to attend the funeral for my Aunt Dolores.

My sister’s friend since childhood, Paula, invited us to lunch on Saturday. The dilemma was I had already invited my niece and her boyfriend. Combining the two events seemed to be the answer. Paula had picked the Sandcastle at Big Beach, Lake Nokomis. Margie, my sister, described it as a concession stand that had been remodeled into a restaurant, which served. beer and wine. This description caused me to believe it was a restaurant with a water view.

lake nokomis

Sandcastle at Big Beach, Lake Nokoms, Toby, Laura’s boyfriend, niece Laura, and sister, Margie.

There were several problems with this. The first is the road around Lake Nokomis was closed for a special event. Police were herding people pushing strollers and dragging dogs, and there were a lot of people participating in this event. We parked about a mile away and walked to Big Beach. The second problem was the Sandcastle is a concession stand. It’s not really a restaurant. It’s a hot dog place that also serves shrimp tacos.

As I sat there trying to unsuccessfully pound the Sriracha sauce from an unopened bottle before I figured out I should unscrew the cap to peel off the seal, I glanced out at all of the old people on the beach. In my day, old people did not go to the beach. Our parents did not go to the beach, and our friend’s parents did not go to the beach. Just kids spread towels in the sand and swam in the lake. Listening to my AM transistor radio, Light My Fire, and not the Doors’ version, the song by José Feliciano.

Lake Nokomis

Wedding couple at Lake Nokomis with photographer.

Lake Nokomis is a large lake in Minneapolis, comprising 204 acres of polluted waters. Home to a lot of ducks, and two beaches known by a variety of names but we always called them Little Beach and Big Beach. Apparently people take after wedding photos at Lake Nokomis as evidenced by the couple I shot above. The lake is named after Nokomis, daughter of Hiawatha. The main drawback is the sound and belly view of planes from the Minneapolis / St. Paul International Airport flying overhead.

We used to fish in the lake and eat the sunnies and crappies we caught, but I think the mercury levels are probably too high now. A compensating factor is the walking trails. There are about 2 1/2 miles of trails around Lake Nokomis, wth a separate path for bicyclists. But it was too hot yesterday to do much walking; it was 90, hot and humid. We were also  at the lake too late to meet up again with my Aunts and Uncles.

Lake Nokomis

Margie Burgard with my niece’s dog, Laura and Toby at home in Richfield.

After spending the afternoon at Lake Nokomis with family and friends, we stopped at my sister’s house so I could whip up a few CMAs for a bunch of new clients. Even in the whirl of this activity, Sacramento real estate does not stop. One seller asked me to call him back at a certain time. Because I so rarely come to Minneapolis but instead think in terms of when I call my sister, I mixed up the time to call him. I was thinking Minneapolis is two hours ahead of Sacramento, therefore, I deducted hours instead of adding them, and called the seller too early.

He answered the phone, and as soon as I heard his voice, I realized I had goofed. I apologized. Before I could explain, he asked where I was. When I replied Central Standard he said, “I’m not interested.” And abruptly hung up. I was left staring at my cellphone. What? Well, perhaps he is not a person I should be thinking about representing. Funny how things often tend to work out for the best.

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