The Taco Bell

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]’ve never met a person I didn’t like – until today. Her name was Edna, and she’s from Minnesota. I don’t know anything about Minnesotans, except that they use firewood and talk like they have perpetual head colds.

I saw Edna somewhere outside Gulf Breeze, Florida, in a Taco Bell parking lot with a flat tire. It’s not every day you see a white-haired woman trying to change her own tire. I pulled alongside and offered to help.

“No,” Edna said. “I don’t need help, don’t cha know.”

Don’t cha know?

I refused to take no for an answer. I graciously nudged her out of the way, explaining that my mother was Lutheran. That seemed to satisfy Edna, who is also Lutheran. She understood no self-respecting mother would forgive her son for overlooking a hapless Lutheran at the Taco Bell.

While I worked, Edna explained she was no ordinary Lutheran, she’d been a widow since the age of thirty. She never remarried, but raised three God-fearing Minnesotans who still live there today.

Edna said. “Last year, I decided Minnesota was too dagnabbin’ cold. I wanted to live in Florida, where I could get a decent sunburn.”

“Don’t cha know,” I added.

Edna relocated to Pensacola Beach. She owns a condo right on the water. She wakes up every morning to the Gulf, and goes to sleep with her bedroom windows open, listening to the surf. She likes living here. And in her own words, “Good riddance, Minnesota. If my kids need me, they can text me.”

And it was then I realized I didn’t like Edna.

I love her.


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