The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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March 29, 2014

Murray column: What I learned when she was gone

The day is quickly coming when my daughter will leave. And this past week gave me a taste of what that might look like.

Not the actual day, of course. On that day I will be despondent, and perhaps resemble one of the zombies on “The Walking Dead.”

I’m more talking about life at home without her and how things might go.

She was in Germany and Austria for a week with the Mankato West band/orchestra/choir. Which gave me a chance to ponder a few things. Here’s what I came up with.

n Meat is actually kind of good!

We’ve done a lot to make her vegetarian existence a good one. From her mother coming up with new and interesting recipes to me memorizing her veggie sub order at Subway (which I’m still working on ... extra cheese, right?) we’ve all made adjustments. And reduced our meat consumption quite a bit.

But that doesn’t mean we didn’t appreciate the meat bonanza that took place this week. Chicken tacos, giant meatballs in the spaghetti, good old-fashioned cheeseburgers — yeah, it was raining meat in our house. And meat is good.

(Speaking of meat, if you’re looking for me or my son this weekend, you’ll find us outside grilling meat, because that’s what guys do when, after a winter to end all winters, it finally hits 60 degrees. Ribs anyone?)

n Craigslist car shopping is a harrowing experience.

By the time this column hits the streets (real or virtual) the deed will be done. We broke down and got her a vehicle.

But it wasn’t after a week’s worth of scrumming with what seems to be an endless stream of people hitting refresh on their web browsers until they find a car in the lower price ranges.

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