I'm in LA for a few days at the Cat Writers' Association annual conference. I had to mail a package back to Minnesota and it so happened that a very large LA post office was just a block away from my hotel. I've lived too long in a small town — the first thing I noticed when I walked into this post office were at least six or eight postal clerks behind a long long counter, all waiting on customers. I haven't seen a post office this big in some time.

I went up to be helped and a cute conversation ensued with the older gentleman behind the counter. At first he was all LA hurriedness. But then he asked for my driver's license to verify the payment.

Him: (slowing down) "Ahhh…Minnesota!" (I don't think they see MN licenses much.)

Me: "Yep."

Him: "Ahhh." (giggling) "Land of 10 million lakes! Think I'll retire there and do some fishing!"

Me: (smiling) "Yeah…it's pretty nice there." (at that moment, longing for the lakes and the quiet as the planes roar overhead – we're quite close to LAX.) "Ten thousand lakes." (laughing)

Him: "Nice! But very cold, yeah? Very cold."

Me: "Yeah." (smiling) "I like the sun here."

Him: (less hurried now, more normal) "Have a good day!"

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Traveling…the stuff of writing.