Jodi Hills

So this is who I am – a writer that paints, a painter that writes…


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Looking for things to steal.

I guess I’m always looking for things to steal – two petite jars of French honey from First Class, and a glance of the Eiffel Tower through my passenger’s window on the right.

It’s a standing joke I have with friends. They have good taste. And as a compliment, I say if I were a different person, I would totally steal it. I have filled my imaginary bags of loot through the years, and we laugh. But the truth is, I am always trying to take something with me. The funniest line over dinner. Maybe a recipe. That feeling of pure comfort that only comes from true relationships. True hearts. Those moments that you can’t quite put your finger on, but want them never to end. MAGIC. That’s all I’m really trying to steal, a bit of the magic.

We just landed in Paris. My safe is full. Thank you, Mom. Minnesota. Alexandria. Friends. Family. History that begins and begins. Forever thieves of time. Of hearts. You have mine. I carry yours.


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Journey home.

Had I known I was going to be running at full speed, I would have worn tighter underpants.

Yesterday’s adventure began in Marseille. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Checked our bags. Got yelled at by the girl at the coffee shop — “anglaise,” she said with disdain – meaning English. Sure I had a few tears, and then threw the coffee away after three sips because it took her 20 minutes to make two lattes and we had to get through customs.

But the flight to Paris was uneventful. We waited on the tarmac for 40 minutes. Dominique’s back is extremely broken at the moment – so we had reserved assistance to cross the airport for our connecting flight. 40 minutes of our 90 minute layover had already been used up. They would be boarding soon. The walkie-talkies were humming and finally we got the wheelchair and the woman took hold of it, looked back at me – as I felt the rush of her orange vest, I heard, “Run Mother F####r!” And she was off. Yes, in full sprint! I, wearing a dress, because I still refuse to wear what some dare to call lounge wear on the plane, grabbed a hold of my underpants with one hand, balanced my sack with my other and ran! And ran.

I caught my breath on stairs as she navigated the lifts. One bus and two shuttles later, we were on the flight, just as the captain announced a thirty minute delay.

In air, we wrestled with the usual subjects — movies we would never watch on land. I read most of a new book. We stretched. Laughed, replaying our airport run over and over. After landing, we realized no one had taken the time to yell the same encouragement at the baggage handlers — our bags were still in Paris.

But Minneapolis! This! Empty handed, full hearted, we were here – we ARE here. We stopped at Walgreens to pick up a few supplies for the night. Toothbrushes, etc. I got a little make-up – yes, my mother taught me well. Water. Hair brush. I was only hoping for one more thing that I couldn’t find. I asked the clerk in the aisle – “Do you have underpants?” She looked at me strangely. “Do I?” she asked. Realizing her hesitation – “No… the store – do you carry underpants?” Her relief was palpable. “Yes, in the back corner.” Exhausted, we were given, once again, the gift of laughter.

Home has never been perfect. But it has always welcomed me. It has always taken me by the heart and made me giggle. So yes, I will make that run – again and again! I will take that journey home!