Monday, June 12. It feels good to be back in my old home town, and walking around the neighborhoods brings back memories. I stopped by Grandma and Grandpa Peckham and Uncle Vic's grave in Riverside Cemetery to pay my respects, as I walked by with Frisco this morning.
Pat and I spent some time doing yard cleanup before it got too hot - he mowed the lawn and I putzed around with the perennials. Temps are getting up to the 90s and the humidity is climbing steadily too.
We took a drive out to check out the new Veteran's Memorial on the northwest edge of town. It is beautiful, although not quite finished yet. I was able to find a few Memorial bricks for folks I know, Uncle Vic's name on the wall but couldn't find Mike's or my Dad's. There ar several of those monuments that haven't been completed yet.
Thursday, June 15. Tuesday was my day to connect with family and friends, starting with breakfast at Sugar and Spice with Jonnie. I was glad to see that she is doing well and able to do the snowbird plan that she came up with last year. When I got back to Pat’s, he was heading to Madison to do some shopping, so I went along just to be with him - didn't spend a dime.
Once a month, several of my classmates meet up at Culver’s and I just happened to be in town, so headed over there. Ten of us sat around gabbing for the next 2 hours. I was going to the VFW to meet up with another classmate, Doug, aka Ole for a beer, so Judy and Virginia went along. Good times.
I walked with my Stoughton walking buddy, Dawn, yesterday morning and got the updates on all of the cousins on that branch of the family tree. She is having a big family picnic on July 8 and I'm hoping it all works out so I can be there - that is the plan right now. When I got back from my walk, Pat was getting ready to go fishing so I joined Tracey and Donna for some book and thrift store shopping and again, I came home empty handed.
Pat made tuna melts for dinner and then we watched “The Revenant” with
Leonardo DiCaprio - a great movie about Hugh Glass, a fur trapper who was left for dead after being attacked by a bear. I had read a book about it years ago and saw the movie that was done back in the 70s, so I knew the story and the movie depicted it really well.
I was back on the road again this morning, heading home to Minneapolis, but I just had to stop for some Spotted Cow beer to take back with me before I got out of Wisconsin. As I got past Wisconsin Dells, I started looking for “that tree”, a landmark that I used to watch for back in the 70s when we were spending a lot of time at Mom and Dad’s cabin. The majestic White Pine still stands although it is starting to look a bit shabby and sparse. I stopped in Sparta to stretch and let Frisco run around a bit.
The news has been full of news about storms the last few days and I saw that Inver Grove, the town where I am storing my camper, was hit on Sunday with some very large hail, so I stopped to check out the camper. Sure enough, it has lots of dents, especially on the back when the roof is rounded. Dang it! I will check with my insurance to see if it will be covered. Dang it!
Saturday, June 17. Today was an R and R day for me, recovering from my 2-week vacation, and getting back into my routine at home. Frisco and I took a long walk this morning, I went to a few garage sales, pulled a few weeds in the yard and cleaned up the sticks that had fallen from recent storms, and sat on the patio chatting with Elizabeth over a glass of tea. It was a perfect summer day, mid 80s, mostly sunny, a light breeze and no mosquitos, although I am hearing they are out in force in the area.
I spent the day with Charlotte yesterday and we had a great time. When I asked her how she wanted to spend the day, this was on her list - go swimming, have lunch at Milio’s, stop at my apartment and do some drawing and go for a hike. We accomplished most of the items but did Legos at my house instead of drawing. We went to Bush Lake Beach in Bloomington and the water was clean and pleasant - a little cold when you first got in. We had lots of fun and mostly she wanted to jump off the platforms. There are bathrooms, showers, lifeguards, and a beautiful sandy beach.
Ben fixed grilled chicken and potatoes for dinner and they kids loved it - so did I.
Unfortunately, Jill got word that her Aunt Jan in Austin, TX passed away yesterday from complications of COPD. Her 6 siblings were all able to be with her during her final days. Jan had been on a list for a lung transplant for several years but her condition got worse and there were no organs for her. It is a sad, sad, story.
Sunday, June 18. Happy Father’s Day and a day for reflecting on the Dad's that I have known in my life - some good, some not so good. Unfortunately, my memories of my own Dad are in the not so category, but when I think about the person that I became, and the fact that I could be like him in ways, then there must have been some good too. His alcoholism caused so many problems for our family but I always liked him when he was sober. My father-in-law fit in the good category - a loving, caring provider who was dedicated to his family. And then there is Mike - who stood by me through thick and thin and was a very involved Dad to Pat and Ben, both of them turned out to be good guys and good fathers.
I loaded up the ladder and headed out to check on the camper today and found that the hail damage is much worse that I could see before. There are places where the paint actually chipped off and the roof is pummeled with dents. I feel just sick about it.
I also drove by the senior apartments where I have my name on waiting lists - to see if I would have a preference on where I’d like to live and I think Penelope is the one. They are equal distance from Ben’s house but one complex is 2 buildings with apartments only and has a huge parking lot. The other is in an area of large apartment complexes and has a small parking lot. I guess I will have to make appointments for another tour. I want to be prepared to make a quick decision when something opens up for me.
Ben called to see if I wanted to meet them at Red Cow for a burger this afternoon. They rode their bikes and after dinner, I met them at their house for dessert - blonde brownies and ice cream.