Thursday, June 16, 2022

Thursday, June 16, 2022, MN, WI

It’s been a long, long time. I guess that nothing real exciting happened last week, although on Thursday evening, I ended up taking Charlotte to her swimming class, and that came about because I wanted to see how they are doing and she needed to get there by 5:15. She came home from school crying because another girl hit her in the face with a pencil case and she didn’t want to go to swimming because that girl would be there too.  Her parents talked her through it and she went and had a good time. Her swimming skills have improved a lot and I could really see the difference between her and Camille who is just starting out.  Norah is also becoming a strong swimmer but she wasn’t interested in being on the swim team.  Charlotte and I stopped at Wendy’s for chicken nuggets and then DQ for ice cream.

On Friday morning, I headed to Wisconsin for a weekend of visiting.  My first stop was at Pat and Roger’s house where we enjoyed their front porch and an Old Fashioned in the afternoon.  They chose the Wood Lake Supper Club in Westfield for fish fry and the lake perch that I had was delicious. And another Old Fashioned.

After dinner, we stopped at Pat’s niece’s family business - The Lakeview Campground and Bar that is down the road from their house.  Rhonda and Craig bought it as their retirement project and it has been long neglected, so they are working hard to get it all back up and running.  The bar is in great shape now and they are slowly bring the campsites up to code and cleaning it all out. The setting is nice, on Buffalo Lake.

On Saturday morning after a nice walk with Patty, I headed to Stoughton to Pat and Tracey’s house.  They are both under the weather - Pat injured his heel at work and was gimping around with a boot on his left leg. He sees an orthopedic specialist today to determine the damage and thinks that the Achilles’ tendon is probably ruptured or torn.  Tracey went in for an MRI to check the status of a tumor that she has had for a long time - the tumor hasn’t changed at all, but they determined that she had a stroke a couple of days before the MRI. She had no visible signs and fortunately, learned of some blockage and got medication to dissolve the plaque so she doesn’t have another. She was all freaked out by that.

On Sunday, I saw lots of cousins at Wanda’s 90.5 birthday party. She recently got a diagnosis of Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer, has elected no treatment, and didn’t want a birthday party but was up for seeing everyone at a picnic.  The turnout was great and she dropped her head and cried when we all sang Happy Birthday to her.  I learned that she sang and played guitar and stand-up base for the Goose Island Ramblers, a local Madison polka band, starting when she was only 16.  Mike and I followed that band back in the mid-80s and later on, they went on to record their tradition folk and polka music for the Smithsonian Institute.

Back to the party - it was so nice to see so many extended family members in one place. There were lots of kids playing, a few well behaved dogs, and great food and conversation.  This is Wanda’s family - she is so fortunate to still have all of her children living.

Back row: Tom, Debby, Diane, Dick, Donna, Dawn
Front row:  Cathy, Wanda, Theresa

I went to see Mike’s brother Tom and his wife Karen on Monday and had a really nice visit with them.  We sat on their covered porch and had sandwiches from Fraboni’s and watched the sky turn gray off in the west.  Violent storms passed through and did lots of wind and hail damage to parts of Madison, but missed Monona.  Some areas were out of power until the next day (temps rose up to 97° on Tuesday). 

I met Jonnie and Dawn at Sugar and Spice for breakfast Tuesday morning and we had a nice chat.  I had hoped to get another of Bill Amundson’s rosemalled yard signs on the walk back to Dawn’s but he wasn’t open for business.  I hung out with Pat and Tracey until it was time to go to Culver’s to meet up with classmates - they gather there the 2nd Tuesday of each month and I just happened to be able to make it this time.  It was nice to see the few who showed up - especially Patty, Susan, and Judy.  

And then I hit the road, heading back home.  The drive was uneventful and I was back in my apartment by 8:00 pm - about a 5-hour drive.  It really isn’t a bad drive - just a bit monotonous. It was a nice visit back home to lovely Stoughton and always good to spend time with people who I love and miss being around.