Friday, September 1, 2023

Sunday, September 3, 2023, WI

Camille spent the night with me last Tuesday and we went to the Minnesota River National Refuge in hopes of going through the nature center and gallery but once again, we got there on a day that it wasn’t open.  The butterfly people were there and we got to catch, tag, and release Monarch butterflies.  Camille caught six of them - four escaped and a male and a female were tagged.  We can now check the website to see if they made it all of the way to Mexico on their migration.

I got  back to Stoughton Thursday afternoon and my first stop was to have some lunch and a margarita with Doug at La Cantina and we had some good conversation and a few laughs. From there, I went to Dawn’s and got settled in. After chatting for a bit, we headed to Cheeser’s for the wine tasting. We tried some California wines - a white blend, a Pinot Grigio, a Cabernet and a other red blend - and chatted non stop.  And then we went to listen to music at the gazebo where we met up with Paul, Pam, and Jeff.  Back at Dawns after the music for dessert and then she and I ended up talking late into the night.  Yes, I was feeling a little bit foggy from the wine the next morning..

Nan, Monica and Logan picked me up this morning and we headed out to the cemetery where we split the hosta plants by Mom, Dad, and Rocco’s graves and we buried some of Rick’s ashes in the hole in front of their graves.  And then we went to Mandt Park and put the rest of his ashes in the Yahara River.  A cloud of ash was floating in the current and then turned and traveled in a circle back toward where we stood on the shore, before it dissipated and disappeared.  Monica said that was very typical of her Dad, as his goodbyes were always long goodbyes.  It was emotional but we all felt like it was the right thing to do - he is back in his old stomping grounds.

It was so nice to see Monica, Logan, and Nan again.  Once Logan was no longer shy around me and learned my name, he kept pointing to me and saying “Aunt Rose”.  That just made my heart happy.  He is so smart - knows how to count to 15, knows all of the colors and shapes, and he’s not quite two years old.  We had such a nice visit.

Yesterday was Charlotte’s 12th birthday and she and her Mom joined two other friends (who also have birthdays right around this time) and their Moms at a cabin to celebrate. We will get together for family celebration tomorrow.  

I hung out with Pat most of the day, starting with coffee in the morning, then a drive to Madison for a couple of errands, we drove around to see if we could spot Russ in the area where he usually hangs out (no luck there), and we picked up Smoky Jon’s BBQ for dinner.  What a treat - we had ribs, brisket and their spicy corn - all was very yummy.  

After coffee and a short visit this morning, I went back to Dawn’s to load up and she had breakfast ready for me and a bag of goodies from her garden.  What a gal!  I met Pat and Roger at the Iron Skillet outside of Portage for breakfast - not like I needed anything, so I had some fruit. I got back on the road and made it back home by 3:30.  Joey was excited and happy to see me and is now sleeping on the couch next to me.  I love that I can leave him behind and it is not traumatic.

I hate to say it but there were definite signs of fall on the drive.  There were spots of color in the trees, the sumac is red in many places, and the roadsides were filled with goldenrod.  I even saw a flock of White Pelicans flying south.  It certainly doesn’t help that we have been in drought conditions most of the summer.