Monday, October 16, 2023

Monday, October 16, 2023, WI, MN

Whew! What a whirlwind trip this has been.  I’m glad I added a few days onto the trip this time but I still feel it wasn’t enough.  It has been a visit for connecting with family and friends and I love it.  I helped Dawn with making another batch of salsa to use up all of the rest of the tomatoes that she bought. I think she ended up with another 20 half-pints.  This batch was a spicy one and it ended up having just enough of a bite to make it enjoyable.  I am heading home with about a dozen jars of her canned goodies and some herbs and veggies too.

I hung out with Pat and Tracey on Friday night and then went over there for coffee on Saturday morning.  Pat had a list of items to get at Costco, so we took a trip to the store in Fitchburg.  I left there later in the afternoon so I could get ready for another dinner engagement.  This time, with cousins since Jeff was in town from Colorado, so it was he and his gal friend Terry, Jim G, Jonnie, Dawn, Mary & Steve, and Erin & Joe and me at the Green Lantern.  Dinner and drinks were delicious, as was the great laughter and conversation.

I had coffee with Pat and Tracey again Sunday morning and hung out until I had to get ready to meet up with my brother-in-law Dan’s family. Becky & Ron (now empty nesters, as both daughters are out of college now), Rachel & Rob & their daughter Reanna (a senior), Chad & Becky & their son Cody (also a senior), Sharon & me.  It has been at least 5 years since I have seen many of them and their families have gone from kids to young, almost adults.  We had a very nice time. 

Rachael, Rob, Me, Sharon, Ron, Becky, Chad, Becky

Reanna, Me, and Cody

When I got back to Dawn’s house, her sister Theresa was there, so there was more visiting going on.  When she left, I went to Pat’s house and had a delicious pork and sauerkraut dinner with them.  I said my goodbyes and left shortly after dinner, so Pat could settle in and get to bed early for work Monday morning.

Dawn and I got up, I took a walk, then we loaded up the car and headed to the Twin Cities.  She drove the first half of the trip, then a stop at a rest area where we walked the path the a scenic overlook and had a little lunch, then I drove the last half and dropped her off at Randy’s house in St Paul. I watched for ‘my tree’, a majestic white pine that has been a special landmark for me since 1968 when I admired it on my first trip to Mike’s parents cabin near Necedah.  It is getting weaker every time I see it and I don’t look forward to the day when it just topples over and is no longer there for me.  

My Favorite Tree Ever

The fall colors were gorgeous once we got north of Black River Falls.

When I got back home, I learned that Judy had sold 11 of the 20 Christmas cards that I made at the New Hope Church Holiday Bazaar.  It sounds like she did well with the ornaments that she makes too.  While I was getting the cards ready for the sale, matching them with envelopes, etc., I decided that I should have some type of signature on them. When I couldn’t find a rose in my stamp collection, I carved one on a wine cork and used that.  It’s cute.