Journey to the Land of the Cheeseheads

You may recall that a few weekends ago I went to Wisconsin to visit my 97 and-a-half year old grandfather. He still lives in his own home in Wisconsin Rapids, although I do not think that will be the case much longer.

Isn't it interesting that when we are very young, we insist that we add that "and-a-half" in to our age...or "and three-quarters" or what have you. When we get to be about my age, we just don't care. Then, when we get very old...everyone else wants to add "and-a-half" to our if being just 97 isn't impressive enough on its own.

Regardless, when we got to his house, he had the heat turned up to 83, and I thought I was going to die. Anyone who knows me well knows I do not like to be hot and temperature related uncomfortableness always puts me in a very foul mood. Fortunately, we opened some windows and after Grandpa went to bed my step-mom turned the thermostat down to 60. :-)

In addition to the heat, I was also alarmed to see a photo of George Bush smiling across the counter top, thanking Grandpa for his support of the Republican Party.

Grandma and Grandpa were married for 73 years. She passed away about a year and a half ago. Sunday, July 15th would have been their 75th wedding anniversary. Wow, huh? I'm not sure what to attribute the longevity of their lives or their marriage to...but I did learn this story while I was there. Back in the day, Grandpa went hunting for two weeks. When he returned, Grandma had bought all new furniture and carpeting for the house. Apparently two weeks was too long.

Grandpa made us eggs Saturday morning, and then we all headed off to LaCrosse. Turns out, there was a gaggle of relatives there. My Aunt Linda came up from Chicago. She's my favorite. When my dad and step-mom got married (this was like 18 years ago), after the rehearsal Aunt Linda drove Gretchen and I all over Anoka while we showed her the sights...namely, homes of boys we had crushes on and the alleged bath-house in Blaine.
Aunt Linda is actually my dad's cousin. In addition to many other wonderful stories about my grandparents, they also raised three of my dad's cousins.

So, Linda was there, as well as my cousin Pam and her family. They live in Sartell, MN. It's a little unfortunate that we have to travel to Wisconsin to see one another. My cousin Kris and her family live in La Crosse as well as my Aunt Gladys, so it was quite the gathering of folks.

In addition to eating a lot of food and comsuming some of the worst beer I have ever had, we played lots of games. The weather was lovely, so many yard games were played, including Lawn Darts...the real kind...the kind that are now outlawed because they can impale you.
We also played Bocce.

That wasn't really my interest though...I wanted to play Hand and Foot. My grandpa made that card holder you see below. If you play a lot of Hand and Foot and need something to hold the gajillion cards you need to play, let me know. I may be able to hook you up.

And of course, Mexican Train Dominoes.

All while drinking some 50 year old Scotch.

Yup. That's how we roll in my family.


Anonymous said…
I LOVE it!!!! I'm gonna email Linda and tell her to read this. S.M.
What, like you're gonna go to Wisconsin and NOT DRINK??? Seriously, now:)

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