Monday, October 29, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Grandma was happy
Sunday, October 14, 2012
The one that always touches me the most is Joe Kube. He was one of my dad's friendsl. I might have this wrong but I think there were in the National Guard together at one point. But he was an active duty infantry and special forces officer. He served three tours in Vietnam and was killed a month into his third tour at the age 31. His wife was pregnant with their third child when he died --a son who was named Joe as well. When Joe was killed, his family lived on an Army base in Georgia but after his death, his wife returned home to Tomah with their children to raise them. I grew up knowing his kids--we were close neighbors and we played with them all the time. My brother is still friends with Joe Jr. and his family. And his wife still lives in the same house by my dad. When I went to visit The Wall in Washington, D.C., I made sure I found Joe's name and took an etching of it to send to his wife. She had never been there and appreciated the gesture. Dane came across a picture of him on the internet a few years ago posted by one of his buddies in Vietnam. It was one that the family wasn't aware of and were happy to learn of as well. Since Joe in particular never knew his dad, he is always anxious for pictures or information that will give him a taste of what his dad was like.
Veteran's Day is a month away yet--but it is always appropriate to think about our military and our veterans and the sacrifices that they make for our country so that we can have all the freedoms that we enjoy.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
That evening Bill and I were in downtown Tomah looking for someplace that he could connect to WiFi and get some work done. We lucked out that a coffee shop was staying open later that night for a grand opening of a photographer's art show. So they let us in and we bought some coffee and dessert and while Bill was working, I went to look at the pictures. I caught up with a friend from high school and then in walks Aunt LaVerne with her daughter-in-law, Joann. As it turns out, the photographer was Joann's niece so she came down from LaCrosse for the showing and brought Aunt LaVerne with her. It was quite the surprise. I certainly didn't expect to see her there. Dad and I visited with her the next morning for awhile in her apartment just before I headed up to Wausau to see my other aunts.
I almost didn't get to see Uncle Raymond. I waited until Sunday afternoon to see if he was available. He was sleeping because he had to work all night Sunday night. So Monday was going to be out too--to see either him or Aunty Karen. But they decided to come to Dane's to watch the Packer game with us. So didn't get to visit a whole lot--but we got to cheer the Packers on to their win together anyway.
Always good to connect with my family.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
I didn't plan my vacation around Cranfest but that happened to be the weekend that I chose to go to Wisconsin. It was with mixed excitement that I wanted to go. I have heard stories about how much it had grown from its humble beginnings 40 years ago. I was there when it first started. I marched in the parade every year while I was in junior high and high school. Sherrill and I participated in the talent competition one year. It was a wonderful small community celebration. So it was with great curiosity that I wanted to actually see it first hand but didn't want to experience the huge crowds that I had heard about.
Dane wanted to go to the pancake breakfast at the Catholic Church so Dad, Shirley, Darren, Dane, Bill and I got up bright and early to take the bus out to Warrens at 0700 to get there early. The women of the Catholic Church make cranberry syrup for the pancakes so that was nice to get to have a bit of a different taste to breakfast.
To give you some perspective--the population of Warrens is 360 people. It is a very small town. There were vendor canopies everywhere. There were over 1200 vendors that came to sell their crafts, antiques, food, etc. It was pretty overwhelming and there was no way you could possibly look at everything that was there. I enjoy looking at a few things but am not really into looking at a bunch of crafts and definitely didn't want to buy anything that I had to bring home with me on the plane--so I wasn't super interested in that portion of the festival although that seems to be what brings most of the visitors there. Over the course of the three days of the festival--over 140,000 people attended. We got to see a couple of celebrities. We saw Miss Wisconsin--the guys were really wanting to get their picture taken with her LOL. Darren spotted Gilbert Brown--a former Green Bay Packer--and said I should try to get my picture taken with him. He was out shopping himself and wasn't at his "booth" so he had to refuse. I did sneak a picture of him talking to some of the vendors though. The guys and I didn't want to stay that long so we were only there a couple of hours--just long enough to get a taste. So I didn't see the huge crowds. But I saw a picture on the internet and the number of people in the street could have rivaled New York City. I don't know how anyone could possibly move or see anything there with that many people. Dad and Shirley decided to stay for the parade. It would have been nice to see that as well but decided to go home with the guys.
So I can now say that I have been to the Cranfest and seen how Warrens transforms itself into a big city every year at harvest time.
Friday, October 5, 2012
Always fun to see my aunts and cousins. Had a great time!