Tonight we're bedded down in a hotel in Upper Michigan, my birth State. (It appears to have recovered.) We'll be seeing more cousins, aunts and hopefully an uncle here, but the last week will be hard to beat. What a time we had in the wilds of Wisconsin.
Since my last post, we hooked up with my brother Pat's son Tim and his family in Ohio, had a fine breakfast at the Cracker Barrel, and an even better visit, then got on the road about 8 a.m. - at least two hours later than we usually get going. That put us into Wisconsin after dark. We stopped for groceries before trying to find the cabin. Have you ever tried to find a cabin in Wisconsin in the dark? First off, it's on 40 acres of woods, in the middle of a whole bunch of other acres... of woods and farms and more woods. We did find it, but when we got there we couldn't find the key. No problem. We'll call cousin Joe. Oops. Cell phone doesn't work out here in the woods. So we sat there and looked at each other. Then John calmly reached over and tried the OnStar phone in the car. I wouldn't have thought of that, as tired as I was. It worked. Joe came over with his key, some great hugs and (very welcome indeed) food from his wife Wendy. As often happens, we had neglected to stop for lunch. Have you ever seen a horse with the bit between its teeth? John can get that way sometimes when he drives. He's got the wheel and he's got his bag of beef jerky, and nothing's going to stop him. (We have over a 400 mile driving radius with our Tahoe.)
Anyway, the next morning we were up at first light, showered and dressed and ready to go spring Aunt Cookie from the assisted living facility. Of course, they wouldn't let her go until after the 8:30 end of breakfast, so we dragged our feet a little, and then went to get her. We had so much fun this week it would be impossible to list it all. A few highlights would have to be included, though.
There was the squeaky shoe incident at the hospital. Cookie needed a blood test before we could take her to the cabin, so we drove her to the hospital in Portage, about 30 miles away, and after the blood test we were walking out, and laughing about something. As we passed this tough looking 40 something guy in a Harley Davidson tee shirt, this squeaking sound escaped her. She looked at the guy and said, "My shoe squeaks." We both started laughing so hard that we stopped walking. The squeak didn't stop when we did, however, and pretty soon there was a distinctive fragrance emanating right in front of this poor guy. Then Cookie says between laughs, "I need a bathroom NOW!" I dragged her out of there and we found one. I told her that next time we went anywhere I was going to follow her with the fireplace bellows, humming the graduation march. It seems that we spent the entire time I was there laughing about something or nothing. And we did actually do the bellows thing later in front of two of her boys. It worked really well, getting a great laugh. She was really proud of herself.
Cousin Suze came and took us on a field trip one afternoon to a broom squire and basket maker (husband and wife) and it was really a nice afternoon. She wore Aunt Cookie and me out, but it was well worth it. She was telling us about a conversation she had with one of her hillbilly neighbors, and I was practically rolling on the floor. She's quite a mimic. I had already cut everything up to make pasties that night, so we enjoyed a late dinner and then practically fell in bed afterwards.
We saw cousin Andy and his wife Sally on Saturday, along with their two boys Eli and Riley. Sally brought a wonderful lunch, and even did the dishes afterwards. Then cousin Jim showed up. That was great. I was hoping to see as many of the cousins as possible. Labor Day weekend they'll all be at the cabin, but that wasn't going to work for us, so we've really been pleased we've gotten to see as many as we have. We actually left the cabin before they did, as Joe and Wendy had invited us to join them for dinner. Their son PJ was there, and when we arrived, they sat down for drinks while Joe took me out for the grand outhouse tour. It was raining, and the woods were lush and wonderful. I've always loved the rain. We even went a few miles back to where the deer stand is on his property, and I got some wonderful photos. Once we get home I'll be adding some photos, and also putting up a link to my photo site. Won't that be special?
After church this morning we had to return Aunt Cookie to the Care Facility and head up North, but we'll return for a few more days with her later this week. She gave me the most wonderful compliment, saying that I had taught her to really laugh again. I don't know if that's true, as she was already laughing before we even left the breakfast table at Mill Pond, the Care Facility, but it did make me feel good to hear that, anyway. And I know that we had as good a visit as we've ever had together. But then, we've always had great fun together, my Aunt Cookie and me. I do love that lady.