2010.09.09 On the road to a wedding once again

Written by David Green.

On the road again, with the family

I’ve just returned from a mini-vacation weekend to Milwaukee for the wedding of a daughter of college-era friends. As always, this means I had no time to write a column, so off to the archives we go.

This one from 1990 is most appropriate because it’s about vacations and weddings and wondering of wedding trips can really be classified as vacations.

It’s also appropriate because it mentions visiting our friends in Milwaukee. The new bride wasn’t much more than a baby 20 years ago.

By DAVID GREEN

“We’re not on vacation anymore,” my daughter Rosanna told me just 12 miles out of Milwaukee, “we’re on our way home now.”

That set me to thinking about just when a vacation begins and ends. When are you really on vacation?

When the car is all packed and you roll out of the driveway, that seems pretty clear that vacation has begun. But when the baby is crying, Ben is loudly singing “chicken lips and lizard hips” for the 15th repetition and Rosanna continues to change radio stations with her toes, it no longer seems right to call it vacation. I think I’d rather be at work.

If it weren’t for weddings, we probably  would never leave home. In the last couple of years we’ve visited Cleveland, New York City, and St. Paul to attend weddings. This year it was back to St. Paul.

I suppose a legitimate question to ask is this: can attendance at a wedding even be considered a vacation? The answer is yes if you end up baby-sitting instead of listening to the ceremony. I haven’t actually attended a wedding in years.

There were a number of events that made the trip a vacation quality excursion:

• We were able to visit Milwaukee friends and watch our car-crazed kids go berserk with their kids.

• We traveled through Mondovi, Wis., “Home of Tim Krumrie,” wondering just who is Tim Krumrie.

• We saw a lot of great blue herons. It’s a little vacation for me any time I spot herons, and there were plenty in Minnesota.

• We saw a swimming pig.

• We visited the birthplaces of two of America’s most famous people from children’s literature—Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods near Pepin, Wis., and Caddie Woodlawn’s house a few miles up the road.

There were also partially buried cow bones that Ben discovered at my brother’s house near St. Paul, and plenty of ticks. Rosanna had only one tick on her, but brother Tom spotted a pair of mating ticks on Ben’s neck.

Probably the highlight of the vacation occurred in Minneapolis when we received a free car wash with the purchase of a minimum of $8 of gas. It was like being attacked by three giant sea anemones as the large, red blobs of spinning cloths passed by the car windows. That sort of thing impresses us country kids.

The lowlight of the vacation for me was getting sick. That was worse than eating at Happy Chef House of Grease near Mauston, Wis. Worse than driving through Chicago. Worse than Rosanna’s 24-minute crying fit during which we had to stop and give her water because her tears dried up.

So when does vacation end? I suppose it has to continue right through to when you roll back into the driveway. But I thought the kids would stop fighting once we got out of the car. And baby Maddy is walking around screaming like a young fiend in Milwaukee. And staring at this computer screen isn’t a lot different than gazing down the endless highway.

Maybe it never ends. Maybe we’re still on vacation.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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