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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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