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.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
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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