A brief update from the tip of Michigan’s heavenly Upper Peninsula, where the black flies are drinking blood in preparation for an earthly takeover of biblical proportions. They move in clouds, like a horror movie phenomena. Miz M would probably call it The Suckening.
Dan arrived in Chicago at one in the morning because Amtrak has a way with prioritizing trains coming into Union Station. The passenger trains are lowest. And then we dragged out at 5 AM to try beat rush hour traffic. That worked for the first eight minutes north out of Chicago where, apparently, Milwaukee rush hour traffic begins. Who knew? The only work I go to is the short 4 block walk to the zoo. And so, I drove through rush hour for 4 hours until we turned off towards Green Bay, Dan woke up from his “nap”, we found cheap (er) gas, greasy donuts and life was great.
The drive from Green Bay was beautiful- every tree still blushed with Spring, lots of dear and eagles- and the conversation was delightful. About an hour north of Green Bay my cell phone rang and it was Bud, calling to ask me if I had spoken to his doctor yet and I said yes, let’s meet at Gemenani’s for an early dinner and discuss it. Oh, my he was SO happy. I hadn’t told him we were coming because, well, let’s face it: At 80, living alone in the north woods, it would have been a huge disappointment to him if I had said we were coming and then that somehow fell through. Besides, he gets so excited over company that he runs around cleaning and grocery shopping and getting generally exhausted and I didn’t want him to do that, especially since he’s nursing an infection and on antibiotics prior to oral surgery. So, until we were halfway through the nine hour drive (not complaining! Less than the 13 hour drive from Ann Arbor!) and north of rush hour in Milwaukee, it was good that he didn’t know.
We met at this favorite little Italian restaurant in Hancock and Bud looks great. He couldn’t stop laughing and jabbering and smiling long enough to eat. So we lingered quite a while and it was wonderful to watch him and Dan together. Every time the waitress came by, Bud would announce, “This is my beautiful daughter and my grandson! They drove all the way up to see me! But I already told you that, eh?” It’s embarrassing, eh?
I sent them off to Lost Loon Lodge together with the groceries we brought up and I’ve ducked into the historic Laurium Manor Inn where I have a room for 99.00/night, with a toilet that flushes and, as far as I can tell, no mice dodging over me in the night. And wireless internet. Truth be told, it also has massive Victorian fireplace, both a king bed and a double bed, a private 10 x10 bathroom and a giant private covered balcony. Your vacation dollar goes a long way up here.
I’m headed up to the lake shortly and then, apparently, we are turning around and coming back to town for the day’s big adventure: going to Walmart. I know you will find this hard to believe but I have only been in a Walmart once in my life- today will be the second time. Bud says, “I hate to patronize those bastards, but it’s the only place that has the TV I want.” Actually, it’s the only place, period. There are no other stores up here, save for the 213 tiny shops that sell pasties (not to be confused with pasties! We’ve had that discussion, remember?) and thimbleberry jam.
Bud has had a lot of time to research this television purchase and he knows the exact model number of the 42″ behemoth he plans to get. He’s read the reviews, seen his best friend, Ray’s and he has his social security check in his pocket- literally. He’s so determined, he gave away his existing television to my nephew a couple weeks ago- just unplugged it and stuck it in the car with my sister as they drove back to Wisconsin. I’m not big on big televisions but in this case I’m happy to facilitate, with Dan doing the lifting. Bud loves sports and he needs the connections of TV and internet just to be in touch. And I’d like him to sit relatively still after his surgery rather than climb around patching the roof from winter and dropping the dock in by himself. This surgery also means he’ll have to briefly curtail his work on his crpyt he’s building back by the outhouse. Shhhh, he’s trying to hide this activity from the health department and township officials. But that is the lead up to one of the next (official) chapters. Oh, and I now have a title for my book: Resting Places.
I’m flitting about briefly this morning, like Robin Andrea’s damselfly, over scones and tea here at the Inn but I probably won’t comment until tonight or tomorrow. Did I say thank you yet for all the nice comment you’ve been leaving? Thank you.