“Seein’ things that I may never see again

And I can’t wait to get back on the road again…The life I love is making music with my friends.”4891_108186458176_524543176_2109204_6684252_n

We’re at it again. Here’s Dan playing in Cherbourg, France. Abby is figuring out how to rent a car in rural Mexico. And yesterday, Rich and I flew to Chicago, grabbed a car and drove north to Oshkosh (b’gosh) to take Bud out for an A&W chili dog and root beer. That was after he took one look at his rehab dinner-“hamburger hash over rice”-and announced, “Ah! Another culinary triumph, I see!” with barely a post-stroke lisp. Actually, the food there is mostly pretty good but escaping for some fast food is a treat for him. He’s making great progress and simultaneously starting to ogle women, ala Artie Johnson. It’s funny but it’s not, you know? 

Once we got past Milwaukee and made the turn off for Fond Du Lac we passed my new favorite stretch of American highway: the windmills. This is beautiful country side, rolling green farms to the left and the right- a reminder that the entire world is not a sweltering, shimmering landscape of La Cucaracha Grande. Here, for several miles there are giant (I mean, BIG ass) windmills for as far as the eye can see. They are a little eerie, in that War of the Worlds way, but very impressive.Church_TurbineF600Oshkosh itself is a lovely town and we drove Bud around a bit, admiring Lake Winnebago. At 11 miles wide and 28 miles long, it is one of the largest manmade lakes. Apparently, in the beginning, the loggers decided it would be just plain easier to flood the whole valley to move wood and they did.

We’re staying at a Hilton Garden Inn right smack next to the EAA Airventure field, billed as the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration. During that week in July the small regional airport becomes the busiest in the world, with planes landing and taking off every 22 seconds for five days. This modest hotel is booked eight years in advance for that extravaganza but at the moment they are hosting Country USA, Oshkosh’s other big claim to fame, aside from overalls. Willie Nelson is blaring in the elevators and there are cowboy hats bobbing about in the bar, but that’s about all we’re going to see of that. This year, Oshkosh has one other limelight event that, coincidentally, they are sharing with our old neighborhood in Chicago. Public Enemies, opening soon and starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, was filmed one block over from us at the original Biograph Theater and then, here in Oshkosh. Oshkosh is getting ready for a big premier tomorrow, a few days ahead of the rest of the country. I’ll see it this week and maybe write a review and also a little about my family’s most infamous relative, Harry Pierpont. He was my grandmother’s cousin. Figures.

I’ll have time to post again once we get back in Chicago, with four days (hopefully relaxing for me, while Rich works, works, works) at a nice hotel. I plan to read, write, knit, walk and ride the Ferris Wheel- something I never got around to when we lived there.

Finally- that very cool sax player up front? Driving past the Oshkosh world headquarters last evening, I remembered this photo from when he modeled for Oshkosh children’s wear as a tot. Ever wistful, always special. That’s my boy.



19 responses to ““Seein’ things that I may never see again

  1. Oh, that last photo of Dan is precious!! so cute.

    No photos of Bud? If you have to eat fast food A&W hotdogs and root beer are the best!! I have loved them since I was 10.

    I am surprised you even know where you are, considering how much travel you’ve been doing.

    If you see Willie, tell him hello for me, but I don’t usually listen to country music. The movie sounds like fun. Now I’m off to go*gle Pierpont.

  2. Oh so close, and yet, so far. I’m walking 15 hours tonight, Vic. Come join me for a few laps? 😉 Hugs.

  3. That’s an frighteningly amazing image of the wind turbine and the church. Loved the comparison of your little guy then and now. Fantastic. Glad to hear Bud is up for escapes for fast food.

  4. Wow–that final image of a sweet little boy face absolutely blows me away.
    I have not been reading your blog long enough to know aspects of your life–but this post aches of all sorts of life changing elements. Glad to read that Bud is doing better–even with the ogling part. And, oh yes, ala Artie Johnson I know exactly what you mean.
    When I see windmills such as you pictured, I always think–birds. Do “they” place the windmills where they are least likely to entangle birds (and bats for that matter)?
    Continued travelling mercies to you.

  5. What an adorable tot! I’ve been to Wisconsin twice and it is a beautiful place. I wouldn’t want to live there because of the winters though. Too cold for this wimpy Pac NW girl.

  6. Me, I’ve never been to Wisconsin. In fact, there are entire swaths of this great nation into which I have never set my dainty feet. Maybe someday when I have a)money and b)time I can remedy that. But to be perfectly honest, Wisconsin will probably NOT be my first stop.

    Glad you got to see Bud. Dan was cute back then and he’s still cute. As for Abby, I shudder at the thought of her in rural Mexico. Then again, she has proven she can take care of herself under all sorts of circumstances so what do I know? (Less and less is the answer to that last question.)

  7. Love the photo of your darling child. Beautiful then, beautiful now.

    Have you ever been on the Altamont Pass in California? It’s a landscape that doesn’t seem earthly. http://www.highton.com/jpegs/altamontpass.jpg

  8. I am not sure how I feel about the windmill towering over that beautiful church. I can see the good in it, but do not find it pleasing to the eye. Glad Bud is better even with his quirks. Now, I am headed to St. Pete to tacke Abby, lock her in the closet until you get back. No, no, no to Mexico, rural countryside and rental cars. I said, NO!

  9. PS Blessed boy that Dan.

  10. Have fun… oh the memories I have of OshKosh outfits as well… I wish they would grow up but stay little all at the same time. Sigh! Please tell Bud that the baby bluebirds.. four of them… fledged together and are now off to parts unknown. The house awaits its next boarders.

  11. How wonderful that you took Bud out for a chili dog and root beer. That’s so good for him to get out while he’s recovering. Those outings go a long way on the road to health.

    Beautiful photos of Dan. Love the juxtaposition. Really great.

    Interesting image of the windmill and church steeple. So other-worldly.

  12. michelle de seattle

    Apparently windmills are a big business nowadays.


    I do have many misgivings on their effects on birds and bats.

    Hope you are well,


  13. Holy crap, that’s a big windmill! I mean, I’d read that they were big, but I had no idea they were *that* big.

  14. The windmill photo looks like a still from War of the Worlds. Yikes – enough to give you nightmares!

    Glad Bud is doing better, the kids are well, and you are staying somewhat sane.

  15. What a wonderful toddler photograph. I just love his expression. I drove that area of Wisconsin frequently when I worked there and had to drive between and among our branch offices.

    So glad that Bud is doing well and that you gave him a break with some fast food.

  16. What Rurality said!

  17. The last photo is great. I hope you do find time to relax in those 4 days. Glad to read Bud is doing good.

  18. That is the biggest windmill I ever saw.

  19. Oh, if I had a windmillllllllll,

    *awkward silence*

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