Grandma only turns 88 years old once in her life. And she’s had a shortage of real, just-for-her, birthday parties. So The Wife and I got tickets for a weekend trip to Milwaukee, which is why I’ve not been blogging and instead spending a lot of time in airplanes and with family. Living my life instead of blogging about it. Sadly, my neck is still sore.
You know, there’s still snow on the ground in Wisconsin? Dirty, sooty, ugly piles of compacted snow left over from plows and clearing parking lots, mainly, and almost no clean white drifts. And it’s cold there. Not insufferably cold, but I was glad to have brought my heavy coat and beanie. And the lake next to my aunt and uncle’s house is still frozen over — over a square mile’s worth of frozen lake. Those are ice drifts, not waves, in the photograph.
And I got reminded, taking this photograph, of what is meant by the joking phrase “frozen tundra” for Wisconsin’s environment. When tundra thaws out, it is a swamp. Wet, cold, and muddy. Later in the year, this lakeside location will become a very pleasant place to sit and eat an apple while watching the lake and enjoying the warm Wisconsin summer. Right now, though, it takes a willingness to get your socks soggy and a tolerance for wind blowing across that ice right in your face, all in the quest for a good shot.
Coming home was a wonderfully pleasant shock. The Wife and I ate lunch outside in shirt sleeves after our plane landed, with half the clientele at one of my old haunts wearing shorts. Tonight there was enough light and warmth in the air for us to walk the dogs after dinner. I’ll take California over Wisconsin, thank you very much.