Friday, November 29, 2013

On This Date in 1998

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. Ours was a brief but pleasant getaway. We spent Thursday and Friday in Two Rivers. We didn’t leave Middleton until nearly 8:30 Wednesday evening as Andy had a basketball practice scheduled from 6:00 to 7:30. As a result of our later departure, we missed the peak traffic period. We encountered no delays, but then all roads don’t lead to Two Rivers at Thanksgiving.

Taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather, JoAnna and I took a walk along Lake Michigan Thursday morning, hardly needing the light jackets we wore. The lake was very calm, a slight breeze blowing out of the west having no effect on the water. Alice had most of the meal preparations in hand, so JoAnna didn’t feel guilty getting out of the house for a little while. We watched football during the afternoon, catching the coin toss controversy in the Steelers game. I suppose Dale had a few comments to make about this incident. I have to admit that it was the worst officiated game I have ever seen, both teams the victims of numerous bad calls. The coin toss, though, was definitely the low point of a game that the official seemed not to want to be at.

We ate Thanksgiving dinner at 4:30 and enjoyed the usual feast of turkey with all the trimmings. There were 12 around the table, including Cindy, her friend Mayra, and Mayra’s four brothers. After the clean up, some of the adults played cards for awhile.

The warm weather continued on Friday. JoAnna and I took another walk during the morning, stopping at Schroeder’s, a department store, for some café mocha at their coffee bar. During the early afternoon, Andy and I played catch with the football in the street in front of the Richard’s house (they live on a quiet street). Later on, at JoAnna’s suggestion, we walked to a nearby park to kick field goals over one of the goal posts. Unfortunately, all the entry gates were locked, so we couldn’t get in. I didn’t think it advisable for us to climb over the fence.

After supper (ham and scalloped potatoes – we had leftovers for lunch), we met Cindy in Manitowoc and went to see A Bug’s Life, the new computer-animated Disney film. It’s quite a visual feast, almost too much for the eyes to take in at one time and, for that reason, certainly worth a second viewing. The showing we attended was mostly parents with small (i.e., preschool) children, many of whom did not hesitate to ask their parents questions about what was happening in the movie. A couple parts of the movie seemed that they might be too intense for young kids. The initial appearance of the grasshoppers and of a monstrous looking red-and-yellow bird, was probably a jolting experience for the tykes in the audience, perhaps not so much for the shock value but rather the pounding volume of the soundtrack. It was a loud movie at times.

We left Two Rivers at 11 o’clock Saturday morning with the sun beating down on us as if were a warm Easter weekend. In fact, we saw golfers on the municipal course in Manitowoc. I was sweltering in the driver’s seat of the van, but every time I turned on the fan to let some fresh air in through the vents, JoAnna complained about being cold, so I could only leave the fan on for 30-second intervals. A few miles from home, though, JoAnna complained about being hot and opened her window.

Even though I reminded the boys that there would be no TV until the van was unpacked, I still didn’t get much help. Once I got everything put away and a load of clothes in the washer, I read for awhile. I started reading Tom Wolfe’ s new book, A Man in Full, last weekend and am really enjoying it. It’s a long book, almost 800 pages, but I’m already more than halfway through it.

JoAnna and I took a late afternoon walk, without jackets, and then went to 5 o’clock mass with the boys. Andy is now serving at mass every other month. JoAnna signed him up for this responsibility in September. Yesterday was his second time. After church we went out to eat and then spent a quiet evening at home.

Although the warm weather is still with us today, general conditions are not too pleasant. It’s overcast and I can see a barely perceptible mist falling. After eating some lunch, JoAnna and I are going Christmas shopping, the only important item on our list of things to do today.

We missed Larry, JoAnna’s brother, by seven hours. He’ll be in Two Rivers for the next two weeks. JoAnna plans to spend a few days there next week (Monday-Wednesday), as she can basically take the rest of the year off considering all the time she has put into her job already this year. She didn’t get the job offer from Tammy Baldwin and, earlier this month, gave her resignation at her current job effective at the end of the year. So now JoAnna has to do some serious job-hunting.

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