It seems ages since I last posted. I guess I'll attempt to sum up the weekend and not blather on and on, though this may prove impossible for me.
Friday night we went out with friends for dinner and a movie. You remember our week of preparation, watching the Indiana Jones trilogy. We ended up with a decent crew. The summer interns are starting to arrive at Lands' End so we had two cute couples that joined us, plus our friends the Deitrichs and the Sextons and Barb Tidball, who joined us just for dinner. Her husband was in London and they had agreed to go see the Indy movie together when he returned. We went to dinner at Fiesta Cancun in Platteville. The quickest way for them to seat a party as large as ours was to put us on the patio. The patio was in the shade and pretty chilly at 7 pm, but we braved it. Even though it was chilly, the fact that it was doable was fantastic. It was a long, cold winter.
Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was fun. Typical of the franchise, there was a lot of impossible action, the enemies (commies) were terrible marksmen, the plot was thin, and Indy was sarcastic. Harrison Ford is no young buck anymore, but I think they handled that well.
Saturday morning Lincoln and Julia went fishing. They were gone about 6 hours and returned with an 18 1/2 inch bass. They caught it on Julia's pole, so she claimed it as her catch, but I don't think her participation involved anything more than her name on the pole. When we tried to take a picture of her with the fish she wouldn't come any closer to it than 2 feet, looking at it nervously out of the corner of her eye the whole time.
The rest of the day was spent tilling a garden spot in our yard. We spent a lot of time tilling and then removing sod clumps and rocks.
Sunday we went to Milwaukee. We had originally planned to be gone camping all weekend and already had people to teach our classes at church so we took off for the day. Lincoln had purchased tickets for the Milwaukee Zoo at work (Lands' End discount- gotta love it) so we drove there and checked it out. It had been highly recommended as a fabulous zoo, so we were excited to take the kids there. Or Lincoln was. I'm not a huge fan of zoos. They are kind of all the same. At the end of the trip Lincoln was feeling the same way. It was a pleasant afternoon and the kids had fun. I was pleased by the fact that we could carry in our own food so we were able to pack a picnic to eat inside. So many zoos make you buy food inside- for a small fortune- or you have to haul everybody back out to the car at lunchtime to eat in the parking lot.
After the zoo we went to Lake Michigan. We wanted the kids to see that going to the Lake would be just like going to the ocean in SC, only without the sharks. It was about 20 degrees cooler at the Lake with the wind blowing inland. It was truly beautiful, though, and the kids were pleased with the size of the waves. We are anxious to find a nice beach now so we can go when summer is in full swing. And see? The beach is only 2 hours away here. In NC we had to drive 3 1/2-4 hrs to get to it.
Monday we planted the garden. I'm very excited to have a garden this year. Last year I didn't have one and the year before I didn't get much from my garden. So many memories are triggered by scent. There soil here is rich and brown, much like the soil where I grew up. Working the earth smells and feels familiar to me, whereas the red clay in NC was very foreign. My parents always have had a garden. A huge garden. A garden that has produced canned and frozen veggies to feed a family of eight for 40 years. That's right, the garden is still huge and abundant. When I was a kid summer was defined by 3 things: swimming in the river, doing the haying, and working in the garden. I'm sure that us kids were not a huge help, but I remember working in the garden. I remember planting in the early summer. Dad would till the soil to get it ready. The dirt would be cool on your bare feet when it was freshly tilled, but the sun would warm it quickly. I loved the feeling of the dirt on my feet and the tangy-sweet scent of freshly turned soil. Mom would hoe a row for us to plant and after some quick planting instructions, us kids would follow, dropping seeds on the earth. A couple more kids would follow, covering the seeds and tamping down the dirt. Planting was just the beginning, though. We weeded, picked and cut beans, cut corn off the cob, and made dozens of trips back and forth to the garden all summer to grab vegetables for lunch and supper. I loved eating tomatoes fresh from the vine. I would grab one to eat like an apple, its flesh warm from the sun. The garden was like a huge pantry full of snacks. Peas and carrots are other fresh-from-the-garden favorites. And of course, the end of the summer was always marked by a big harvest, culminating in Mom making a huge batch of boiled dinner, consisting of lots of earthy root vegetables. I'm afraid my little garden won't be all that, but it's a good start. I planted tomatoes, peppers, carrots, onions, lettuce, beans, and cucumbers. And Kennedy's cabbage she brought home from school. I'm hoping to be able to can beans and tomatoes and try my hand at pickling. Sadly peas did not happen this year. Next year for sure.
Monday evening we went to the park for a Memorial Day picnic with a bunch of friends from church. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and we had a great time. That is, until Jesse tripped and hit his head on the merry-go-round. I grabbed him and looked and he had a big gash on his forehead that was gushing blood. We grabbed wet paper towels and applied pressure and Lincoln and I jumped in the car to go to the ER. (Thank goodness for wonderful friends who we knew would take care of all our stuff and our 4 other kids.) Luckily, the hospital was only about a 30 second drive from the park (and anywhere else in town, for that matter) so were there within minutes of it happening. They knocked him out, cleaned the laceration, and put in 7 stitches- 2 down deep and five on the surface. The cut went all the way to his skull. Then they did a CT Scan to make sure his brain was OK. By the time he got back from that he was coming out of the anaesthesia. He was babbling like crazy and very restless and his eyes were darting all over with the pupils dilated. We had to wait for a while to be sure he was coming out of it okay, then we were able to go. We were there about 2 hours all told. He seems to be doing well this morning. He's our first kid to need stitches- I don't like it. Poor baby. I'm not crazy about seeing my kid knocked out either, though it definitely beats the alternative. So- a terrible end to a great weekend.