Or the prodigal daughter returns home.
Something like that.
Or nothing like that at all.
Suffice to say, from my title it may be hard to interpret, unless you have been to Wisconsin or are from Wisconsin, what that means.
It means that last night after I wrote my blog and caught up on the MadMen episode I missed on Sunday (saved Game of Thrones for tonight) that I went online and I bought a ticket to go back to Wisconsin and visit my best friend and her family.
They live in Hudson.
Which is just across the river, on the right side of the river, if you ask me, but I am biased, on the Wisconsin side of the river, if you prefer, from the Twin Cities.
I have been chatting back and forth with her for a bit, trying to suss out the best possible dates for the trip back, what will work for her schedule, my schedule, her families, the families I work for, and finally settled on a date.
I will be in Wisconsin the week of the 4th of July.
I will be in Hudson for Booster Days!
Now, if you’re not from the Midwest or don’t know about living in a small town, the 4th of July is a big deal holiday.
There’s usually a fair, there’s usually a carnival, geez Louise, I hope so!
I imagine that I will be out on the midway, under the stars, in the warm night air (perhaps laced with more mosquitos than I should care for) without a layer or three, without my scarf (because July in San Francisco is scarf weather, don’t be fooled by it being in California) queuing up for a ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl or a the ferris wheel.
I sure do hope so.
I may also be laying beside a lake, or paddling around one with my friend in one of the canoes at her families cabin by the lake.
If you don’t have a definition of heaven, I offer you this, a cabin by a lake in Northern Wisconsin. There will be swimming in the water, which is far different from swimming in the ocean, there will be canoeing, there will be, farmer’s markets with fresh sweet corn, ripe tomatoes, oh Wisconsin vine grown tomatoes, gimme, there will be bald eagles–they nest near by and fish the lake–there will be my best friend and walks in the woods and perhaps yes, berry picking.
There will be sitting on the porch in the morning, when it is still cool, drinking a big cup of coffee and watching the sun light up the lake and glow through the north woods like a beacon from God.
I can’t wait.
For summer vacation, I might actually have a summer vacation.
I don’t typically (unless you count Burning Man and considering how hard I work when I am there it’s a working holiday at best) take a vacation during the summer.
Shit, I don’t typically take a vacation at all.
But a friend pointed out that perhaps I should and then I started talking with my friend, and it’s been too long since I have seen her and then the seed was planted and it took root and I just couldn’t shake that it was time to go back for a visit.
Especially since the last time I went back it was January about five years ago.
Not quite so nice.
Still lovely and awesome and sweet to see my best friend and her husband and their amazing boys, but damn, January in Wisconsin is cold, lest you’re a polar bear.
Actually, I just realized, the last time I went back, it was summer time, June, to be precise, I went back for my high school 20th reunion.
That was in Madison though and I didn’t have the time to go up to see my friend and her family in Hudson, it’s a good four-hour drive north of Madison, if not just a touch more, but I have a lead foot when I drive, so hard to be accurate.
And this will be in July, I need to remind myself.
The days will be warm.
No, scratch that, the days will probably be sweltering.
But, an admission, I don’t mind that so much.
I miss the Wisconsin winter right around Christmas, but I miss the summer the whole time of summer.
Summer in San Francisco is chilly, you may have heard a quip or two about his from Mark Twain, and there is always a day or thirteen so locked in fog and chill that I cannot really believe that it is July and wish mightily that I was in Wisconsin where it was warm.
Hell, I might even eat a brat.
One not soaked in beer.
Maybe I won’t have a brat.
But I will have corn on the cob and thick sliced tomatoes.
And big glasses of cold water and probably all the iced coffee I can get my hands on, iced coffee when it’s hot has to be my favorite beverage of all time.
But, it’s got to be hot.
Iced coffee when I am not hot through and through gives me the chills.
I rapidly become an old lady before your eyes wanting to nest in a crocheted afghan and sit in the sun in her rocker.
The smells of Wisconsin in July too, so good, cut grass, the aforementioned grilling of brats, hamburgers, chicken, all things that need to be grilled over hot charcoal, the smell of a lake, the lilacs, peonies heavy-headed and thick with luscious syrupy scent, the smell of hot pavement and the way the wind feels whipping over your arms and shoulders when you drive out in the car, rolling through the greenest green on Earth.
Can you tell I am looking forward to the visit?
Just to capture all the sensory magic of it.
To see fireflies.
Oh, I haven’t seen fireflies in years.
And to see my dear, sweet, wonderful friend who has known me for the last twenty years.
I just realized that, this summer will mark our 20th year knowing each other.
‘Bout time I went home.
I have to continue to cultivate this relationship.
I am going to want her around for the next twenty.
And, selfishly so, I am going to want another invitation to come up during Booster Days and to go for a day or two to the cabin by Lake Number 26.
Yes, that is the name of the lake.
Mud Lake was already taken.