**Attn: At the time of this posting, we will probably be back in Montana...I'm trying to stagger these posts.**
What I'm listening to...
It is never easy,
going back to one's hometown.
I will be honest - I love where I grew up. I love who I grew up with. I love much of what the area offers. I am thankful to my parents for raising me and my siblings there. I think the Northwoods is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The harshness of the climate and people molded a certain "tilt" in me that, in some ways, define me.
- Dark winters > Dark humor.
- Hard people > Thick skin, you jerks.
- Constant cold & wet wind > Desire to be hospitable. You are freezing to death after all.
- Claustrophobia-inducing hardwoods > Heart always searching for a horizon to head toward.
- Abundance of wildlife > Deep love of diversity & connectivity.
- Crotchety old people working until the day they die > Strong desire to never stop creating.
Now, that's all (quite obviously) over-romanticized, but you get the idea. In a harsh region where 99/100 adults have emotional daddy-issues connected to Vince Lombardi (or Brett Favre leaving GB for the purple-people-leaders), a colorful childhood is all but guaranteed.
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my home town.
I won't get in to all of that right now, this is a travel log of course. I promise to revisit the topic, someday.
Work objectives aside (I'll skip those key details about the visit as well), Ewan and I had one goal for the trip:
We needed to go fishing.
I've mentioned this before, but my family is wired to fish. Elyse will tell you, if Ewan & I see water, we are practically crawling out of our skins until we've fished it.
Much like Luke Skywalker in the new Star Wars trailer:
"My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power too..."
The fishing is strong in my family.
So, just like my father before me, I hit the water after a particularly bad workday on Friday the 15th. The lake my family lives on (parents, grandparents, etc) is a stellar musky fishing lake without a public landing. It fishes really well. But, it's greatest quality is that it is quiet.
No, I didn't catch anything. But, after a month on the road, the silence was invigorating.
I did learn that the lake now has cell service. That kind of bummed me out.
The next day, we loaded up the old boat (my dad fished in this very boat when he was a kid) with the kids and took off after pan fish.
We were not dissappointed:
And of course, we did more than just fish.
I'm blessed to have both sets of grandparents still here on earth and living near my folks. In fact, on the Frasier side, they live next door where my Great-Grandpa lived until he passed in 1998.
The kids truly love their great-grandparents, and I think a big part is that they know they are loved by them.
**Click on the pics for captions...
One of the most special parts of the visit was the nearly exclusive time that the kids got with my mom. Typically, when we have come back to WI, or they have come to MT, my mom ends up spending a lot of her time hosting. She loves it, and it happens so naturally that I think it may happen unconsciously. However, it does mean that other people swipe her time away from the kids...which has been frustrating to both parties.
Not so, this time. And they even got lots of quality time with Chad and my Dad when he rolled through.
** Credit where due - As I was working for most of the visit, the majority of these pictures are from Elyse.**
All in all, a great visit.
Thanks you mom, dad, Chad, Grandma & Grandpa F, and Grandma & Grandpa P!
The drive home.