No. 46, March 2008
Here it is March 6, 2008, and Wisconsin is still in the midst of winter. Temperatures seldom get above freezing, the icicles are growing on the house and barn roofs. It has been the worst winter in 15 years. The coldest and most snow - 75 inches. The yard is glary ice, it is a real challenge to walk to the mail box. We did have a thunder and rain storm the other night, flooding in the basement, sump pump tries to clean the water out. February 29 was leap year day, an extra day of winter. Presidential Primary in Wisconsin, we did not go to vote, it looks like a three way race between Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. We may pass on the November vote too.
We do get out and about dancing, went to Marion to the Dupont Volunteer Fireman's annual fund raising dance. We did not win any prizes. Tuesday nights we go to the jam sessions, always a big crowd.
The children are busy with their hectic lives. Robin had her 'International Dinner' the host had food from Chile. Keith and family are remodeling Dayne's bedroom, painting and such. Marianne is having a birthday party for her twins who are 6, a movie, Alvin and the Chipmunks, games and cake. Richard is busy with contracts, he helped sign Randy Moss to a 3 year contract, forcing our Green Bay Packer Brett Favre to retire after 17 winning years. Matt was here, Lisa was at a trade show in Chicago. Russ and Matt worked on his income tax.
We may go visit Richard and family in May by plane. the rest of the family wants to drive out in the summer to spend time at his lake house in New Hampshire.
So I was sick of winter, too cold and icy to walk outdoors. Went to visit Cousin Ellie in San Marcos, California. Flew Midwest Airlines from Appleton to Milwaukee to Kansas City to San Diego, where I took a shuttle bus, 40 miles to her house. Interesting people always to talk with on the plane. The shuttle driver was a young lad from Romania. Planes are always delayed with one problem or another. Saw the ocean, always a thrill for me, with our frozen lakes, 17 inches deep. Took a suitcase of cheese and summer sausage for Ellie. Beautiful weather, walked up the hill in her park, which has 126 coaches for people over the age of 55. Slumped in bed early with jet lag. Had called Russell and he said it was 14 degrees below zero.
Read John Grisham's new book 'The Appeal'. Made cookies by Ellie, Molasses, peppernuts, almond, orange and two batches of cream puffs. Did scalloped potatoes and raw fries. Bread pudding. Bonnie came and took us out to eat Chinese food, I had sweet and sour pork. Played canasta at the park's club house with Kay, Nellie, Jackie and another bright 97 year old lady. Played dominoes. Out for Mexican food that night.
So, because I cannot sit still, Ellie and I cleaned cupboards, the freezer and refrigerator, and threw out lots of stuff. She did have a full garbage can for the men to pick up. Had our hair washed and set with Yolanda, the girl from Mexico who gave me a special treatment so my hair wouldn't keep falling out.
Jackie, Ellie's friend makes beautiful quilts and showed me many of her creations. Sunday morning we skipped church and watched 'Hour of Prayer' from the Crystal Cathedral. Rained all forenoon while the sun was trying to shine. Went to the Madrid Follies Entertainment in another park, a dinner theater, was very good, all old people singing and dancing. Burlesque, piano solos, singing, barbershop. Talked with people from Alaska who were college professors in Nome and Fairbanks. They said it was colder in Alaska than in Wisconsin, they wear long johns 9 months of the year.
Monday, fired up Ellie's Mercury Marquis automobile, filled it up with gas at $3.23 a gallon, and off with Jackie driving , a native Californian for a 5 hour tour of San Diego and environs. Hotel del Coronado, walked the beach, green grass, wild flowers blossoming, the Strand, Imperial Beach, the Navy yard, with old planes flying about, B17 and B29s, Petco Park, the new baseball park for the Padres. Horton Plaza on Broadway, many shops, court house, the depot for trains where Russ came with the Marines in 1953.
USS Midway, World War II ship, an aircraft carrier. Sea Port Village, Cruise ships, Star of Indian Sailing Ship, Anthony's Fish Shop, the Berkeley Ferry, a Russian Submarine in the Bay, past Lindbergh airport, Little Italy, up the Pacific Highway, the Port of San Diego, Old Town, Heritage Park, right near the Marine Corps base. Quaint shops, Mexican food places, saloons, Missions, adobe buildings, Cabrillo landed in the 1700s to settle California. Past Sea World, Eucalyptus trees which were brought from Australia 300 years ago, a bad mistake. A convoy of jeeps, with 'student drivers' from the Marine Corps base.
A huge Mormon temple. La Jolla Medical University. Del Mar, Bing Crosby built a horse racing track, Rancho Sante Fe. Cardiff by the Sea, walked the beach, huge waves good for surfing. Highway 101, past the Self Realization Vegetarian Center. Encinatis, Leucadia town on beach. USMC Camp Pendleton, purple flowers called Rencula, Poppy fields, California State Flower, 300 acre strawberry field, golf courses, Palamor. A 100 mile round trip tour hosted by Jackie. Chinese Seafood Buffet with Bonnie, by Walmart.
Tuesday again we were off to the Lawrence Welk Theater in Escondido to see the play 'Oklahoma'. Was very good. So many timeshares and golf courses by the Welk compound. Beautiful weather 80 degrees. Called Russ and he said it was very cold and Windy in Wisconsin. Out for Mexican food, a beef chimi. Bought bananas for 59 cents a pound.
Another day at the club house playing canasta and a pot luck supper, with chicken. Ellie has very good friends in the park. Check on her every day.
Ellie had a bad scare, a man came to the door and said he had to check her water pressure, sent Ellie to the back bathroom, and then he stole her billfold and left. Took her credit cards, a small amount of money and her driver's license. It could have been worse, he could have killed her. She will be more careful.
Ellie and Delores are first cousins, their Zillmer father's were brothers. But Ellie is 13 years older than Delores.
So then it was time to pack suitcases for the trip home. Ellie, has a salt and pepper collection, over 300 pairs and gave me a dozen to give to relatives.
Of course, the plane was delayed again in Kansas City, Russ and Richard were following my progress on the Internet.
Ellie was so tuckered out from our 10 days of activities,coughed and is still resting in her recliner chair.
It was a good vacation, maybe I will go out there next year again.
All I did out there was eat.
From Cold Wisconsin,
Russell and Delores Miller
copyright 2008, Russell and Delores Miller