diving back in

Took 4 days back in Wisconsin – Friday night, flew into Milwaukee with Kate, where we rendesvoused with Luke and Lindy, rented a brand-spanking new car (literally three miles on the odometer) and headed up to the Heidel House, in Ripon, where Kate’s friend Kristine was getting married.

Best quote of the trip, seen on a church sign:


Wedding was beautiful – the pastor made a real point of including the groom’s two young daughters in the ceremony, which was neat to see. Then back to the Heidel House for the reception, dinner (grey prime-rib or… grey prime-rib) and some excellent video-game playing with Luke in the gameroom upstairs.

Next morning, we zipped down to Madison through the bright morning, the hills mostly-but-not-entirely-flat, like water in a light breeze. Had lunch with my dad and an architectural driving tour on the way to dropping off L & L & K at the airport. Heard the story about Frank Lloyd Wright’s insistence on the 2x4 being the most democratic of building materials, a truly American board, and the builder who insisted that the church he was building wouldn’t hold its rooflines with only 2x4s. FLW insisted, and the builder agreed… but only long enough for Wright to leave the site, at which point he had some steel put in under the roof, and covered it with 2x4s. True story.

Dinner with Abba, Lynn, Lucia and Jen, and some clambering around trying to fix a tracklight which was pulling out of the plaster ceiling. Monday spent in the country, walking with Mum and Gil, replacing the harddrive and memory in their iMac (you would not believe how much dust accumulates in one of those things after 3 years) and eating my fill and more of roast chicken, oven roasted parsnips and salsify, pan-done brussel sprouts with toasted hazelnuts… and for dessert. Ah, dessert. Pears, half-cored, with blue cheese inserted in the cores and baked until everything turned caramel-brown. My eyes rolled back in my head, eating it.

Tuesday was a frenzy – finally getting the iMac to dial in reliably, going to hang out with Jamie McHugh in Madison, lunch with Dan and Judy, and a dash to Waukesha to see my dad before taking off, flight delayed, from Milwaukee. Vows, as I drove, never to pack a day as worryingly tight as that one. The faintly queasy feeling of “I’m going to be late for everything” isn’t worth it.