Day 3 of our trip to the Door County Peninsula

No, this is not Mackinac island…this is Ephraim in Door County, Wisconsin.

I forced myself to stay in bed until about 8:00 am. It was not easy, nor have I been sleeping well anyway.

It was a beautiful day. MK and I were planning on taking it easy. We cut up some fruit and coffee cake we had brought along with some French Press coffee. We have a Lexan coffee press that is meant for travel or camping and brought along with us. We decided to have our breakfast in the lower area of the house, where the kitchen is. The kitchen and basement area has a bathroom and a fireplace and the garage is next to it. The actual front of the house is on the other side and requires walking up to. We finally decided to eat right off the kitchen on the picnic table with a view of the bay.

I then finished up my daily Hungarian and blogged and we set up to slowly get the kayak down the rocks to the water. That was a feat as the rocks were not very stable. There was a flagstone path but even that was not stable, especially the first stepstone. We decided to just take it slowly and we ended up moving slightly off the path as we approached the water as there was more gravel than large, slippery, slimy green stones.

I had everything I needed, the sun was out, we finally got it into the water and luckily neither of us slipped. I saw more than one two inch leech in the water so having my feet in that water was less than pleasant. I set out soon to leave our bay within a bay. I had not kayaked the previous day because of the waves. This was a relatively calm day and I wanted to explore the bay, but also get into the area of the Mink River. I did and I had a wonderful time as I saw few people and the Zen of the moment was almost overwhelming.

All in all, I did about 3 miles of kayaking and took about an hour. The rest of the day, we enjoyed a glass of wine with fresh cheeses we had bought as well as fresh fruit. In the early evening, we went to Fish Creek to see the Peninsula Players Theatre and the play «Romance in D » written by James Sherman. It was nothing short of delightful and the theatre venue quite striking.

Overall, it was a great day.

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Day 2 of our Door County trip, first full day

The humidity is caught on the phone camera this morning.

Okay, I hadn’t slept as well as expected and I might even blame the caramel corn that we bought at the wonderful Door County Creamery in Sister Bay. Jimmy’s popcorn it was and we also bought some St. Albans and some Mimolette cheese. I just cannot hold myself back from French but we did buy some of their goat cheese. Goat stuff is very popular in Door County. Al Johnson’s Restaurant in Sister Bay comes to mind with turf and goats as roof and roof mower. We still haven’t tried our cheeses as we had lunch at Wild Tomato Pizza in Sister Bay. While at Wild Tomato, we shared a huge salad that we could not possibly finish, cheese curds, the Wisconsin hors d’oeuvre, and a glass of chianti. We attempted to eat little as we are going to a fish boil later in Ephraim, at the Old Post Office, my favorite meal of our last trip to Door County and I did not have the whitefish, I had fried chicken! I am pretty much a total landlubber, exceptions: mussels (because mine are so big, bad joke), calamari, shrimp, octopus, and soft shell crab.

Anyway, the house still pretty much wreaked of closed cottage and it lasted pretty much through the night despite our open window policy. There was a storm toward the early morning and it has created quite large waves all day. I am finally seeing some people out on kayaks. I, as of yet, have abstained from doing that as we were out and about all day.

While in Sister Bay, we went into a store where they had a summer hat MK has been searching for and well, I held myself back because I wanted one of everything in this haven of cool outdoor clothing going from KÜHL to Pendleton. I, frankly, don’t need any, but… We did stop at an outfitter’s place that looked like a Wisconsin version of Ron Jon’s surf shop and we ended up buying two new chairs for carting around that are based on current tent technology and come apart with ripcord connections and folds down into a bag that is longer than an Oatmeal container but not as wide. It also has no weight, no joke, at least so little that when you pick it up you are shocked. Bad joke here: it is made, as I said, with shock cords. We tried the lavender shop that Mikey, our youngest, told us about but we were clearly not in the mood.

The Wisconsinites are not a mask wearing people, just saying. When we go inside, we mask up. Only people from other states do that here.

We took a walk before going to an early dinner by walking to Grandma’s Bakery in Rowley’s Bay (not open until Thursday) and clocked a just under two mile walk there and back. Pretty good for MK and her two bionic knees.

Dinner was good. The skies were threatening but nothing occurred. We attempted (barely) to get a fire going in the fire pit, but apparently the wood was too well soaked by the rains and it ended up smoldering away.

We sat in the living room as the bugs were biting outside and read our books

Tomorrow, I am hoping to get that kayak going…

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Day One of a quick getaway: Rowley’s Bay in Door County, Wisconsin

Vermont was the original trip but somehow it morphed into Door County. Vermont is still on our list but just temporarily sidelined.

For days beforehand, I had put things aside as I thought of what I needed and what I didn’t need. On the day of, we had planned to first finish up our packing, put the kayak on the rack and tie it down, breakfast, do my only planned Zoom of the week, and then go to the doctor’s office and get our flu shots. While I was Zooming, we got the call that our shots were canceled and put off until next week and so instead I gathered up the dog and took him to our son’s and daughter-in-law’s house for a few day stay.

About a four hour trip or so, it was uneventful and I was pleased that I could look through the sunroof and see that the kayak was safe and unmoving. I am happy with the new, Yakima kayak rack as it folds over the car’s side where you can put it while strapping it in and then use the rack to lift it up on the roof and then lock it in. It is a good system. My only annoyance with it is that although the Subaru Outback is meant for kayaks and such, this rack required Mary Kay to make beanbags to prevent the rack from damaging the side of the car when you fold it down. Fortunately, bean bags are easy to make and it was a simple way to solve a dumb, dumb problem. Maybe I should make a video explaining it for other people who would otherwise not use the Yakima Showdown.

We arrived at destination, about 4:00 pm, pretty much as we thought we would after a little over four hour trip with the final destination of Rowley’s Bay. The house on Crescent Lane is actually on the bay and in a bay within the bay, a protected bay on the Lake Michigan side of the peninsula housing Door County. The house is technically in Ellison Bay. The place is in need of some updating, but it is fine and although the windows were a bit tight and less than willing to open, the site of the house and the one lane drive through forest to get to it is memorable. The waves lapping up on the rocks are wonderful.

We quickly settled in, removed the kayak from the rack, and went into Sister’s Bay for dinner before going to a play in an outdoor theatre we had never heard of before. Our son and his wife found it in on their trip to Door County last week: Northern Sky Theatre in Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek. We saw « Whatever happened to Carl Janko, » a new play (as apparently all of the plays done here are, about a young man who has everything going for him and disappeared some thirty or so years ago, never to be seen again. Foul play is pretty much ruled out, however. The stage is an amphitheatre, deep in Peninsula State Park and it was quite enjoyable. As we departed, we were asked to give a buck each to support the continuation of the theatre, something we all did.

We drove back carefully on very dark roads, winding through almost uninhabited portions of northern Door County. We shall see how tomorrow, Tuesday, plays out.

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A less than calm Sunday afternoon…

There are times when things get to a point where one is completely emotionally exhausted, devoid of the reserves of energy that we usually use to get by.

It is tiring dealing with the Pandemic and the news that someone in our immediate eyesight has been afflicted. It is tiring dealing with the side effects of the Pandemic and their ramifications. Although in many ways, our lives have been less busy, as we started moving into more normalcy, it was almost taking a toll on us to the point that we wondered how we used to do things before. Adjusting to a new norm was harder than we expected.

There comes a point when the juggling of this and that becomes overwhelming for a moment. Luckily, for me it is usually only a moment, but it can be a dramatic moment when it hits. Today, while on a Zoom, the dog we were dogsitting for, belonging to our son, somehow managed to disappear from eye view. We had put him outside on a safe line within the fenced in yard and yet, Mr. Wiener managed to get out. After looking for him within the yard, I looked outside the fenced in portion to see him on the beloved DMZ and looking at me in an almost whimsical way, just as if to say, like the Gingerbread man, « Catch me if you can. » Some passers-by told us they had seen him cross the street and yet he seemed to linger right near our house. They tried to get him, he resisted, but he allowed me to move up and grab him.

Further investigation showed that he had eaten through the strong retractable leash and that necessitated the purchase of a new one. We brought the errant dachshund into the house and he proceeded to spend a good amount of time wailing for his loss, mainly for his owners as he is very attached.

That, along with a bunch of Zooms punctuated my surprisingly busy and less than calm Sunday.

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Preaching to the choir

First of all, maybe I should not be on Facebook. I am, however, as I want to be able to keep in touch with people. I am there.

I am preaching to the choir.

I am preaching to the choir in terms of reposting quotations, thoughts, etc. It has come to my head that I am probably doing nothing to help but at least, at the very least, it is cathartic for me.

Catharsis is what it is all about. I blog as catharsis.

Never would I have thought that our society would behave in such a way that I might need catharsis. People who are hanging on to their racism, their hatred, their overall lack of empathy, to their fear of total equality, their supposed religion that leads them to believe absolutely crazy things. I my eyes, the religion they espouse is the antithesis of religion.

When would Jesus have every been supportive of the things that people do and have done in the name of religion? These issues of people twisting Jesus’ words to whatever evil thing piques their interest goes way back, think Crusades, for example.

It amazes me how the blinders get put on these people. Maybe I am wearing my own personal blinders, I am human after all, but it seems to me that I am more open to trying to understand what others think and why.

I saw in my own family a racism within which I grew up. It was clear to me that the naive peasantry of my family brought them here for a better life, but that in coming here, they faced almost impossible situations that they were unprepared for and English was one of those things. They spoke and understood better English than I ever thought, by the time they died but it came at a huge price. My mother’s family was a fine example: losing homes, living on welfare, poor financial moves. My mother told me of horrible times that could try the best of humans.

One racial anecdote that is representative of a moment of shamefulness that I felt was when my grandmother was ill, in the hospital, and hallucinating. My maternal aunt, who at that time of her life was an ardent sun tanner, was quite dark. From both maternal sides, we have an olive skin that is accepting of the sun and gets dark even from wind. My aunt was really dark and in Hungarian, I recall that my grandmother was saying that she wanted my aunt to be sent out. She made it clear in Hungarian, using the word ‘fekete,’ that it was because of the skin color. I believe that it happened when an African-American had just walked in the room. Luckily, with the Hungarian, we were able to not be caught in an unfortunate, racial difficulty. My poor, sweet, racist grandma, was a victim of a new person in this country who, for whatever reason, badly needed not to be on the bottom of the ladder. She ironically, showing how stupid racism is, wanted to be rid of her own daughter.

I remember that my grandmother’s need to not be on that last rung also caused her to dislike my father’s Hungarian family as they lived in what my maternal grandparents deemed to be the wrong side of the town. It was only after my father died, that he became a saint as my maternal grandparents pitched in and helped my mother.

So, there I am on Facebook and attempting to get out a message of reason and I think I am just satisfying a strange feeling I have that I am able to do some good.

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