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Monday, December 28, 2009

Oh the Holidays…. (part two)


Ahhh on to Saturday morning.. and more Christmas celebrations!   We planned to trek 80+ miles up to my dad’s little log cabin in the woods.  My siblings from Michigan were going to join us there at my dad’s for the afternoon.  The weather was looking dicey for later in the day, but the morning dawned nice.   The roads were clear and the sun was out.   We decided to go ahead with the plans. 


Other years, we have brought our motorhome up for the weekend visit, which enables us to have extra sleeping spaces.  Dad’s place, as you will see in the following pictures is quite small.  With only 3 beds and a couch, his sleeping spaces are given to the folks who travel the furthest!  LOL     This year we decided to not take the motorhome as we were not spending the night, nor were our 3 grown kids, their significant others or 2 grandchildren coming along.  Besides, with the looming weather report, we didn’t feel like a $500 tow bill to get our 40ft  diesel pusher motorhome outta the snowbank!


Daughter Heather was going to bring up little Jameson to take along with us.  She had plans to visit with a long-time friend who was up visiting from Chicago, so she was going to drop Jameson off at our home and leave.  Lo and behold, on her way here, her car was making horrid grinding noises each time she pressed the brakes.  Turns out it was a broken brake pad, and her rotors were shot too.  Steveio to the rescue, as the local auto parts store was open on a Saturday.   In an hour, she was on her way, with new brakes and rotors.  What a guy!


In the meantime, our other daughter, Erin, and her husband Mark had been planning on going with us up to dad’s place.  But…. their furnace went out (again) and they had to wait for the repairman to come.  The repairman had warned them a few weeks ago after the last fix, that their secondary heat exchanger was going to go soon, but he had to wait till it had totally failed before Carrier furnace company would authorize a warranty replacement.  Of course, it decided to go out on a holiday weekend!   ACK!    In northern Wisconsin, a furnace going out can mean frozen pipes, buckled floors, and quite a bit of damage to a home if the pipes burst.  They had borrowed our three portable space heaters and one propane heater to place throughout the house, and were warm enough for the meantime.   We had even given them their own ceramic space heater for an Xmas present, in case this ever happened.  They have two fireplaces they could stoke up too for long-term heat if needed.  But the repairman said he would get all the available parts and have heat in their home in a few hours.  Sooooo  they were involved with warranty repair work and had to cancel out from going with us.


We bundled up the little guy, stopped at the hardware store on the way for a light switch that dad wanted, and headed up through the woods.  It was a great trip, and the grandson was alternating between *reading* his books with his jibber-jabber language, or napping.   Soon we were there! 

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We arrived in the afternoon, and surrounded by lovely white snow surrounding his cozy warm cabin.  We helped build this little cabin in 1985, which is now his full-time home.

 cabin in the woods

 cabin in the woods 2

Joining us were my brothers Umpee (Eugene) and Butch (Stephen) and nephews Mike and Matt.   Dad was happy to have  *a crew in the house* as he fondly calls it.   Jameson entertained us all by his antics, once he warmed up to the crowd.  Later, my sister Schmoo (Linda) and her husband Fuzz (Mike)  joined the party too.   Notice, everybody up north uses nicknames?   Even my father, also a Stephen, goes by Yooper, or Wankel (a type of snowmobile engine from the 70’s that became his CB handle).  


Here is my dad, hauling around little Jameson, his first great grandson.   I said: “Dad, he IS able to walk. ya know!”  He was spoiling him rotten all afternoon!

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The guys, getting in a few rounds of cribbage, with the appropriate beverages….xmas 2009  at grandpa wankels4


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They guys enjoyed some rounds of cribbage, and the grandson was goofing around with his new toys from Auntie Schmoo.  Presents were opened, snacks were eaten, and some beers were drank.  As the day wore on, the snow was coming down fast and furious by the time we were all ready to leave. 

xmas 2009  at grandpa wankels0The snow flinging against the windshield in the headlights is mesmerizing.  It just keeps coming and coming.  We crawled along country trunk W at 15-20 miles an hour.   We knew where we were going, it was about 20-30 miles out to Hwy 141, then turn south to home.

Now, driving in weather conditions like this is normal for us folks up here, but I did happen to have along the video camera.   I made this little Utube video for the enjoyment of my southern readers:


But we made it home…    Dad said they got 13 inches of snow at his place.  That is what we were driving home through. 

We kept the little guy with us overnight.  He was exhausted from his big day, so slept soundly in his portable crib all night till 7am.  We popped him into our big king-sized bed between us for some morning cuddles.  After a special panny-cake breakfast made by Grandfaddah, we put him in the bathtub (mainly to get the syrup outta his hair)  He sure had a blast in the big whirlpool tub with his *Cup-O’s*    --- a set of stacking cups from Discovery Toys that I have saved from my children’s playthings.  

 bathtime at granmuddahs11

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It is pretty neat to be watching him play with the stuff his own mommy played with.   The Fisher Price farm that we keep on the shelf in the livingroom is even older, it came from MY grandmother’s house, which would be Jameson’s great-great grandmother!   I bet she smiles down from Heaven, each time she sees the wee children play with her toys. 

bathtime at granmuddahs1


All too soon, it was time to take the little guy home to his parents.   Heather works later on Sundays at the University, so she wanted him home about noon to spend some time with him.   We timed ourselves for driving him down to Green Bay well after all the Packer Game goers were off the highway and into the stadium.  Highway 41 can become clogged from all the frantic fans trying to get there before kickoff, so we native Green Bay-er’s know how to time ourselves for traffic patterns around Lambeau Field.  Heather lives within a mile of Lambeau, so timing is also critical for her after the game, to get to work.  She leaves early and goes wayyyy around town to avoid the game day traffic to arrive at work on time.

We listened to the kickoff  and first quarter of the game on the radio during our ride back home.  Munching on Erbert & Gerberts sub sandwiches, we came home to settling in our easy chairs to watch the game on tv by the second quarter.   After a HUGE win of 48-10, we baked some salmon for supper and retired again to our easy chairs….. to watch the latest movie of Jesse Stone with Tom Selleck.  


Whew.. what a nice way to wind down and relax after a long long Holiday Weekend!


  1. Wow, you had quite the trip.
    I loved your dad's cabin....sweet.
    And of course your grandson is a DOLL.
    Glad you had a nice visit, and you are feeling better.

  2. Great post! Seems you had a great time with your family!

  3. I love the cabin! My mom has always wanted to live in a cabin home. Your grandson is soooo cute. What a great age you can learn as much from him as he does from you.


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