As we made our way back from Ely, I was watching the small towns of Northern Minnesota go by thru our Jackson Pollack-like windshield (spattered bugs make good art and are a bitch to get off). The faded five cent cigar ad, painted against the side of a brick building. Two stereotypical small-town older gentlemen standing outside of Tower Café after breakfast in their trucker’s caps, flannel shirts, and suspenders holding up their khaki pants probably discussing why Walter Mondale should be President. A red and white barn which used to be part of a thriving farm lies in crackled ruins due to neglect. Several bar/bait shops proclaiming “Texas Hold Em’ night!” and meat raffles on Tuesday with trucks parked in the makeshift parking lot, hauling either a boat or some camouflaged colored ATVs caked in mud.
There’s a quietness to the North that you won’t find in many other places. Just sitting at the end of an old, wooden dock with your bare feet dipped into the clear, cool lake makes the stress melt off your body and forget about any issues that seemed pressing just five minutes ago. A loon warbling off to your left, and a panoramic view of tall pines, paints the picture and sounds many people figure they’ll see once all the years of service are put in at their company. Places like Vegas or Disneyworld are an escape from reality; Northern Minnesota is more like turning back the clock a few decades, even if it is just for a weekend.
After my wife parked the car into the garage Monday afternoon, we were back in familiar territory with the driveway that needed to be re-done, the mud room that needed another coat of paint, and the monthly bills that awaited payment from a slender checkbook. But, for three days we were able to kick back and forget about our financial obligations and just drift along like a fishing boat trolling a shoreline for some bass.
Of course there were the usual parenting pleasefortheloveofgodeatyourfoodandstopgettingupattwointhemorningwithashittydiaper-thatsmellslikeadeadfishthatwasleftinahotcarforaweek type issues, but they don’t seem to sting as much when you’re looking down at a golf ball or wrapping a nightcrawler on your hook.
Speaking of golf balls, I may have lost a few this weekend while playing The Wilderness at Fortune Bay. Now, I don’t get to play many upscale courses, so my observations might be a little off since there is really no comparison. I was definitely wow’d by the openness and the challenge of the contours this layout presented. Not to mention the views thanks to a couple of elevated tee boxes and the friendliness of the staff. Normally when you get pair’d up with a random twosome there’s a cringe factor that they’ll either suck so bad that you’ll be begging the golf cart chick to have a fresh drink/beer ready after every hole or their single digit handicaps make you seem like you’re playing like Mr. and Mrs. Havercamp from Caddyshack. Luckily these guys brought their own leggy female companion that probably cost me a few strokes from her form fitting choice in course wear and they matched our good and bad shots making the round even more enjoyable. My brother-in-law Burnsie managed to defeat me on the last hole after my driver succumbed to the Cap’n Cokes and Mich Golden Lights we’ve been drinking.
For the remainder of the weekend, I spent most of it playing with Wyatt in the lake while trying to get him more used to the water. He still has an issue with not being able to touch the bottom, despite wearing a lifejacket or some water wingies. I’ve tried the “just throw-him-in” approach that my dad introduced me to at our cabin.
That didn’t go over too well.
We may try some swimming lessons but he’s a very stubborn kid with a temper at times, but I doubt the 14 year old-5 times Jr. Lifesaver certified kid is going to have the patience needed for this.
Time will tell.
** Obligated Poker Update **
I played some PLO, I got three outered.
There ya go.
Sklansky can’t touch my brevity. My book will be out next year.
Actually, after a rough start, I managed to make back a bit after getting stacked, as my nuts didn’t look so good after I got my money in and leaving my opponent only three outs, dem the breaks. Winning a peep sex tourney at Full Tilt softened the $200 lost because winning a token is much more important.
Yeah, that’s how I’ll justify it :)
Thanks for dropping by, now could someone please curse White Soxs? The Red Soxs have done their impression of the Titanic already by losing to the best team ever bought last weekend. Sorry, baseball is a game played by nine players and Big Papi’s bat will only save them from an embarrassing finish.
Maybe the White Soxs could mimic the Edmund Fitzgerald or the S.S. Minnow?