W stands for Whew! (and Whirlwind! and Wisconsin! and Weekend!)

I found myself in seven different cities this weekend, on a wonderful, whirlwind weekend celebrating everything we love about summer.

We started Friday morning in Cecil, Wisconsin, where I led a hike through the Wisconsin Woods, despite a True Grit tumble into (cover your eyes, squeamish readers) a snake hole! (It may have been more of a divot out of which a garter snake slithered, but still! The equally frightened snake and I bravely soldiered on.)

The siren call of chicken booyah drew us hungry hikers to Angelica for lunch at Jen’s Naughty Pine (where we sadly arrived just in time to watch Jen erase “booyah” from the daily menu whiteboard. Boo! No!). Then we headed over to Kelly Lake to visit three generations of our family friends. From there, I high-tailed it back to Appleton to meet Katherine and record a quick audition tape in which her Grandma Peggy, who serendipitously arrived early for a family cookout, performed a cold reading of all the auxiliary voices. The audition tape may or may not earn Katherine a part, but it will for sure live forever in the family archives.

Saturday morning, while Vince went to Hilbert for the Cheesehead 5K (his favorite race of the year), the rest of us hit the Appleton Farmer’s Market, and then we both headed to Glen Ellyn, Illinois for an elegant and heart-warming afternoon wedding, hosted by our friends Mike and Mary Ellen Mazza.

Following the reception, Vince dropped me off at Katherine’s Chicago apartment, where I, still in my wedding finery, helped her haul several pieces of oversized furniture down two narrow floors to the alley. (Pivot!). We toasted our success with a trip the Green Mill, an historic jazz club walking distance from Katherine’s apartment, where we enjoyed the very talented Ben Sidran Quartet.

Katherine and I spent Sunday morning house cleaning her nearly empty apartment, and then shared lunch, shopping and an afternoon walk in Milwaukee with my sisters Jenny and Kathy, Kathy’s husband Keith and my nephew Traveain.

Last night, jammied up in my dining room, I scrolled through my weekend pictures and smiled. Life is short, summer is shorter and summer weekends are the shortest of all.

While I’m not planning to spend every Monday morning trapping you in a not particularly exciting vacation slideshow like this one, I do plan on grabbing every sunny moment I have left.

Here’s hoping you do too.

They’re smiling because they’re not the ones who took a digger in a snake hole and also because they’re three very smiley people. Here’s to more game nights and cabin weekends with Charlie, his girlfriend Tara, Molly and the rest of the clan!
It felt great to have all four of the kids home…oh, wait…(Vinnie had to work, but he Face-timed us so it felt like he was there. And, we’ll always have this nearly life-sized replica.)
Saturday morning Farmer’s Market, where several of us warmed up our equinox squints.
A really beautiful wedding, hosted by our friends Mike and Mary Ellen, for their sweet daughter Mary Ellen and her brand new husband, Mike.
A post furniture haul trip to the Green Mill, one of Katherine’s favorite Chicago spots. I loved it too.
Sunday lunch with some of my favorite people.





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