Monday, September 20 2021

weekend with poppa wilke

page banner

Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. Happy Monday. The weekend felt so brief, didn't it? I feel like I deserve at least another twelve hours of lounging around the house before we have to fire up the work week routine again, but such is life.

I think we have a pretty good excuse for feeling so drained this morning. This past weekend, we had hosted Poppa Wilke. He arrived into town late on Friday. We spent two long, full days together. He finally got to meet his grandson Miles, as well as all other animal members of our family.


Poppa Wilke and Marissa running some water tests.

It was time well spent together, but as far as zonking out on the couch goes, we came in woefully under budget yesterday. Marissa and I crossed paths this morning as she came stumbling out of our bedroom.

"Today can be just like... a hybrid between Sunday and Monday," I assured her. "Let's just do the bare minimum."

Sip. How are you feeling today? Did you hit the ground running this morning, or are you willing to join us in treating this morning like a Sunday and Monday hybrid?

We had a great weekend. Tiredness is temporary, but our energy will come back and only the good memories will remain. On Friday, our baby sitter Finley swung by our place to hang out with Rodney and Miles while Marissa and I hit the town. We sat in an empty bar and nibbled on cheese curds, watching the bartender wipe down each liquor bottle.

"Hey, what bottle would you say you use the least?" I asked. "Has anything, like, been up there for years?"

"Probably the Disaronno Amaretto," croaked the bartender.

"That makes sense," Marissa nodded. "It's too random - you don't really use it in any other drinks."


You may not like it, but this is what the ideal Madison date night looks like.

We took a short walk around the capitol before we ended up at Garver Feed mill for some ice cream. We dropped our crumpled face masks on a side table and quietly licked ice cream. Behind us, a wedding reception roared on. It felt a little weird to be eating icecream in shorts on the flanks of a fancy wedding reception, but it made for undeniably good people watching. We laughed quietly, inventing our own story lines and characters, amused with our own private soap opera.


Just a normal picture of my face. DEFINITELY not paying attention to what's happening behind me.

After we sent the baby sitter home, Chris rolled into town. I made him a grilled turkey and switch sandwich on bread fried with parmesan cheese, which I think is a solid opening for a weekend of good eating. Marissa made pumpkin cupcakes and gooey cinnamon rolls. We made a double batch of paella.


Paella prep. Let the chopping and slicing begin!

Saturday was our active day. We took Poppa Wilke to Madison's arboretum, which Marissa and I hadn't even tried yet. So much more than just a nice public space with flowers, the Arboretum shattered our expectations. Hummingbirds and butterflies darted between wild flowers as we explored the winding paths.


We stumbled into the Thai meditation garden. The surreal installation featured shimmering black water and a brilliant gold plated roof. Even Rodney couldn't resist the call to contemplation.


Rodney contemplating the mysteries of kindergarten.

Rodney and I found the tesseract. Underneath the golden roof awaited a reflective glass box that was - to quote Bill and Ted - excellent for philo-sophizing.


Most outstanding!

The arboretum was a pleasant surprise. We felt embarrassed we've lived only a mile from this place and yet explored it for the first time last weekend. If it was this beautiful in late September when most of the flowers have withered away, I can only imagine how moving it must be in the spring or at night when they turn all the lights on.

On Sunday, we slept in and lounged around the house. The Bears game provided a soundtrack to Poppa Wilke scrambling to find a replacement for his cancelled flight. It's not always easy flying to Madison. A delayed flight can set you back a whole day, or in Poppa's case, earn you an unplanned overnight stay in Atlanta.

It was wonderful seeing Poppa Wilke. A long, full, fulfilling weekend, but now we face a Monday. Take it easy today. Get your work done, but remember we've got all week to catch up on things. Thanks for stopping by today - have a great Monday everyone.