Thursday, October 24, 2013

Minnesota and the Wedding

Well its been almost a month since the last update and its been a busy one. I continue to attend Fire Fighter II school which is starting to take a toll during this busy time of the year, we travelled to northern Minnesota for our daughter Jenny's wedding, we have had the electrical poles and transformer put in to get electric service to the pole barn shop, we have cleared brush, we did our second cutting of hay and groomed the various pastures, we made significant progress on renovating the dairy barn, and last but not least we had to do our fall harvest a little early due to an unexpected and early hard freeze.

The wedding was nice but it was a long way to go and we are now tired and broke. Northern Minnesota (Brainerd) is beautiful but the last time I was there was 30 years ago when I was in the Marine Corps and went through cold weather training at Camp Ripley and the sleepy northern countryside I remember has been replaced with lots of traffic and development and it was frankly depressing to see. Everything went off without a hitch but we didn't get to see much of Jenny or her now husband Steve and I wish we had been able to spend more time exploring the area but it was not to be.

One thing that we really appreciated though was that our other daughter Heather was there with our grandson Alex and we got to spend a lot of quality time with both of them. Alex is about 21 months old and we had never seen him in person and he took to Grandma and Grandpa right away.

The night before we left I had class until 2200, then we got up at 0400 and drove 3 hours to St Louis, took a shuttle from the parking area, flew 1.5 hours to Minneapolis, then took a shuttle to the rental car place, then drove another 3 hours to Brainerd and 3 days later we reversed the process except we left Brainerd during a snow storm. To say we were relieved to get back to our old farm and the 73 degree sunny weather is an understatement.

The cabin we rented was close to everything for the wedding and right on the lake.

This dock was right outside our bedroom and though the pictures make it look like it was warm it was in the low thirties and we had a lot of wind and scattered rain, sleet and snow all weekend.

My first inclination was to wear my best bib overalls but I got overruled by the ladies. When I was commissioned in the Marine Corps and went to the Officer's Basic Course they spent a lot of time teaching us how to choose clothing and dress like gentlemen even in civilian attire and though it never really took with me, I actually do know how to dress appropriately. Thankfully, its now a rare occasion where I have to break down and wear a tie.

My three ladies, Holly, Jenny and Heather. Note the pained expression on Holly, the hair dresser had her hair pinned up so tight it was painful and she was wearing makeup which she dislikes immensely.

Alex was such a good boy during all of the goings on and we are looking forward to having him out to the farm.

Newlyweds Jenny and Steve made a fine looking couple. They are still debating where to take their honeymoon but I think they are leaning towards Belize.

Grandma Judy and Jenny. I know Holly and I were tired and can only imagine how tired Judy was. When we got back she went to bed almost right away.

Heather was Maid of Honor and looked radiant in her gown.

And finally just to show how country we are. When we got home we checked the cattle, the fence lines, the sheep and the chickens and all seemed to be in order so we went to bed early. About 0600 the next morning, I awoke to the sound of a rooster crowing (remember our rooster Carmine died of a heart attack earlier this year so we didn't have a rooster) and I poked Holly to get her to confirm. She stirred and told me it must be the neighbor farmers rooster but the crowing was very close and his farm is almost a mile away. I finally got up and found this beautiful Araucana rooster locked up in our pen and all of our other chickens fully accounted for. He has fit in quite well and though we haven't figured out who did it, one of our friends came over and gave us a nice rooster while we were gone.
Yup, its good to be home.

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