Happy Family Times

James, our Second Great Grandchild

Life is good lately. A little confused, but good.

We’ve been “stressing” about whether or not to take our first non-family related trip/vacation in three years. The concern has been LESS about COVID and more about the creeping ravages of advancing age.

In 2018 we attempted to take a trip to CA to visit Peg’s only brother before he passed (chronic bad health, he finally passed this past spring). But it was right after I started using CPAP and I was having a hard time dealing with the nasal mask they initially tried to get me to use. It turned out that we abandoned our effort and returned home about the time we reached Denver. With that frustrating failure in the back of our brain I wasn’t sure how far and how sustained a trip I was physically up to.

In the end we decided to go. But our grand daughter and her family were planning a quick trip to Chicago (where they met, and it’s Melanie’s 30th birthday this past weekend – a little family celebration). The plan was for the young’uns to drop James off in Milwaukee with the grand parents and them to carry on to Chicago for 36 hours. Mel was returning to Milwaukee earlier than dad and Sophia, and our daughter Katy planned a birthday celebration for Melanie with us and her paternal grandparents too.

Long story short is the day before our trip we were enjoying the pleasures of seeing our loved ones and laughing and eating together.


Our arch enemy, the weatherman, was forecasting a rapidly moving storm system that threatened to interrupt our departure. I took a good look at the 24 hour future radar and we took a chance on an early morning departure (hard to remember the last time I drove in the dark — pre sun-up).

In the end, we had about an hour of serious rain (spell that 40 mph on the Interstate highway with flashers on and no one else on the road!) and about 3 hours of drizzle. But… what we left behind was some serious rain.

All over S.E. Wisconsin we broke rainfall records as you can see from the chart published by TMJ4 — one of our local news outlets. We didn’t fear flooding (we have no basement, and we’re on high ground). Many of our Franklin neighbors, however, are not so lucky as the community Facebook page this morning is filled with stories of woe and flooding and failed sump-pumps. Milwaukee’s hard clay soil — if you can call it “soil” — is prone to basement flooding. When we were looking for homes it was shocking to me to discover how many had basement walls that had been bowed in by the weight of accumulated water outside the basement — requiring the installation of steel beams anchored to the concrete floor and the flooring joists.

Anyway…. we ran out of the rain about the time we reached the Quad Cities and the rest of our day was lovely.