Montreal 6th Leg: Sioux Falls to Rice Lake

Another short driving day, but boy we could stand to get out early.

We woke up at 7 despite the 4 days of driving and the time change. Bedrooms are downstairs, kitchen et al up, so we went upstairs and watched Mimi make bread. Whole wheat with other grains, honey instead of sugar, specially shaped loaves for my dining fun. It’s good stuff.

I asked about a tire pressure gauge, and one of her sons found the gauge, checked the tires, aired up the rear tires, and reported his findings to me. I love it when people teach their kids to be good citizens; tells you a lot about their parents.

Sue drove, because I woke up with a headache. After a hot shower, coffee (which I only drink for headaches) and a nap, I felt pretty good, but weak and shaky. We ate two whole loaves of bread as we crossed Minnesota, then stopped in St. Paul to mail a card to a friend who grew up there but lives in Roseville now.

Before we left the grocery store I called my Mom and asked “How long does it take to get to Rice Lake from St. Paul?” and when she said 3 hours I said “So, we’ll be there about 7:30” and she said “Tonight?!?! Do you have money for a hotel?” I laughed. She didn’t.

Minnesota in the fall is glorious. We stopped to let Fiona look at the river and trees, and drove on into the darkening forest and lake lands toward the place of my birth.

WIsconsin is also beautiful, even if nobody can pronounce it unless they’re from there. We rolled into Rice Lake about 9:00, and for the first time in her life, Fiona met her Gramma Mumsie.

We’ll be here two days, but it’s clear we’ll need to come back and stay longer to enjoy the beautiful lake and city and to spend time listening to Mom’s stories and watching movies and helping her find a little joy in life. I’d forgotten how good it feels to be with one of the few people who knows exactly who and what I am and loves me unconditionally, just as I am.

Montreal 5th Leg: Rapid City to Sioux Falls

Denver and Diane both had to be in Rapid early, so they took off before we were up and asked us to meet them in town for breakfast. When we got there Diane’s appointment had been postponed a bit so we went to Starbucks and got some work done, including Phase I of a client job Sue really needed to wrap up that day, while we were traveling.

When Diane was delayed for the third time she asked us to go eat without her, so we ate chicken fried steak and omelets with Denver and talked ’til noon. Not exactly an early start, but we only had 6 hours to Sioux Falls.

Except, we weren’t going to Sioux Falls, we were going an hour north of Sioux Falls. Oh, and then, the time changes halfway across the state. Then we had to stop multiple times trying to find wireless access in the tiny towns crossing the plains.

But we did it.

Sue finished the client job, as she always does, to shouts of praise and thanks from her client, and her client’s client. We crept into Arlington, South Dakota late in the dark, and, for a second time, missed meeting Mimi’s husband. We did meet her kids, who, like all the kids we’ve met on this trip, were smart, polite, fun, and helpful.

We talked about baking bread in the morning and crashed on couches.