Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nest emptied - for awhile

The last two of the four boys in the extended household have moved beyond reasonable driving distance. GalwayGuy flew to St Louis Sunday to begin his first year of seminary. Last week was an orgy of rolling almost every evening and he mastered the Norsaq stick roll in my Q-boat, a boat he refers to as a 'cheater' boat due to its forgiveness if technique is not quite perfect. He came within a whisker of the hand roll but I guess thats next years challenge. GuitarMatt is in Freemantle, Australia for a semester abroad and 2ndLtO is on active duty in Brooklyn, NY. No1 son and lady friend MsKattorney, are moving to Portland, OR to start a new business involving communter bike accessories. For the first time its a plane ride to visit any of 'em.

The Portland bound duo had planned a going away party in Tenney Park on lake Mendota in Madison and I drove down for the event Sunday, Q-boat on the roof. I met up with the wife of TheCommish, TriathalonHolly, and we paddled around Mendota a bit. I was struck by two things; the lack of public access to the lake and the fact that the Governor does not have a boat. Almost all of the city lakes in Minneapolis have a parkway or bike path around them. Not so on lake Mendota, its cut off by private properties almost around the whole thing. There are a few parks and university facilities but nothing like the access we Twin Citians have to the city lakes. One of the nicer lake properties in ritzy Maple Bluff, is the Governors Mansion. I'd first heard of Maple Bluff in an unpublished song by the FamousCrimminalDefenseAttorney, our Milwaukee buddy. He was invited to golf at the exclusive Maple Bluff course and, like a good blue collar golfer, showed up in a T-shirt and cut off jeans. The guy who invited him, 'that ass kissing Boomer', was horrified and as a result poor Karl was "Banned at the Bluff". In any event the mansion is right on the lake with a low bank, perfect for a roll out dock and a pontoon boat. In a state where cabins, boats, and 'up north' are a near religion, I think is a statewide embarrassment that the chief executive has a place on the lake but no boat or pontoon. It was rumored that Tommy Thompson has a boat which I guess I could believe. Governor Doyle is not known as a partier and was one of the politicians instrumental in pushing through the .08% DWI law in Wisconsin.

I had the opportunity to meet MsKattorney's mother in a unique way also. As a kayaker I'm a master of the discreet parking lot/takeout clothing change. After paddling, a bit of rolling, securing the boat, and a clandestine beer in a Culvers fast food cup, I opened my car doors as a screen and removed my wet swim trunks and T-shirt. As I sat there in the sun, allowing my boys to air dry a bit, a car pulled up and the driver, a woman, headed directly for me. I quickly pulled on the pants and stood up. She asked if this was Tenney Park and if I knew where the pavillion was. We quickly discovered each others identity and headed to the party. The next day I got a text message from MsKattorney, "Mom said she didn't see a thing." Very nice.

Now we need to think about allocating resources to visit the scattered youth. GuitarMatt is safe in Western Australia but St Louis, Brooklyn, and Portland are definitely on the hit list. Portland has the feature of being able to ski one day and kayak the next. I hope they remember to factor in visitor space that when they get that apartment.


Joshua said...

My take-out parking lot changing skills have now crossed over to the department stores. I can't be bothered to use the changing rooms, and as such my wife refuses to come with me when I go shopping. I also got busted by my daughter last week when we went paddling together. "Mom, guess what - Dad was naked - in public!"

DaveO said...

There are two world views in operation here. The "they'll never see me again" and the "small world" views. I had the former in operation when I was bit in the rear end by the latter. Even when you carefully choose between the two you may get caught.