Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Adventure In Kenosha

I meant to post this a couple days ago but I've been so tired from my adventures and my trainer coming that I just couldn't work up much energy to blog.  I'm back in Idaho now though and fully rested up, if a bit sore from my workouts.

Now I have to tell you first that my family and I having been greatly anticipating this visit since I haven't been there in almost 7 years.  The last time I was there was for my father's memorial service when he died and I was an 18 year old kid.  Not a pleasant experience by any means.  I had been putting off going back for quite some time but I'm really glad I finally got up the gumption to go.  Now I just regret that it had taken me soooo long!

I left on the 18th at 5:30 in the morning so I could arrive in Kenosha early in order to be able to see my grandma-my dad's mom.  I bought a rental car so I didn't have anyone meet me at the airport, which was weird because in all the times I've traveled to kenosha my dad was always there to meet me.  Anyway my rental car was awesome and they actually gave me a free upgrade from an economy car because I was polite.  Being nice really does pay I guess!

I stayed for nine days and each second was packed with my family!  I went and saw my grandmother first.  Then I made my way to the amazing Lorrie's house where I stayed with her and her husband, Chris, while I was there.  They are have their own E-Cig business and Chris makes his own juices in their hosue.  I don't smoke, anymore, but Chris made me some with no nicotine and they are great for helping to curb my sweet tooth.  They've had great success in quitting themselves and helping other people quit.  They also took me to Lake Michigan while I was in Kenosha and we looked along the beach for sea glass.  I found some and got to bring it home with me.

On Sunday I went with my family and took family pictures.  They came out really good but unfortunately I don't have them at the moment.  It was good to be able to see my immediate family all in one day but we sure have grown since the last family picture was taken.  After the pictures, there was big star at my grandmother's house which was AMAZING.  I really had missed Big Star and it was so worth it.  (P.S. we all wore white.)

My Cousin Nicole

Uncle Pat & Aunt Dawn
My Brother Jacob
My Grandma and I

Monday I took Lorrie and her sweet mother, Diana, out to brunch and we had a really good visit.  I have missed Lorrie's family just as much as I have missed my own.  When Lorrie and my dad we together, they treated me like one of their own and nothing has changed even after my dad and Lorrie were no longer together.  They are some of the nicest people in the world.  I was lucky what time I got with Lorrie and her family.  They are all very artistic and extremely busy.  Diana paints beautiful pictures and Lorrie's older sister Melanie, who I also spent some time with, sells them in the gallery she runs called the Lemon Street Gallery.  In fact you can find a lot of their family's stuff there since they all paint beautifully.
Lorrie and Diana

Tuesday I spent some more time with my grandma, Nicole, and my Aunt Shelly.  We had a girls day of lunch and then we went to the cemetery to visit Dad and the rest of our family out there.  It was quite an experience.  There was actually more of my family out there than I knew about.

That was the same day my Grandma decided to take me to get our nose rings, haha.  I still can't get over that!

The rest of the week went by pretty quickly and I got to spend some more time with family members that I haven't been able to see in a long time.  I spent Saturday with my great Aunt, Pat,  and my cousins Mary, Randi, Emily and Randi's little boy Tyler John (named after my dad).  He's such a cutie and he ran right up to me and gave me a big hug.  Then we spent some time playing monster trucks.

The Mason clan, excluding Aunt Dawn, but her shadow is there!
I spent some time out at my Uncle Pat's and Aunt Dawn's place.  They have a beautiful piece of land, a little over six acres I think, and we gathered a lot of the family together to BBQ and bonfire.  It was so great to catch up with all of them and to talk about good times with my dad.  Pat even played one of my dad's mixed tapes.  I felt him with us the entire time.

Sunday I left Wisconsin to come home.  I said goodbye to Lorrie and Chris and then I spent the last few hours I had with my grandma.  We went to the cemetery one last time so I could say goodbye to Dad.  I hugged my grandma and bawled my eyes out.  Then we did the rational thing and went and had some Dairy Queen.  (I know, I know, not exactly on the diet plan.)

I had such a good time with my family and it's nice to see how they've all changed and to catch up on what they've been doing with their lives.  I'm ashamed it had taken me so long to get back there and I had forgot just how much I've missed each of them.  I'm already trying to plan my next trip out there and I can promise it won't be another seven years from now.  


  1. Wow, that sounds like it was a wonderful time with your loved ones. Two things: One: I adore your hair! It is so long and shiny. It looks very healthy, like on one of those commercials where the woman shakes her head back and forth.

    Two: Speaking from personal experience, spend all the time with your great-aunt and grandmother that you can. If you can't see them, write them letters or call them once a week, or something. You can never get that time back. Also, you will NEVER regret making a video or audio recording of them talking about their youth, their family memories, what it was like "in the old days" etc. That kind of oral history becomes precious once their generation is gone. Oh, and another thing: if they have any great recipes that everyone in the family loves but no one but "great-auntie" or "grammy" can make, ASK THEM TO TEACH YOU HOW TO MAKE IT. You will always regret it if you don't and the recipes disappear with them.
    WOW. Sorry this was so heavy, but all this is me speaking about regrets I have now. And I can't turn back the clock. So I'm just giving you a heads-up. Hope you don't mind. :) Both my great-aunt and my grandmother were great cooks, and knew many recipes from "the old country". I should have seized every opportunity to learn those recipes, and now they are gone forever. We only have one or two still with us.

    1. Thank you for the hair compliment! You would be surprised to learn that I actually used to keep it very, very short. Only after my father died did I actually start growing it out. I'm super glad that I did though.

      Thank you for the audio/video tip. I wish I had taken the opportunity to grab some while I was there. My family really likes to share recipes so I have many that have been passed down through generations. You are right that it's a true blessing, especially to see it in their own hand writing!