The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

July 11, 2012

BICKER: Angie takes time to have fun up north

CLINTON — Since I returned home from vacationing in Wisconsin for a week, I came to one conclusion. God made summer for one reason and one reason only and that was so hardworking people like me could escape the everyday realities of life and enjoy all of His natural wonders. Whenever I take time off, it has been to complete a very long to-do list at home, but this time around my boyfriend and I headed north to spend some time with his mother’s family and take some time out for ourselves.

Even though we had a long car ride, about six hours, it seemed to go by fairly quickly; we were prepared. I packed sandwiches and drinks for lunch and snacks we could munch on along the way to sustain us until suppertime. During our journey, Mike discovered a very important fact — that not all women are the same. His friend warned him prior to the trip that I would probably have to take several bathroom breaks before we arrived at our destination. After six hours, I smiled and said, “Be sure to tell Scott we only stopped once.”

After each passing mile and occasionally asking each other, “Are we there yet?,” we finally arrived at his aunt and uncle’s cottage by Lee Lake, which is north of Green Bay. Mark and Patty Glapa welcomed us with open arms and made us feel right at home. That night we enjoyed a beautiful ride down the lake in their pontoon boat taking in the scenery.

Even though I was vacationing in Wisconsin, I was constantly thinking of all of my girls back home at Klucker Farms. I checked in with my mom daily to see how the dog and my girls were doing in the sweltering temperatures. If you get down to it, I guess I’m just an old mother hen at heart. I had quite a team in place to take care of my girls. My friend Jennifer gathered eggs in the morning; Mike’s aunt, Sandy, took over the afternoon shift; and my dad completed the circle by feeding, watering and tucking them in at night. Since my dad also was left with the job of taking care of my very large garden, he enlisted the help of Mike’s nephew, Brandon, to make it a little easier.

I had a wonderful week getting to know Mike’s relatives. I met his aunt Rose and her husband, Gary; cousins: Liann (Wade), Chrisy (Scott), Karen (boyfriend, Ryan) and Tommy (Amber). Mike and his cousins had a great time reminiscing about old times. It made me think back to when I was a kid and the fun times I had with my cousins growing up. We got together for two big bonfires and had a fun day of swimming and hanging out at Pecor Lake.

This was a monumental vacation in more ways than one because I wore a swimsuit for the first time since the early 1990s and I learned the basics of how to swim. Yes, I said swim. At 36, because of a car accident, I never learned how to swim like other kids. Mike and Patty were excellent teachers; I couldn’t have done it without them. Patty was very encouraging and reassured me the whole time that I wasn’t going to sink as long as I had a noodle under my arms. After a few days of practice and a lot of hard work and determination on my part, I was dog paddling. I wasn’t making great Olympic strides like Michael Phelps, but I was moving in the water. My form was better — my butt was up, knees were extended and together and my feet were moving back and forth like flippers. I had to smile when Patty gave me a noodle before I left so I could continue my swimming lessons at home.

Not only did we swim, but Mike and I enjoyed Fourth of July fireworks with his family in the small town of Gillette, Wis. We also watched an antique tractor pull before the fireworks got under way. Needless to say I was thrilled when I saw an old Farmall tractor taking part in the festivities.

We topped off our week by going horseback riding and going to a fish fry. I took a lot of pictures and made a lot of lasting memories for years to come.

Even though I had a wonderful time in the cheese state, I was very happy to see all of my girls. I think I can echo John Denver’s lyrics by saying, “Heh, it’s good to be back home again.”

Angie Bicker has been employed with the Clinton Herald since 2001. She can be reached at angiebicker@clintonherald.com.

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