After driving through the night, we arrived early the morning of the funeral and despite our attempt to creep quietly up the stairs we roused the household. Hilarity and jollity shook the air; it’s our Krafcheck way. Late in the morning, however, the house looked like this. (Above.)
At the funeral, the place overflowed with family and friends and we stayed late into the night eating and, frankly, celebrating. We celebrated being together for once, and we celebrated our brother fallen asleep in the Lord. After the solemn part was done and people were cried out, and after we’d all refreshed ourselves with food, I got out my film camera and took pictures. I made sure to get a picture of my grandmother with all her grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. The group filled a wall, but four people were missing. I don’t have these pictures yet – film is slow.
Back in Elkhart Lake at my dad’s house, the days passed quietly, full of unhurried activity. We all went to a nearby county park, a marsh, because Ian wanted his grandfather to teach him to fish.
I allowed Lexy to dip her feet in the water and left her, shoeless, in the care of my stepmother, to go to the car for my camera. I returned a minute later to find the poor lady apologizing, “I couldn’t stop her!” Lexy had stripped and dipped – or rather dipped, then stripped, in record time, determined not to let this lovely big “poola” go to waste.
I didn’t mind for burgeois reasons, but I was worried about sunburn. I’ve had a bad sunburn before and I knew that I wouldn’t want to watch my daughter deal with that. She splashed for about 8 minutes and then I fished her out and hauled her, screeching and writhing in her agony of disappointment, to the car. She’d wet her clothes in the original jump and I had to take her back to the house to re-dress her.
Here’s the same marsh at sunset (picture by my stepmother, Bonnie Krafcheck.)
Besides lots of conversation and several table games such as monopoly and dominoes, we also left the house a lot for various activities. Here’s Lexy visiting Goldilock’s Three Bears at the Reading Garden on the campus of UW-Sheboygan.
Back at the house, there was plenty of exploring to do with a barn, an overgrown barn foundation, and lots of green space.
After six lovely days of green, green, and more green, we had to head back. We took back roads through Illinois, which was lovely. While driving, I witnessed some adorable behavior in the back seat, through the rear-view mirror, and thereupon I pioneered a new and highly dangerous photography technique which I won’t recommend to anyone, but which resulted in some very cute pictures of my kids.
I know I’ll be going back soon. I must. Wisconsin, as I have said on this blog before, is, to me, The Shire.
Thanks to everyone who helped us get here. It’s been a fruitful visit in more ways than one.