The weekend’s travels were not quite the classic adventure, but full of the ingredients of adventure nonetheless. I’m sitting in an airport that has been closed multiple times today due to snow. Some people like snow, and while I too love the romantic memories of sucking slush from my knit mittens on a glorious Calvinesque sledding day, I could have done without the frozen fingers, toes, and driving in the miserable crap. Why my favorite airline chose a frozen blizzard magnet as their hub location is slightly beyond me. I understand it’s a central location and cheap to operate here, but the agents have told me that it’s been a banner year for snow-related delays, closures, and diversions. Grumble.

The visit with my mom went exceedingly well. She was bright and smily, laughing easily and responding to jokes and conversations. My dad and sisters were there, and I prodded (quite literally) everyone into gathering around for our first family photo in almost a decade. My niece snapped the pictures while the five of us tried a few different smiles out. An attendant brought her pureed dinner and meds in, and she began to get noticeably groggy. The drugs knock her out quite quickly, and that’s the state I usually see her in because I tend to visit after mealtimes. We filed out after a while and visited a pizza buffet down the road.

My sister raved about the place on our shared ride to the town mom lives in, having been there a few times. They offer all you can eat pizza and salad for about $5, and it’s bright and clean and good. The Packers game was just starting on the teevee as we started round one. After Green Bay scored their first touchdown, I announced, “This is why they’re going to win.” Good thing I wasn’t surrounded by gamblers. I’m not sold on the place, and I certainly wouldn’t make the 100 mile trip just for the food, but they did offer a fantastic value. I chatted with my kids a little, and it was time to go too soon.

The ride home was uneventful, right up until there was a near-event. I was driving my sister’s newish car (she won it last year – a brand new car just for pushing the On-Star button at the dealership. Pretty sweet, if you ask me, and I know you’d ask because you’re curious like that). I saw a car in the rearview changing lanes to pass. Then I saw the glare of his headlights (I think it was a him, because hers in my experience drive more sensibly in a blizzard) through my side window. Not sure what maneuver he was trying, but I was pretty sure it was not good. I punched it to pull out of his way, clearing the lane for him to spin around twice and land on the right shoulder, facing the same way. A good ending that could have gone south (which would be bad, because we were going west).

I have to heartily thank my friend Dave for the use of his van, which I endeavored to drive as little as possible. Also, the hospitality of my friend Neil for the bed and taxi service. Without these gold-hearted guys I couldn’t have done this trip.

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