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Monday, March 7, 2016


Monday, 9:00 AM.  40 degrees F at the ferry dock, 39 on the back porch.  Wind NE, gusty.  The sky is clear of clouds but hazy.  The humidity is 86% and the barometer mostly steady at 29.81".  Rain showers are predicted for tomorrow, which would be welcome to get rid of the remaining ice and mud on the roads.  It isn't spring yet, but today should get us thinking about it.
   We spent several quick days driving down to Milwaukee (where we encountered a brief snowstorm) and back for a niece's wedding shower.  It was a good family gathering for Joan but left me with nothing to do for most of Saturday.  Luckily, I was able to connect with old high school classmate and Almanac reader Ron Gillard, and we had a great time discussing old friends, events and teachers from over sixty years ago; who is gone and who is left and other topics important to us, if not to anyone else.  
    We met for lunch at an "Irish pub" in what used to be the tiny village of Hales Corners, just southwest of Milwaukee.  The entire area has changed so much that I had a hard time realizing it was the same place; and of course, it isn't.  You truly never can go home again, except in memory.  Anyway the afternoon passed quickly over corned beef sandwiches and beer, and amid the memories of long ago.  
   Ron brought his "younger brother" along, who is 75, which kind of puts a new meaning on the phrase.  We all felt fortunate to have survived the vicissitudes of life to this point, for as the Good Book says, "The days of our lives shall be seventy years, or if through strength, eighty." We'll shoot for a few more, anyway.
   Which brings up the passing of Nancy Reagan, a great president's great first lady, who said a few years back (I am paraphrasing slightly), "Since we only have one chance at life, we must do the most good with it that we can." And, she did.
   I looked mostly in vain for signs of spring on the long trip from far north to far south in the State of Wisconsin.  There is some yellowing of willow twigs and the paper birch branchlets are becoming a hazy purple, but little else.  Oh, yes!  The Wisconsin River was open water as it meandered back and forth multiple times on the I39/US51 route.
   But it is spring in Texas, as evidenced by the above photo of our granddaughter Allison and the blooming peach and plum trees.

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