Grim determination for much of the summer, and a headlong footrace to complete a stressful project before launching off to the USA for a new chapter.
The stressful project got sort of done, in its own way -- we went live with the new Ramsar Web site on 10 August to allow a few days for howls of chagrin, and then on 14 August we returned to the land of our early years, to visit Kristin for a change, instead of the other way round, and to see what's what.
(Bushies are gone, that's one big 'what', but the obesities of the TSA were still there to "inspect" my duffelbag and leave all the external pockets ripped out, with my paperback books scattered all along the baggage belt. So America is still America.)
Dumped out on the tarmac in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, after zombieing about in airports in Geneva, Amsterdam, and Minneapolis, we awake to a fine day at the local brocante sale, with everyone roaming about in a friendly manner to buy bargains and try not to have to sell bargains. Emily and Kristin are practiced bargain finders, and I scored a Four Plays by Ibsen for 50 US cents (I would have preferred 35 US cents, but I was outhaggled). I've been looking for a cheap The Wild Duck for a while, because I identify with Gregers Werle, and the "Summons of the Ideal", but not enough to pay the list price.
may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a
good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught
up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
A touch of home (the Confederate flag) right here along the Canadian border. (Would we Americans be happier now if we had actually lost the only war, 1861-1865, that, apart from WWII, we actually ever won?)
And a US hegemonic flag with a fish on it.
We're wandering about, just looking for a few bargains. I also scored a big bunch of colorful hiking headbands from an older Chinese couple who understood perfectly when I turned down their suggestion of some kerchiefs emblazoned with the American flag because they might not be safe to wear outside the USA. They had hilarious tales of being tagged as Americans in Cairo.
An important call. Eh, what's that? You want to get married?
"If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly". Hasty wedding preparations in northern Wisconsin. (Photo by Susan.)
Pastor Mary Ann's filling out the licenses and supplying the necessary background about responsibilities, commitments, downsides, potential conflicts, complicated finances, unwelcome compatibility discoveries too late in the day, etc. (It's been 44 years since my last wedding, so I'm all ears. I hope Kristin's taking this seriously, too.)
This may all sound easy and fun, but there are real responsibilities and commitments involved!
Kristin, Liz, and Elke making sure that the wedding chapel is all fitted out, and that the floater boats are moored up alongside.
Emily wishing her mom well (at all odds)
Pastor Mary Ann leads the Introit
Wedding gawkers assembling on the dock -- foremost, Marlowe, generously repaying the favor after I attended her wedding with Dima three years ago.
Kristin's kid sister Elizabeth, the impresario of the whole fête
Last minute arrangements, and congratulations all around
Shoreside fans, with chief shoreside photographer Kim.
Elisa and Ginger, waiting for the fireworks to begin
Chef d'oeuvre Liz making sure that Alles is pretty much in Ordnung.
We're ready. Let's do it.
We're ready, too.
A mini-sermon first, very graceful and wise words in fact, a little bit about God and what not, but nothing over the top on that score.
A brief distraction out on the lake . . .
. . . as the Noisy Boys roar past and set the floater boats to jostling one another.
Quite apart from wise homilies, it's time to get the Vows underway (photo by Kim).
"This is it, is it?"
(Kristin's brothers informed me that they had a speedboat stashed in the foliage nearby, just in case.)
Good vows, nicely customized to leave out all the "obey" stuff. (Photo by Kim)
Do you, Kristin, and you, Bryan, take ..... Whoa! (Photo by Carol)
"Bryan's on his way, he's just been delayed a bit."
"In the meantime, Dwight's standing in for him."
Evidently a win-win situation (Photo by Eric)
Final benedictions and so on. (Photo by Eric)
Pastor Mary Ann also blesses pets, but in this case we had specified the human blessings service.
You may kiss the bride. Again.
A touching moment, in the old school
Pastor Mary Ann and Kristin's mom, Joellen
Good advice from Ginger and Hollis for the way forward
Hors d'oeuvres at lakeside: Dwight and Fr. Richard
Marlowe and the Old Dad
Dinner afterward at Liz and Kirk's cottage across the way: Elke and Marlowe
Sister Susan and young Marlowe, with Brother George and Cousin Rob to the right
Peck generations -- sister Susan and daughter Marlowe, both lured out from the east to lend clan-symmetry to the festivities.
Marlowe and Susan, probably sharing invidious Dwight-jokes with white wine
Why don't you just put that knife down, and then we'll talk calmly.
Cutting the wedding cake (Pastor Mary Ann's other contribution)
Kristin and Eric's Elisa
A subsequent celebration, and a collection of beautiful Hagges: Elke, Kristin, Emily
Very good company
The morning after. Telephone and WiFi going at the same time and still no sense of clarity. That's Squirrel in the right foreground, Bob just behind him or her.
Kristin on the porch, looking for wisdom, or news, or at least a signal from the WiFi router over in the next cottage.
Wedding presents 1: from sister Susan, our parents' old Yngve Soderberg print of Race Rock (off Fishers' Island in the Long Island Sound), a family heirloom
Wedding presents 2: from Carol Warner, a metallic undersea concoction (sitting on an upturned breakfast plate). Carol is an inspired worker in metallic pieces, especially undersea themes.
Kristin's cottage on the lake, with her Volvo that not only drives you somewhere but also stirs your coffee and sings you lullabies and does your homework for you.
Kristin's cottage, nearing the end of its summerlong renovation (got a roof on it now)
Other cottages of the family along the lake, a lovely enclave of conviviality and good cheer in an otherwise fairly depressed part of the USA (timber and mining having long gone west and left pretty much just snowmobiles, jetskis, and holiday homes up from Madison and Milwaukee)
Please don't ask. The pharmacist will be admonished.
Back out on the dock, the game is afoot, as Sherlock Holmes said, and plans are being made.
Fancy a hike in the Porcupines?
Right then. See you in the Porkies anon.
We're packing up for Lake Superior, and a hike in the Porcupines.
Lake Superior, Porcupines hike