07 June 2007

Up North

This weekend my husband and I are taking the kids and going "Up North" to stay with my husband's father's cousin (that would be my husband's first cousin once removed). I don't really know these folks and they live a hellishly far way away. They live somewhere up around the Iron Range, not a place I frequent if I can help it, and not nearly as close as our cabin in Northern WI. But, we are going. My husband really wants to go since he has a small and very unclose family that he wants to get to know better. I have a large and too close family. So, to honor my husband's (insane) wishes, I have to pack just about everything we own and remember to always have a smile on my face! Oy.

10 things I will try to remember this weekend:
1. Stay away from mosquitos and deer flies, especially ones big enough to fly off with one of the kids
2. Stay away from poison ivy
3. It's only for the weekend
4. They really are nice people and hubby's family isn't that big that we will have to do this many more times
5. Keep the kids away from just about everything in the not-childproofed home
6. Ask if they have a place they want me to throw dirty diapers, goopey kid things, etc.
7. Try not to yell at the kids/husband all the time or risk being thought of as a bad mom/wife
8. Don't drink any alcohol, even if the situation is desperate and seems to require it
9. Kids will be kids, husbands aren't afforded same consideration
10. Pray

Obviously, I'll be away from blogging for the weekend. Have a good weekend and say a little prayer (or two) for me, will ya?


Ray from MN said...

Swiss Miss:

Obviously you haven't been schooled in the better things about Northern Minnesota and the Iron Range ("Da Rainch"), I thought I'd make some additions to your list.

11. Bring me back a half dozen pasties for me (I'll pay) and some for yourself, too);

12. Make sure you swing by Knife River on the North Shore and fill your cooler with smoked fish. It's too late to get a half bushel basket of smelt though;

13. Stop by the ski jump training center in Coleraine and watch the summer time U.S. Olympic Team ski jumping practice;

14. Have a meal at any of the Sammy's Pizza establishments that you will run across, breathe in the aroma and have a "special;"

15. Have a couple of "Coneys" at the "Original Coney Island" in Duluth, the one on First Street;

16. And throw a buck with my name on it into one of the pricey slots at the "Fond du Luth Casino" on Superior Street in Duluth;

and as you drive by the enormous* bell tower at the corner of Eleventh Avenue East and Eleventh Street in Duluth, pay homage to it as it was erected by some church as a monument to my birthplace across the street from it.

*...And incredibly ugly

swissmiss said...

I only WISH I was going to be anywhere remotely near Duluth. My husband printed out a map of where we were going and it is somewhere between Grand Rapids and Canada. I have many friends who are either from the range or their family is from the range. They have taconite in their blood, along with lutefisk.

Sanctus Belle said...

Ah distant and rather unknown relations of the husbands! I know this situation well (although I must admit I could escape to the hotel!) One thing I always try to remember - use these situations as opportunities to grow in virtue and to be purified. All the awkwardness, the lack of familiarity - make for some degree of suffering. If you let it wash over you, offer it to God, He can use this as a sort of purgatory on earth! Great for the soul!

I'll tell you one brief encounter I had when I first met up with the Quebec relations when my hubby and I were dating:

Scene: His sisters for dinner, brother there too. They are rather staunch separatist Partie Quebecois types and the conversation starts like this: "Do you like your President Bush?" My reply "I voted for him" Faces get red...many anti-American news/sound bite type sayings follow...

Next topic, I'm asked "Why is it you Americans don't know anything about what is going on in Canada?" My reply "Nothing about Canada is covered in our news" "Why is that?" They ask...my reply (stupidly)"I guess no one really cares what goes on in Canada" (here follows many gasps and swearing in french....)

Ok, so I pray your weekend goes better than mine did.

PS: We did in the end all make up and I think they like me ok now. Trying to learn French made a huge difference!

swissmiss said...

LOL! Ha, ha, ha. I didn't endear myself to my husband's family either initially. A generation back, they had been Catholic and even attended St. Agnes, but a huge tragedy happened (LONG story) and hubby's grandparents left the Church because of it. I come along and plan a big Catholic wedding at St. Agnes, the very church that was the source of so much strife. Over the years, despite the religious differences, I think (know) hubby's family is actually very fond of me and maybe even somewhere respects and likes how Catholic I am.
Isn't Canada our "neighbor to the North?" Thus ends just about all I know about Canada ;} Actually, truth be known, my mother's Irish family actually settled north of Toronto before coming to WI.

Anonymous said...

I hope your family doesn't read your blog! Best, Jeff

swissmiss said...

I didn't say anything mean about them! More about how it's an uncomfortable situation. They are very nice people, albeit in their mid-70s and we have little kids that tend to drive folks over 50 crazy. I just wish they lived closer and we could all go out to dinner instead of driving 4+ hours with the kids. My son is potty trained but doesn't get the idea of saying he needs to go when we are in a town. We're hauling a crib and at least two of everything you can imagine. Not a relaxing time, especially when we get home and have to unpack two of everything we own!

Terry Nelson said...

Sunday, 1:30PM - it's almost over! And you are having so much fun you don't wnt to leave.