If I had to pick a word to summarize this year, so far, "meandering" would definitely be on the list.
Mack was on a visit to Noni's for the couple days before his birthday, and the plan was for Mom to deliver him home in time for his party on Saturday morning; I was going to ride along. My stepdad's been setting up a business location in NJ and has been doing a lot of travelling (you can maybe guess where this is going); his original return flight was cancelled and the new arrival time didn't jive with getting the birthday boy to his own party on time! Kate and I volunteered to transport the precious cargo so he wouldn't be late! It all went smoothly from there and, as previously documented, a good time was had by all.
We were just about to hit the highway on the way home -- the boring same-old highway that is fast and direct (and did I mention boring?) -- when Katie suggested we go a different way. We took a right instead of a left, travelling on some back roads that we have actually driven before but also some very new ones, and that's how we ended up meandering on the "rolling hills" portion of Wisconsin's Rustic Road 82.
And standing in the middle of the road on the rolling hills portion of Rustic Road 82!
It was a roller coaster hill -- very high and steep and pretty darn amazing! We drove over it a couple of times. Maybe a few. It was hard to resist... also so pretty, and green.
I realized that we were in the Town of Ashford and probably not far from someplace that I had been before. I was quite involved in family history research some years ago, lucky that ancestors on both sides of my family rooted within 100 miles of my home, and I spent many an afternoon in a library, history center, courthouse, or cemetery...
The most notable of which is the Rauch Family Cemetery. I've mentioned it before. I'm related in some way to most everyone buried here except, perhaps, for William & Hattie Baum. Their headstone sits apart, tucked separately into the woods, away from the madding Rauch crowd.
I introduced Katie to her great great great (ggg) grandfather, William, and to her gggg grandparents, Henry and Anna Maria.
There are two Civil War veterans, my ggg grand uncles George and Elvir; the marker above is by Elvir's headstone -- which is actually the moss-covered and very realistic concrete "log" on the left. Someone still comes and tends... there was a newer small American flag at George's stone. His gravesite is also completely covered with daylilies -- a perfect rectangular bed of them.
Note: I was this >< close to buying the latest version of Family Tree Maker last night. (It's only a matter of time. My "current" version -- a back-up -- is so old that I don't know if an upgrade is even possible. The idea of entering everything anew is what kept me from clicking "Buy Now.")
We meandered some more and found ourselves in another (new to me) cemetery atop another hill, enduring the hairy eyeball from the neighboring farmer as he drove by on his tractor.
We continued meandering through Campbellsport, the Holyland, up my favorite side of the lake, and home. I love my state.