Monday, July 09, 2007

Am I in the Zoo?

This was a busy week. First we went "out to the lake." This was actually our first time on the lake this summer. I was pretty fixated on using sun screen since I don't often wear shorts. The sunscreen came with me on our hike in the woods. Unfortunately, the bug spray was still in the canoe. I help feed some of God's wild creatures, namely the black flies and mosquitoes. For some reason, my skin feels especially sensitive to bug bites this year, although I'm still being stubborn: I haven't sprayed with bug spray even one time in 2007.

The next day, we went to the bear sanctuary,
which is quite out in the middle of nowhere, miles even from any tiny towns. We were quite surprised to see a very full parking lot and many people standing around waiting. Waiting for what? We all had to board a school bus and ride a mile to the bear viewing platform. There, we climbed the steps and walked around on a large deck-like structure, with a chance, of course, to buy souvenirs, and looked down and around for bears. I think I saw about 8 bears total.

This is a place where bears have been fed for years and it is now set aside as a sanctuary to study bears and for the viewing of bears by the public. The volunteers and interns that work there walk on the ground level, carrying food, and are close to the bears. They claim that if you understand bears, they are not dangerous. We even saw bears running past the worker's parked cars.

I called it the anti-zoo because the hundred or more people there were behind the "bars" along the sides of the deck.

The next day, I set out on my familiar 1000 mile round trip, to Cheesehead land, to visit my relative. It was a good visit, relaxing, but somewhat of a challenge, because her health problems include aphasia, a speech deficit. I realized how spoiled I have been when I tried to sleep there. The town is what is often referred to as "sleepy" but that word doesn't apply to the patrons, on July 3 and 4, of the next building up the street, a tavern. That is a world I don't know, even though that business has been up the street from my family's home for maybe 100 years. I haven't been in there since the previous owner died when she was almost 80. Different crowd in those days.

The State Patrol had blocked off the scenic road I usually drive on in Cheesehead land when I'm visiting there. There was a major national golf tournament; I saw aerial views of my home are on ESPN after I got home. The link has some nice pictures and works even on my slow internet connection.

Once back home, we were into the usual summer work and play. We're trying to grow some new grass even though we haven't had rain in almost a month. We've been enjoying the birds. We went to a Native American museum and canoes at a state park and went to the Canoe Capital of the world for an anniversary dinner. Ahhhh, summer. It's been hot, some days, but we feel safe enough to open all the doors and windows at night, so we can cool off the house. It may have been almost 90 yesterday, but it was 49 when I awoke this morning.

Ahhhh summer.

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