I looked forward to going home every summer. This year we were doing something different. This year we would be more active while still having fun, a little quirky, to include all ages. I couldn’t wait to get on that plane and back to Wisconsin.
The ex was from So Cal and after getting out of the Army in 1978, he decided it was where we would live. We were there long enough to have a baby, get jobs, move to 3 different homes, spend most of our money and move in with Ex’s divorced father and 3 siblings. All that in 2 years, until we moved to Wisconsin, my home state.
We settled in a wonderful medium sized town, got good jobs and later put our son into a great public school. We had it made, on the outside, anyway. Ex started his construction company. Good money and a lot of stress. We built a home in an upscale neighborhood. One of the jobs he took was remodeling a restaurant and lodge. It was a big project and took many months. He did this on a handshake. After it was finished, they didn’t have the money to pay it all. Bankruptcy, moving out of our custom home, and then too much drinking.
Time to move back to California. That was at the end of 1989. Ex went back first and found a house and a job. Our son and I came out shortly after that. I had to leave a job I loved for 8 years and my family.
Oops, back to the story and fast forward to 2001. I go back to Wisconsin for a week every summer. I go by myself. Ex is never happy about me going and won’t come with me. After a few years, I don’t care, I just need to go.
I always end up at my parent’s home on the Island and my 7 siblings come, at least for the weekend. We had done Christmas in July the years prior. This year (2001), my brother-in-law suggested we do a family “Survivor”. There were plenty of emails and phone calls to plan the weekend. We figured we had between 20 and 30 people with sibs, in-laws, nieces, nephews, my grandma, my parents and a couple friends. The teams ended up with 12 people each, ages 7 to 81. We had spouses on opposing teams. Each team had four siblings, mine with 2 sisters, a brother, Dad and assorted others. The other had 2 brothers, 2 sisters, Mom, Nanny plus 6 more.
Events included food challenges, basketball shooting, how far can you jump, hit a golf ball and sunflower seed spitting. We picked teams on Friday night and saw the area my bro-in-law chose for the tribal counsel. Games to begin on Sat morn…
Writing 101 Day 4