April 17th, 2003
Last weekend Kate visited here, in order to talk to her advisor, and to go up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with me and my mom for the 50th wedding anniversary of my aunt and uncle.
Driving to Escanaba from Chicgao is a 6.5 hour drive, plus the three hour drive to my mom's. We were mostly civil to one another but that's a lot of time to spend cooped up, especially as little as Kate and I have been seeing each other lately. It didn't SEEM stressful at the time, but I think it really was, since it affected how well we got along on the drive home and then later, when we had a fight.
The anniversary party was really interesting. The U.P. and its inhabitants are really different from most other parts of the country that I've been to. And they renewed their vows at the end of their usual church service, which was a Catholic Mass, and since was on Saturday night, that was really Sunday. I belatedly realized it was Palm Sunday, so things went on especially long including a full reading of the entire Passion, etc etc etc. 90 minutes of church...
More interesting was the party afterwards, with so many people it must have been most of the little town they live in. Uniquely upper-midwest food, too. Jello salad. Sausage and sauerkraut. A steam tray full of roasted half-chickens. And afterward! A genuine polka band.
And my mom danced, like a lot. It was so nice to see. It was an interesting and somewhat rare glimpse into the really tight-knit nature of the family bonds on that side of my family.
I drove the entire trip back to Chicago the next day. Made it in just six hours, too.