Parents Day 2009

Friday–Sunday, October 2–4, 2009
Taken from our Family Journal. Posted here April 21, 2022

Joe stayed home with us during the 2008–09 school year; he worked two jobs during that time: one at Best Buy and the other at Walmart.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Got up late and hurriedly finished packing for Minnesota trip. ~ Left at 1:05 p.m.; stopped for gas at Roman’s 66 (1:11). Left gas station at 1:12; sent text to Joe indicating ETA of 6 p.m. ~ Stopped briefly at exit 163 (8 miles up I-90) at about 1:32 to put Wendi’s MP3 player on shuffle. ~ There was intermittent rain the whole trip.

Rest stop at mile 74 for lunch (2:57–3:43 p.m.). Wendi had made sandwiches of XX Sausage, leftover roast chicken, ham, American and Mozzarella cheeses, lettuce, mayo, and mustard on Italian House bread. They were huge; we only ate half of them today.

Arrived at Joe’s college hall at 5:54, so our estimate was amazingly close. ~ Unloaded stuff (there were three boxes of food and some other stuff) upstairs and visited for a while. ~ Joe took us to dinner at Perkins after 8 p.m. He paid for the dinner; I provided a tip.

Next to Walmart; Joe bought groceries and a Selena Gomez music CD. We bought Jello Sugar Free Chocolate Mousse, whipped topping, and three cheap music CDs (11:00 p.m.). We spent a lot of time just looking at stuff.

Back to our home away from home: the college put us up in Guest Apartment #103. Listened to Joe’s new CD on Wendi’s computer. ~ Joe and I ate apple pie from home; Wendi had some of the chocolate mousse. ~ Joe left the apartment at 12:18 a.m.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I was up at 7:52 a.m. Took shower. Wendi had trouble getting up but finally managed. Shortly after 9 a.m. we went up to Joe’s unit, where Joe cooked us French toast and bacon for breakfast, with freshly brewed coffee. I showed him how to do a few things and also helped with the cooking, but it was mainly Joe’s thing. We listened to music on Joe’s computer during breakfast.

There was a men’s soccer game at 1 p.m. but we didn’t attend due to the chilly weather and wet grounds from the rains. Later we learned that Crossroads lost the game.

Later we went shopping at Savers, a second-hand store that carries everything from clothing to electronics to toys. The place was huge! Joe bought himself a nice Army trenchcoat; we bought a big pillow for the couch, a Furby, some clothes for Wendi, and a CD of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, who sang “The Impression That I Get” (1:51 p.m.). ~ From there we went to nearby Pawn America, a large pawn shop dealing mostly with used electronic equipment, CDs and DVDs. We bought three DVDs there (2:36 p.m.); Joe bought some also.

The main events for Parents Day were the meeting and dinner, at 3:30 and 4:30 in the Academic Building, Classroom 202. The meeting schedule was as follows:

Erick Klein was the Resident Assistant in Joe’s unit during his first year at college (2007–08). Joe’s friend, Teresa, was in the skit.

There was a free fried chicken dinner at 4:30 in the same room.

After dinner, we all walked to the library building; Joe showed us some other classrooms. Then we went to the college bookstore (in the same building) and looked around for a while. Our guest apartment was in the next building, so we walked over there and rested for a while.

Joe’s friend, Teresa, met us at the guest apartment that evening, and we played “Apples to Apples” for an hour or two. She was fairly “hyper” and kept using the word “kinky” to describe everything, just because she liked the word. She also expressed a liking for “thingy”; she fit it quite well with us, and we had an enormously fun time.

Joe had promised to take us to Applebee’s after 9 p.m. for half-price apps (appetizers); the four of us piled into the car and drove over there. Appetizers cost around $8 each normally; with four people and four sodas at $2.39 each, the bill came to $29 after tax, and Joe had only $15 left. We had to split the bill; I paid for everything (including a $5 tip, 10:51 p.m.), and Joe would give me the $15 tomorrow. ~ While we were there, Teresa simmered down somewhat; she and Wendi talked about their childhoods which were fairly similar, and Teresa opened up and spilled her heart to us. Joe told us on Sunday that it was probably a good thing to take Teresa for this, because apparently Teresa doesn’t often open up to people. She has told him that the other girls in her unit don’t know much about her, and because they don’t understand her, they don’t treat her with very much respect.

After Applebee’s, we went to Walmart for water and also bought some Dr. Pepper in football-shaped bottles (11:40 p.m.). Then we dropped off Teresa at her unit, and Joe at his unit.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I was up at 7:06 a.m. ~ Did Windows Update and defragmentation on Wendi’s computer (it ran through church). ~ Harvest Church meets on campus, in room A202, at 10 a.m. on Sundays; we attended service there this morning. ~ Went to Walmart 12:24 p.m. for food items, then back to the apartment. ~ Joe brought coffee from his room, and we made coffee to go with the donuts we just bought. ~ Later we had apple pie. ~ Packed up to go home. ~ Joe paid me $15 in cash toward last night’s Applebee’s outing. ~ Met him at his room; he came out to say good-bye to Wendi, who stayed in the car this time; he was wearing his new Army trenchcoat from Savers. The tag inside the pocket said it was made in 1951! It was in remarkably good condition and was also thick, heavy and warm.

Left at 3:46 p.m. ~ Kwik Trip for air in tires, and gas (4:08). ~ Finally on road at 4:17.

Rest area at mile 244 in Minnesota, 4:50–5:10. ~ Drove through most of Wisconsin, then decided to get off I-90 to find something to eat. Got off at Highway 33 to Portage; drove clear through town, only to find no restaurants open. “There’s got to be another town nearby,” I said; “let’s just keep going.” The next town was Fox Lake, home to only 1,500 people and a prison; then Beaver Dam, a decent-sized community… but by now we had driven 30 miles off the beaten path! The nearest way home from here would be to drive a few miles further east to Highway 26 and then take that home.

Just before we reached Beaver Dam, a funny thing happened: my “Noxious Fumes” song began to play on Wendi’s MP3 player, and just then we passed a skunk! I told Wendi that had we not strayed from the Interstate, this would probably never have happened. Also, we managed to miss the construction on the Interstate, and the traffic had been awful already, even where we got off. So maybe we did the right thing after all.

We stopped at a Kwik Trip on Highway 33 in Beaver Dam (8:05 p.m.) so Wendi could use a rest room and refill her soda. We asked the store people where we could find a restaurant that was open (the Dairy Queen across the street was closed). They directed us to nearby Spring Street, the local equivalent of our Milton Avenue which included at least four restaurants. ~ We drove to a Pizza Hut Italian Bistro, arriving at 8:50. We ordered their Tuscani Pasta, Creamy Chicken Alfredo variety, and it was wonderful. The waitress, a 50-year-old lady named Linda, was very friendly; since it was not busy, she stood and visited with us for several minutes. We left at 10:17.

I decided (since it was on the way) to go back to the Kwik Trip (10:21–10:24) and thank the people for directing us to a restaurant. The guy told us that we could save a few miles by taking County Highway A from 33 kitty-corner across to 26. ~ We had no problem driving home from there, arriving at 11:57 p.m.