Friday, May 24, 2013


Friday was my birthday!
And anyone who knows me, knows that on that day each year, I can be quite elusive.
I have a way of disappearing and popping up in the strangest of places.
This year was no different than many others that came before. This year, I got word from one of Ed's cousins that he was planning to marry a sweet girl that we met last time we visited Minnesota. The two of them make a great couple. They are always fun to be around and we decided that we could not miss their special day. The wedding was scheduled for Sunday with my birthday being Saturday. So after a quick nap Friday evening, we threw a few things in the car and set off on another all night drive. It's ten and a half hours to drive from the East coast of Michigan through Chicago, to Minneapolis, Minnesota.

A few stops along the way for freshening up, and we found ourselves in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin by 5:30 AM. The weather was amazing all night, making the trip a breeze. Our first destination was a cemetery just outside of town that is filled with some very large granite headstones. Here's a peak at some of the monumental monuments made from Wisconsin Granite.

But what would cause us to go out of our way to a small sleepy Wisconsin town besides a cemetery? Another cemetery!
This one is where Ed's mother was buried after her death in 2002.
 We could not pass through Wisconsin without stopping to pay our respects. Especially after stopping at my mother's grave just a week ago.

To remind you, Ed's mother died the day after my birthday in 2002 and my mother died the day before my birthday in 2011.

Audrey Borowski was laid to rest next to her grandparents. As a child she would visit them in Beaver Dam in the summers. This was her favorite time and had many happy memories of the summers spent there. So we all thought Beaver Dam was where she should be, even though she's so far from all of her family. We know she'd be happy with them.
We have yet to get her a headstone, believe it or not. But we placed flowers on her grave.

 As we were leaving the cemetery, we thought a nice cup of coffee was in order to complete the rest of the journey. We still had 4-1/2 hours to drive to Minneapolis.

So a quick search on our new smart phones that we got for my birthday showed us where to find that cup of life. And even though I'd been up for over 24 hours minus that quick nap before leaving, breakfast seemed to find it's way to the table as well.

 I think this town is about as Mid-American as you can get. Can you spot the "out of place Michigan car" on the street?

Right in the center of town is the town museum. It was way too early in the morning to explore this treasure. But we walked around and explored the small Wisconsin town that Ed's mother always spoke of with such fond memories. We started to understand why she loved this little hamlet so much.

 This town just drips with history of middle America

One thing we noticed as we walked the street of this beloved town was the bars. There was a bar on every block and above each and every one of those bar's doors, proudly hung a PBR beer sign. Any American over the age of 30 has heard of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer. And evidently, Wisconsin still celebrates it nightly.

I wish we could have discovered more of the town history that day but had someplace to be by the middle of the afternoon. I'm sure that the town gets it's name from a beaver dam. But today, there is a man-made dam just behind those buildings and the river rushes right between them. Beyond that is a lake. Very strange. I walked past the building expecting an alleyway and was met with a rushing river. It adds so much charm to this already charming town.
Since we had someplace to be and on my birthday, I like to do what I love, we got back in the car and hit the open highway...... 


MorningAJ said...

What a great trip. I can't imagine driving 10 hours for a weekend trip though! I'd be exhausted. Just the five it took to get to Scotland for our holiday was bad enough - and I had a week to get over that before we headed back.

Beaver Dam looks like a fascinating place. Maybe you could go back soon and stop there for a while?

Stew Adams said...

Is it even possible to drive that long in Great Britain?

We do hope to someday place a headstone on her grave and will make Beaver Dam our destination when we do.

Ms Sparrow said...

Sounds like you made an enjoyable trip out of a long journey. You never said how the wedding was and where you were in the Twin Cities. (Many people don't differentiate between Mpls and St Paul, so for all I know, you were a couple blocks from me!)

Stew Adams said...

A few years ago, we were in St Paul @ the Fitzgerald for A Prairie Home Companion. This time around, the story is yet to come.
I didn't realize you were in the area or I could have met you for coffee. Cause I could have used some coffee.

Jim said...

I know what you mean Stew about hitting the road! Such a good feeling. We hope to do that in early July to celebrate my birthday and our anniversary.....maybe a ball game in Boston.
This town of Beaver Dam looks very charming and I can see why Ed's mom wanted to 'rest' there.

Stew Adams said...

We'll sneak you on the ship and you can cruise back with us!

I do love to drive too though. Nothing like it.

AJ-OAKS said...

Since you want to be elusive on your birthday, then I shall say Happy Birthday to you here, rather than on FB.
Your words make me want to go to this lovely town. I can also see why she loved it so.
I cannot pass a cemetery here without thinking of you! I do plan on making a trip to a cemetery here somewhat locally that is reported to be haunted! I will be sure to take pics so I can share with you.

Stew Adams said...

It's a wonder I wasn't more involved in history in school. It's the history that draws me in to the cemetery.
You can tell so much about the people, health, economy and architecture from a simple walk through the granite orchard.

MorningAJ said...

It takes K an hour and a half to cover 52 miles to work. 10 hours is easily possible in the UK! ;)

Stew Adams said...

Good point

P. said...

I'm visiting from Ocean Breezes, and imagine my surprise when I saw this post about my own fair little city of BD! Your impressions were spot on. I hope you make it back sometime for another visit!

Stew Adams said...

Since we have plans on placing a marker on his mother's grave, I know we will be back. And maybe stay and check things out more next time.