And anyone who knows me, knows that on that day each year, I can be quite elusive.
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.
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.
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.
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......