Sunday, May 23, 2010

A North Woods Break

I just spent a few days in Northern Wisconsin at a family event.  When I got sick last week I almost stayed home but, fortunately, by Friday I felt well enough to risk the four airline flights (2 up and 2 back).   I’m feeling better and so far haven’t had any ill effects from flying except for one ear that’s still a little clogged (even using ear planes). 

In transit I read Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scripture.   This came out in 2008, a couple of years after The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell, and it reminded me a lot of that novel.  Both are set in the present day and take place partly in asylums where women have been incarcerated for “social” disorders as well as for true insanity.  There are a lot of flashbacks. I love Esme Lennox, I liked The Secret Scripture.  Barry had to work a little too hard to make all of his threads come together at the end for me to love it.  Also, Esme Lennox is the story of women, The Secret Scripture is also the story of Doctor Grene who is treating the 100 year old Roseanne McNulty as well as the story of Mrs. McNulty.   I think the story of women worked slightly better.   But that isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy The Secret Scripture.  

Here’s some pics from the trip:

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This was the view from my bedroom window of Lake Minoqua.   The place we stayed at was lovely but, despite the photo, it was right on the main highway so there was a constant sound of traffic.  I’m used to the North Woods being quieter.

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Yes, it was Wisconsin so giant Paul Bunyans and Blue Oxes were expected.

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We only got out on the lake for about an hour, just enough time to get a quick tour of the boat houses.  This is the oldest boat house on the lake.  It was built in the late 1800’s by the Adler family of Adler Planetarium in Chicago fame.   Yes the photo’s a little cockeyed – the boat was rocking.

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This is a view of Boulder Lake, where the event I was going to on Saturday Night was held.  

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We had assigned tables and to learn our table we picked up a rock with our name on it and on the reverse was our table number.  Quite clever.

It was nice to get away.  It’s nice to be back.  Although not to 90 degree weather.