I spend my summer’s in Northern Wisconsin at my family vacation home, settled on two lakes, and over eighty acres. Since having added a mini pig, Officer, to my family, driving from Florida with him and his brother, a black cat with OCD named Uncle Putt, has become necessary. Oh, Officer can fly, but Delta clipped his wings.
Driving North the last two years, I have always had company on this twenty-seven hour road trip, but not this year. I pulled out of my driveway on June 20, and pulled into our property the 22nd, two days later. It was a really wasn’t so bad; a pretty easy drive.
Wisconsin summers have always been a time to unwind and write, playing fast and hard on the lake in the day, fishing in the evening, and fireflies, bonfires, and a flurry of stars above at night. Spending time with family and friends, the world’s best Bloody Mary’s, and fried cheese curds can only be found in one place, so this Floridian heads north each year.
Uncle Putt and Officer love it as well. Uncle Putt gets to explore the outdoors, feeling like a “bad ass” chasing squirrels up trees, and killing field mice in the basement. Officer, roots and edges acre after acre, fertilizing as he goes, then off for a swim in the lake to cool down. Most people used to think he was an ugly dog, a “something-doodle”, but now they know, “It’s just Officer Volpe.” They both go through a depression whenever we get back to Florida, and “that time” arrives more quickly each year, when we must pack up and head home.
I had work to do. I was asked to co-emcee, Ladies Sing the Blues, with the Florida Blues Brothers, and we had promotions to shoot. I had obligations to REAL Exclusive Magazine, another publication I write for, and there has been some impressive developments for me since my last article with them went viral — stay tuned! And…I seriously needed my hair done! It was just too bad I was leaving my family a week before my birthday.
I have since learned, traveling the identical route in reverse can sometimes be tricky. As we made our way back home, by way of a few extra states, since missing my exit in Champaign, Illinois, the first thing I noticed upon entering my native state, is my fellow Florida driving etiquette. They are the only people on Earth who drive 20 mph over the speed limit, passing you with the shittiest expression, like you’re doing something wrong…God, it was good to be home!
The next day I was blonde again, feeling refreshed and more like myself by the minute. The “boys”, however, were melancholy. All Uncle Putt wanted to do was eat. Eat lizards, eat my plants, eat my shoes, eat Q-Tips, you name it. Officer, all he wanted to do was sleep, unless I wasn’t home, then he wanted to interior decorate. I’d walk in to find my furniture rearranged, blankets and pillows littering the floor, papers half eaten and books with the cover or first page devoured — literally, and guess who’s sound asleep in the middle of it all…the gloomy lil piggy!
Needless to say, I haven’t been home a lot. My birthday is September 3, and since my good pal, Sande Caplin, was going to be gone that week, babysitting in Brooklyn, he decided to celebrate my special day from Thursday, August 28 to Sunday, August 31!
“Frick” and “Frack” were back and celebrate we did. In case you haven’t read my story for The Sarasota Post, The Reality and Rebuttal of Sande Caplin, I confess that I may have called my cherished friend, Mr. Caplin, a “Dick”, and possibly a “Dumb ass”. If you know our beloved Sande Caplin, you know this may be true, but then you also know, he’s the best to share a laugh with, your biggest cheerleader and fan, and the finest friend a gal could have, true and honest till the end.
There are so many people I’d like to thank for acknowledging my birthday and making me feel so special. Sande Caplin, of course, The Flying Dog, Bruce Famiglio, Amber Murphy – woo woo, Vinnie Tricarico, Julie Dugas, and Daniel “Jake” Likins of the Florida Blues Brothers, just to name a few. You can’t go wrong with these guys as friends, but you can get in a whole lot of trouble!
I woke up early on my birthday, to a baby picture my mom posted on Facebook wishing her, “Littlest Angel”, a Happy Birthday. Too bad it wasn’t me! It was my niece wearing angel wings, and she has RED hair, which I’ve never had in all my life! You would think my mother would know this? She told me, “It was a long time ago.” Bitch.
We had a good laugh, and all my Facebook friends thought I, my niece, looked so cute in my angel wings. At 9 am, I took a dear friend of mine to the doctor for her post-op checkup. I spent the entire morning with pregnant women and their husbands discussing the color of the baby’s room.
“Should it be gray and yellow or just yellow”, the concerned husband said. “Both is fine”, patiently the mommy-to-be replies. “I don’t know, it may be too much gray for the furniture. I don’t want it to be too dark”, anxiously confides hubby. “It’ll be fine or we can just do the yellow”, mommy consoles.
Can I slit my wrists please! 11:45am and my friend appears, as I’m preaching, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere”. To my birthday lunch she took me, and laughed and enjoyed ourselves we did.
I arrived home just in time to redecorate my house — again, explain to my niece why HER baby picture was on Facebook, and get dressed before Ed Bertha, my good friend and publisher of REAL Exclusive Magazine came to take me to the Trop.
To my hometown of St. Petersburg we went to see the Tampa Bay Rays. I couldn’t see them any better either, sitting a few rows behind the Rays dugout, between Home and First Base. Just ask Tom Macknight, he was sitting two rows behind me, in the birthday section.
Unfortunately, the Rays lost, and my jeans got tight from beers, hot dogs, and fries…hmmm, wonder why, it was light beer? It was the finale to an incredible birthday week.
In one week I was…Home by all the Northern, Central and Eastern states, unpacked, a year older, blessed to have so many wonderful people apart of my life, four pounds heavier, rallying Officer and Uncle Putt out of their moodiness, and grateful it’ll be another 365 days till we do it again!