18 May, 2022

I am writing today from Southern Indiana. I have been back in the US for a week now. The graduations went well. I really wish Julie and I could have figured out a way to attend both, but until someone figures out how to travel about 600 miles in the space of a minute or so being in two different places at almost the same time will be impossible.

I do think I got the better of the two graduations. Sure Julie got to spend some time with parents, but she had to sit through the mass graduation that is UW/Madison. She never was even able to pick Kaylee out in the crowd. I was able to see George walk in, and got to watch him parade boldly across the podium like everyone in the audience was there for him! It was fun to watch. Both of us got to sit in the hot blazing sun for a couple of hours, so that is a wash. The two kids graduated with honors; so all in all it was a success!

I have to admit one of my favorite parts of the graduation weekend was the dinner on Saturday evening. For the most part, I believe the food in Switzerland is better than what we normally get in the US. We do not have to worry as much about pesticides, steroids, and antibiotics. The one exception is steak in a restaurant. If I have a choice between beef or horse, I will take horse meat every time. The steaks taste fine, but there is a big difference between a dairy cow and a beef cow. I am convinced that the VAST majority of the steak served in Switzerland comes from a dairy cow. My son had reservations at one of Indianapolis’ best steak houses for dinner and it did not disappoint! The meat practically melted in my mouth. It was by far the best steak I have had in three years. Also the prices at the restaurant made me feel like I was back in Switzerland.

I am very proud of both of my children. George starts work for an Appellate Court Judge in Indianapolis in August (after the Bar Exam). Kaylee has landed a position in a laboratory at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. That is the reason I will be back in a month. I get the joy of moving Kaylee as she starts her adventures after University.

I am spending the week in Mitchell, Indiana with my parents. It is very nice to get some time with my parents. For the most part we have just spent time visiting, but I also get to spend some time helping them out. Nothing very strenuous, but I have helped mow the lawn, get the pool ready for summer, and other house projects that are difficult for my parents.

One of my concerns is how much fitness I will lose here. I had been riding a lot back home, but since it is very expensive to ship a bike I am jogging most days. It has actually been about six months since I did any jogging. Jogging is a lot harder than riding!!! I have not been worrying as much about distance as time. I try and go out for an hour each morning and keep my heart rate up to level 4 on my Garmin Smart Watch. I just do not know how an hours worth of jogging compares to 2 1/2 or 3 hours on a bike. 🙂

I am taking some time for fun. Dad and I have taken the 4 wheeler for some jaunts through the woods, and today I decided to do some fishing.

The cows were smarter than I. They were staying under the tree out of the rain, but I did catch enough fish for dinner. A friend of Mom and Dad’s brought over a few fillets and now all of us can have some fish. The bass were pretty small, but then again, the pond is pretty tiny as well. It was fun to go fishing. I have not been fishing since the move to Switzerland. This really cemented that one of the first things I want to do when we move back is fix the big pond on our Bedford Farm. The pond used to be about 5 acres. Something happened about 25 years ago, though, and the pond sprung a leak.

You can see from the google map image above the pond now is not even 1/4 of the size that it used to be. When I was in High School, the water went almost up to the trees above the pond, and you can see the line below the pond where the high water mark used to be. I figure that when it gets repaired not only will I be able to fish I will be able to dunk hunt as well! OOHH that means I need to get a dog when we move back!!!

I have also learned that I am not as allergic to bee stings as I thought. When I was about 8 or 9 I had to spend a couple of days in the hospital after a hornet sting. Ever since that happened I have thought I was very allergic. Well my Dad decided to get some bees, and they arrived yesterday. Dad, of course, was wearing a bee suit. I was simply staying back about 25 yards. Everything was going great until my Father dropped the transport case. For some reason that put the bees in a very bad mood. In seconds I had been stung about 6 times on the face, ears, and head. I had some swelling, and I can tell some of the stingers are still imbedded today, but I did not have the major reaction that I was afraid I was going to have.

I still have a few days left in Indiana. I know tomorrow we will be doing mechanic work on one of the tractors, but I am really not sure what other tasks my parents have in store for me. I did start my Masters classes this week, so I get to spend a couple of hours each day studying. My first class is a law class. I feel kind of funny, but I have already been asking George for clarification. I guess his law degree has to come in handy for something, right?

I am kind of looking forward to heading back home. George is flying over with me. Julie gets in two days before we arrive. We have reservations to visit Milan so we can see the Last Supper, and then there is another four day weekend coming up. We are thinking of visiting Luxembourg or Belgium. We have not decided yet.

Anyway, that is how my time in the US is going. Next time I write, I will be back in Switzerland. I hope you have a great week!

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