Fish out of Water

Let me start this post by announcing, I love Wisconsin. Granted, I don’t live there anymore, but I still love it. I grew up there, I identify being from there, and sometimes my accent shows I’m thoroughly from there. I am a Cheesehead through and through. I even get some Spotted Cow brought to me from one of my sons who visits Wisconsin on occasion. My wife, however, is not from Wisconsin…

A number of years ago, I had a chance to return to Wisconsin for a job. It paid so much more than what I was making at the time and I approached my wife about it. She was hesitant because we had grandkids who lived here in Washington. We decided that she could come back to visit whenever she wanted. Still, she had never been to Wisconsin so we needed to take a couple weeks and visit before deciding on the job.

We did that and after we got to Milwaukee, she hit every garage sale until we got to my parents house. So far, so good. Then I took her to the state fair and between the deep-fried cheese curds and the cream puffs, she was almost sold. The weather was nice and the fields were green. In hindsight, I should’ve brought her to Wisconsin during the winter…

Now, I should really give you a little background on my wife. She’s a true Northwest girl having lived in Oregon, Montana, Northern California, and Washington. Other than Montana, it really didn’t get too cold when she grew up. Montana was her early childhood so she had a lot of time pass since she was cold. Back to Wisconsin.

I took the job and we found ourselves buying a house in the Fox Valley. It wasn’t a bad house and definitely was in a good neighborhood. We adjusted to our new life and my wife found solace in the good food of Wisconsin…in fact, that’s the main thing she misses to this day. She loved the Fish Fry Fridays and the sweet corn. Steaks seemed more tender and the variety of food was extensive. So far, so good. Then came winter…

The first day it dipped below 0 degrees during the day (with a wind chill making it about 30 below) she was going through a little climate shock. She was not happy. I came home from work and as I sat in my truck, she came out the front door with a cup of water. She flung it up into the air and I swear, half of it froze before hitting the sidewalk. Then she glared at me before retreating for the warmth of the house. I just sat in my truck for a few minutes before going into the house.

We managed to get through the worst of winter but then the spring thaw arrived. At the front of our house…inside the house…our front picture window became a fountain…once again, inside the house. We had insurance and they fixed it, or so we thought. We found out different the next spring thaw…

The next winter she went back to visit the grandkids for a week. During her absence, I pulled out the old bathtub and put in a jacuzzi tub. It was a lot of work for a week by myself but totally worth it when I saw her face. The euphoria lasted until that next spring thaw when the fountain burst from the ceiling above the picture window AGAIN! New workers came in and bad-mouthed the last workers and fixed it by tearing out half our living room ceiling. Then, of course, the insurance people had to be insurance people and screw up everything.

We finally moved back to the Northwest and my wife is now happy…at least with the climate. Me, however, I’m sick and tired of the rain. If my wife wasn’t pretty and didn’t smell so good, I’d be back in Wisconsin.

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