September 10, 2017

2017 Labor Day Weekend in Minnesota

2017 Labor Day Weekend in Minnesota
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for September 10, 2017

Labor Day weekend typically represents the end of summer which is always a bit sad for me.  Living in Minnesota has it's challenges weather wise and moving into Fall is always a reminder that winter is right around the corner.  We do our best to get out there and see the sunsets while it's still warm enough to want to stand outside.

Luke and Jackson decided to come home for a couple of days over Labor Day weekend.  Apparently a lot of the kids at MSU Mankato go home for the holiday, so they decided to join them.  After being home for about 5 minutes Luke announced that some other friends were coming to pick him up and he was going out for the rest of the night.  That 5 minutes was real pleasant, though.

Luke and our family have received several generous gifts after dealing with his recent health scare.  This special "college student care package" was given to him by a group of my co-workers.  It included several items from the Minnesota Vikings which were autographed by players like Sam Bradford, Stefon Diggs, Dalvin Cook, Xavier Rhodes and Adam Thielen.  He was extremely excited and grateful for such a nice gift.  Thanks to all of our friends who have been so generous with the gifts and prayers for Luke.

My team at Oracle is an incredible group who took the time to put together this package and reach out to the Vikings for their support.  I'm pretty lucky to work with such awesome people!!

On Saturday, we went to a friend's cabin for a day of fun, bean bagging, boating, and relaxing.

Sue Korkowski invited us to her place on Fish Lake where she and her family have been going since she was a kid.  We were excited to be there so we could all act like we were kids again.

When I found Ron in the backyard, he was very busy with his meat.  I kind of felt bad for disturbing him, but he seemed genuinely happy to see me.

Miss Sheri and I had fun going out on the kayaks.  I struggled a bit at first because when I go out on a kayak by myself, I have a tendency to row my boat in circles.  Miss Sheri was so nice.  She let me tie on to her boat so she could help me do some rowing on the left side and go straight for awhile.

A bunch of Sue & Ron's family and friends were also spending the weekend at the cabin.  We had fun meeting them and getting to know one another.  

We went out for a boat ride with the whole crew and three dogs which made for a bit of a crowded boat, but it was quite enjoyable.  What a great way to spend Labor Day weekend!!

On Monday, we went to the Great Minnesota Get Together, The State Fair.  I'm not sure if I'd call it great, but at the very least it was a Really Good Get Together.

The reason I have a tough time calling it great, is because there's just so many dang people there that also are Getting Together.  I like people as much as the next guy but sometimes it's really hard trying to walk near so many of them.

In the 12 days the fair is open, almost 2 million people go there to eat food on a stick, collect free yard sticks at the Merchant Mart, and witness the terror of farm animals giving birth in one of the barns.  We couldn't wait to join them!

I always worry a little about rodents running rampant at this place with so much food being eaten and dropped on the streets and stuff.  Sure enough, I discovered a huge fuzzy critter shortly after arriving.  

I always love going into the art buildings to see what the creative people are doing with their lives.  Globe heads are apparently really IN this year.

Soon enough, we saw more rats and figured this place just must be absolutely infested, so we left.  Hopefully they get some traps next year so we can go back and not worry about this stuff.

After the fair, we stopped at a pizza party hosted by our good friends, Cathy and Jeff.  Jeff makes really good pizza!

We are slowly getting adjusted to the empty-nester lifestyle.  We certainly miss seeing our boys every day, but we are finding more opportunities to go out with one another which is really nice.

 We decided to start an Empty Nesters club with other fun parents we've met in Prior Lake who have also recently had to give up some or all of their children to college.  It's nice to suffer through the loneliness with a bunch of other good people.

 We had several good friends show up throughout the night which was great.  Hopefully, we can keep this tradition alive.

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