July 14, 2019

Beating the Heat 2019

Beating the Heat 2019
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for July 14, 2019

Last Saturday night we were thrilled to celebrate the 30th wedding anniversary of our old friends, Kim & Mike Bailey.  They threw a beautiful party complete with a renewal of their vows to one another which brought a lot of tears to the eyes of the audience.  Here's to another 30 years!

We always have a good time with these people.  They had a DJ and microphone that we passed around a bit so I'm not sure if their neighbors were having as much fun as we were.

We always enjoy seeing Maddison and Victoria.  They should become professional models because every picture we take of them turn out stunning.

This was our first time seeing Dick and Vic since they came back from Arizona.  They always seem so sad all the time.

We sneaked in to see Luke while he was working at the deli at Lunds & Byerlys.  We like to stand there and have him give us free samples over and over again.  Just nice to take from him for a change!

Our Prior Lake Empty Nester Get Together for July was a bunch of fun and well attended.  A beautiful July night at Charlie's on Prior will tend to do that.

On Saturday, we spent the day on the St. Croix River with our good friends the Zitzewitz and Brown families.  It was HOT so we spent most of the day in the water.

The Browns brought their jetski which was really cool, but accelerated way faster than I was expecting.  Turns out there are two modes to run it in and I had it in the wrong one, so we were flying all over the place.  It was great until Luke tried to do some sharp turns which sent us both rolling over and into the water.  It's a lot harder climbing back onto one of these things then it looks when you are in the middle of the river!

Ryan and Avery showed us the proper way on how not to throw or catch a football when jumping 15 feet off the top of the boat.

Luke and Avery turned 20 years old this week.  I can't believe they are no longer teenagers!!  Where the heck does the time go???  Happy Birthday, Boys!!

July 7, 2019

4th of July 2019 in Clear Lake, Iowa

4th of July 2019 in Clear Lake, Iowa
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for July 7, 2019

We headed to Clear Lake, Iowa to celebrate the 4th of July holiday with friends.  We started the day with a round of golf at Oak Hills golf course.  It was dang hot so we ended up only playing 9 holes.

We decided to cool off at the OP and enjoy one of my favorite sandwiches:  The Grinder!  Avery says that word means something else to his generation, but I'm not sure what that means.

We went downtown to the carnival where we bumped into current presidential candidate, Beto O'Rourke.  He was nice enough to take a picture with us.  I found it kind of funny that he apparently had been standing outside in the carnival in the rain.  Now that's dedication to meeting people.

The carnival was actually pretty quiet given the weather, so we had a lot of time to watch Beto while he was there.  I found it interesting that he brought his family with him for what I'm guessing is considered a campaign stop.  He met with people in between spending time with his family playing carnival games.  That has to be a tough life going from town to town meeting people one on one to try to get your message out there.  Especially when there's another 22 democratic candidates trying to do the same thing.

One of our favorite things to do at the carnival is to gamble with the locals in some intense games of BINGO.  We bumped into our old friend Holly Krieger during the competition and had fun playing the game together.  Even if she did Hush us several times.

We went to the VFW where we met up with a bunch more old friends.  That's my favorite part of Clear Lake at the 4th.  You just never know who you're going to run into...

We're always excited to watch the parade on the 4th of July.  Miss Sheri tells me I'm too old to be going for the candy, but I still sneak a few that come my way.

During the parade, celebrating America was on full display.

We always appreciate the opportunity to honor some of our veterans during the holiday.

We were expecting to see some of the current crop of presidential candidates at the parade since there's so many of them and they all want to make a name for themselves in Iowa to gain momentum for the race.  But for some reason, none of them showed.  US Senator Joni Ernst was there though and drew a lot of cheers from the crowd.

Clear Lake Mayor Nelson Crabb is always real nice to me.  He usually likes to remind me of some the shenanigans I was up to in high school which gives us both a good laugh.

I enjoy watching the Shriners fly around the streets in their little cars and usually find myself with a pang of worry that they are going to slam into someone in the crowd.  Once again, though, they made it by us without incident.  They must be professional little car drivers or something.

We came home to Prior Lake for the weekend and took the boys and a friend out tubing on Saturday.

I keep thinking they may be getting too old for tubing, but they still seem to have a great time with it.

Avery and I really know how to use our noodles.

Blue had the best time over the 4th because he was able to go spend the holiday with his mother, brother, and brother on the lake.  We're pretty certain he was sad to see us when it was time to come home, but who could blame him.