December 3, 2023

Christmas by the Lake


Christmas by the Lake

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for December 3rd, 2023

Miss Sheri and I started the week on Monday Night Football.  We were quite excited to see our Minnesota Vikings take on the Chicago Bears and get a win on National TV.  It sounded real nice in theory.

It was extra special for us because we were selected to be on the field during the Team introductions.  They have an opportunity for Season Ticket holders to hold the Vikings Fan Flags while the various players are being announced.  We'd entered the drawing a few times this season and were finally selected to participate.  Here's a video I shot of the event:
@toddswank The Vikings Fan Flag Experience! #minnesota #vikings #skol #nfl #usbankstadium ♬ Lovin On Me - Jack Harlow


Vikings Legend, Adrian Peterson, was also on the field for the game.  I think he may have been there to see us hold the Fan Flag but I can't be sure.  He seemed to be looking up in the stands for us here, but as much as I waved he never did seem to be able to find us.  Too bad.

The game itself was a mostly forgettable affair.  The 3 and 9 Bears came in and put on a beatdown on the 6 and 5 home team.  The Vikings had started showing some signs of life this season, but definitely went down hill by losing their second in a row. 

I'm not sure I've ever seen a player's status rise and fall as fast as that of Vikings quarterback, Josh Dobbs, has had over the past few weeks.  He came in after Kirk Cousins was injured and helped us win a couple of games.  He then lost a close one in Denver and had a rough night in Chicago throwing 4 interceptions and some other blunders.  The Vikings lost the game by a score of 12 - 10, but I'm not sure if it was all his fault.  He should probably be given one more chance before making a switch, but not sure if the Vikings will listen to me for advice on the topic.

Our Minnesota Timberwolves on the other hand are having one of their best seasons ever.  They were 13 and 4 when we arrived to watch them take on the Utah Jazz on Thursday night.

Avery and one of his college buddies, Sam, joined us for the game.  I got the tickets for free from Bally Sports because their streaming app sucks basketballs.  They gave me the worst seats I've ever had for a game putting us near the top row in the corner of the stadium.  It's hard to complain about free tickets, though, so we made the best of it.  The views really weren't all that bad and we did get to watch the Timberwolves win another game which is always fun.

Our favorite player, Anthony Edwards, was sitting this one out with a hip injury, but his teammates didn't miss a beat.   They won the game by a score of 101 to 90 and did so with authority.  Or Authoritah as they'd say it in South Park.  

On Saturday, Miss Sheri, Luke & I headed to Clear Lake, Iowa for a community celebration called Christmas by the Lake.  We met up with our old buddy, Krazy Kory, while we were there.  

There's a variety of activities throughout town, but we found ourselves quickly gravitating to the local VFW to play Bingo.  Because nothing says Christmas better than gambling and drinking  with a group of strangers.

One of my favorite things about Clear Lake is everywhere we go, we bump into old friends.  I want to high school with all of these crazy characters.  A fun fact is the 5 of us all lived within a couple of blocks from one another in 5 different houses.  We just randomly met up together when we suddenly realized that was the case.  It was a fun coincidence and  I laughed and laughed about it until I suddenly realized it wasn't that funny.  Probably the reason why I was the only one laughing.

Miss Sheri randomly ran into one of her old college friends who she hadn't seen in about 3 decades.  Christmas by the Lake attracts all sorts of cool people.

The parade started about 5pm and Krazy Kory's dad, son, and son's girlfriend helped lead the parade down the right path.  Glad they did otherwise a bunch of the floats might have ended up in the lake.  But if something needed to end up in the lake it's probably good it was things called floats.

Krazy Kory and I volunteered ourselves to be part of the Crowd Control team to prepare for the fireworks and keep people safe.  It's always a good thing for community festivals to put guys like us in positions of authority.

The parade was a bunch of fun.  Various people marching with vehicles pulling trailers of colorful displays decorated with Christmas Lights.  They're not really easy to capture good photos of though.

I kept checking on Miss Sheri and Luke to be sure they were OK.  They seemed happy to be there the whole night.

After the parade was completed, the fireworks were set to begin.  They do a real nice job putting on a show with a good variety of boomers, colorful rockets, and massive explosions to keep people on their toes.  Here's a video I shot of the evening and edited with a TikTok AutoCut:
@toddswank Christmas By The Lake! #christmasbythelake #christmas #clearlake #fireworks ♬ Lovin On Me - Jack Harlow

  On Sunday night we connected with our good friends, Ted & Marcia.  They invited us to join them for a Christmas Concert at their church.

The River Valley Church in Apple Valley held their second annual Christmas Spectacular which actually ended up being Spectacular.  Rare for that to be true, but they had a whole bunch of incredible singers,  a high quality production, and an inspirational message to get people in the mood for Christmas.  I hope everyone is getting in the spirit!

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