Hot Toddies from Almost an Island

Fergie in the snow!

I’ve been excited to sit down and write this blog today, which is odd because I really don’t know that I have anything cohesive to say…mostly just tidbits that have been occurring to me throughout the week, so let’s see where this one goes.

I wrote last week about the Advent of Christmas, and despite the longer stretch this year between Thanksgiving it’s been a rather busy week Up North.  Last night was our Northwoods Association of Realtors Christmas party, which was exciting to me for two reasons.  One, as last years’s recipient of the Distinguished Service award I got to choose this year’s winner and present it to her.  Patty Libke has been in the business a long time, she’s a consummate professional as well as a backbone in her community, which is the basis for being recognized.  I know so many women like this…sisters and mommas and grandmas who are out there hustling every day, providing for their families but also recognizing that the needs of their communities are a larger extension of that.  They work the food pantries, ring the bells, and give of their time in countless other ways.  Plus, she is part of the Mark Millen Team, and I got to make a funny joke about how she is the Ginger Rogers to his Fred Astaire, and everyone knows that Ginger did everything Fred did except she did it backwards in high heels. You can say something like that at a real estate shindig, 63% of our industry is comprised of women.

Dressed up with my date!

High heels brings me to the second reason I was excited, which is that I got to wear a dress…YAY!  If I have one regret about life on Almost an Island, it’s that there are very few opportunities for dress-up.  I don’t know of any event – and this includes weddings and funerals – where jeans are not acceptable in the northwoods.  Now, I do tend to agree with our widely accepted understanding that one’s presence is more important than what one wears, and God knows you can’t force a Yooper into a suit.  That said, I personally will take just about any opportunity to indulge in my girliness when considering what to wear to an event.  Even the five inches of fresh snow couldn’t dampen my enthusiasm last night, and it certainly wasn’t going to scare me out of my three inch heels.  I looked like one of those unhappy dogs you put booties on while trying to get from the house to the car, but I made it without biffing so that’s a win.  Plus my friend Rachel did my hair up pretty (that’s her dog Fergie in the snow, btw) so I felt extra special.  My dress was very green and some guy made a comment about at least being able to wear it again for St. Patricks Day, which I brushed off.  I’m pretty sure some boys just don’t know what to say to a girl in a dress.

It was nice to have something to celebrate last night, because I’ve also felt some melancholy this week.  The passing of George H.W. Bush has been heavy on my mind, as I’ve been hearing more and more about the loss of the greatest generation.  The image of Bob Dole rising from his wheelchair to salute a fellow war hero’s casket affirmed this for me.  Though I tend to think positive and do believe that today’s youth will be tomorrow’s leaders, if I’m honest I must admit that I worry for our country lately.  When did it become so difficult for us to share with one another – ideas, resources, kindness – and when did we all become so easily offended?  The debate over Baby it’s Cold Outside brings this home for me.  Do I think date rape is an actual epidemic?  Wholeheartedly yes.  Do I think taking a Christmas song off the air is a solution?  Nope, just like I don’t look to the NFL to teach me about patriotism – I watch it for the football.  (BTW I also don’t think that female sports announcers wearing tube dresses and 6-inch heels helps to close the gender gap either, but perhaps that’s a different story.)  Baby, it really is cold outside and who wouldn’t want to listen to records and drink hot toddies with a charming member of the opposite sex instead of going home to their viscous maiden aunt?  As far as what happens after the toddies, that’s their business.

Sigh.  I don’t mean to offend, dear readers, nor bring you down…just seems like there is a lot of confusion and hurt lately, and I’m not even sure why because when I look around most of us are just trying to get by and do our best.  Makes me so thankful for my dog, actually.  Her and my partner Mark, who I can watch the news with every night and know that we will probably shake our heads, laugh and cry at most of the same things.  Starting of course with the local news, whose lead story might be ‘What do the People Coming Out of Walmart Think of the Snow?’   For me Newswatch 12 is almost a buffer to the national news of political sex scandals, auto plant closings, shootings, government shutdowns and lost cats finding their way across twelve states to reunite with their family.  Sheesh, you really do need a fur buddy next to you to take all of that in, and even better if it’s a like-minded human.  Not that we all need to agree on everything, but it sure is nice when someone gets you.

A busy weekend ahead for me – a group of community members are getting together to decorate the parks in town for Christmas tomorrow, and before that I get to show my new listing on Oxbow Lake to potential buyers, the one my grandparents used to live in.  Talk about the greatest generation…I so wish I would have had more time with them but hope they bring me good luck tomorrow from above.  I can’t imagine anyone not loving that beautiful spot.  Then I host our monthly Chamber meeting at my house Monday, where I plan on pouring everyone hot toddies, exclaiming at the weather and encouraging them to stay for just a half a drink more.  Put some records on while I pour!  Until next time, from Almost an Island.

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