Played a fun game of twister last Wednesday.

Last week was odd, to say the least. Thanks to my self-imposed COVID isolation, I barely left the house. And when I did step outside, I nearly got swept away by a tornado.

We’re not in Kansas anymore (nor were we ever), but we are most definitely in Wisconsin.

Wednesday morning, I was working away in my office, when the sky grew suddenly dark. The wind kicked up something fierce and it started pouring rain. I thought it was pretty cool how the leaves were swirling through the sky, so I stepped outside and shot a quick video, which I posted to Instagram.

A few minutes later, our town’s tornado sirens began wailing. I assumed at first this was just a test, but it did seem like an oddly random day and time for that. Plus, it went off for a long time. And come to think of it, the weather was acting kinda funny that day. I’d been awakened by lightning and thunder in the predawn hours.

Then, this alert popped up.

That’s us, right there in Jefferson County. Neat, huh?

Maybe “neat” isn’t the best word. There was at least one confirmed tornado in Milwaukee, with several others suspected near Waukesha. And there I am, standing out in the middle of the maelstrom, oblivious to the danger. In my defense, there was no warning about October tornadoes in the official Wisconsin New Resident handbook.

Not that such a thing exists. (But if it did, it should also warn you not to order a pound of cheese from your friendly neighborhood cheddar vendor. Do you have any idea how big 1 lb. of cheese is?! Neither did I. It’s about the size of a brick, FYI.)

Near-weather-miss aside, it was also weird working from home every day. I’m the type of guy who likes a hybrid schedule: a few days in the office, a couple at home. Mixes things up and gives you that social interaction with coworkers. I haven’t set foot in the Gray Goose in almost two weeks (!) and am looking forward to getting back to the office tomorrow.

Once my five-day post-symptom quarantine expired on Friday, we wasted no time heading out. We had a favorite Irish pub in Washington and a favorite Irish pub in South Dakota, so we figured it was time to add a favorite Irish pub in Wisconsin. Paddy Coughlin’s in Fort Atkinson did not disappoint. We hung out for a few hours enjoying drinks and the Friday fish fry.

With fall foliage nearing its peak, we decided to take a drive up to Baraboo yesterday, with a detour in Devil’s Lake State Park for a little hike through the woods.

While in Baraboo, we stopped at AL. Ringling Brewery for a beer and a bite to eat. The brewery is attached to the home of the founder of the Ringling Bros. Circus, which still has a big presence in Baraboo to this day. We plan to check out the Circus World Museum on a future visit. There’s a vintage calliope there and, if you’re wondering whether it still works, the answer is a resounding yes. I still have “When the Saints Come Marching In” stuck in my head 20 hours later.

Cool place though, and both the food and beers were good.

All in all it was a great day, if a tad crisp. The weather has been downright cold here lately, dipping close to or below freezing at night, only in the 40s during the day. Tomorrow might not even make it out of the 30s and there’s a slight chance we could see a few snow showers.

And in other news, Tara got a job…and it’s all thanks to Jon, the TobacCo owner. While I was interviewing with them in August, he asked what my wife did, and I said she was a loan processor. Then, I jokingly asked whether TobacCo needed a loan processor. Well, no – of course they don’t – but, he said if I sent him Tara’s resume, he’d reach out to his contacts in the banking industry.

I did, and within a couple of days, she’d heard back from four different banks. One thing led to another, and Friday, she accepted an offer from a local bank not all that far from where I work. Her first day will be Halloween. For Jon’s troubles, we’ll be giving him a bottle of whatever he likes to drink. Just gotta do some sleuthin’ to figure out what that might be.

Now, we can officially start looking for a house. Yay! Though realistically, we’ll probably be in the apartment until February or March at least. But that’s okay. We’re not in a hurry.

All good things, guys!

50 thoughts on “Played a fun game of twister last Wednesday.

  1. A vintage Mark post – I laughed, got distracted by finding you on Instagram, I had to look something up (calliope), and ended up hungry. As usual, a delightful journey!

    Congrats to Tara on her job. How cool!! I love how you two make things work out!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great news about the job for Tara! I like Irish pubs too although the one in Tacoma closed down. I loved going there for live Irish music. I’d like some cooler weather here. Rain would be nice and no wildfire smoke. Too much to ask?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You guys are still getting wildfire smoke? No, that’s not too much to ask…especially now that it’s mid-October. Fingers crossed for some cooler, more fall-like weather in your near future.


      1. Yes, it’s been awful this weekend. Unhealthy air quality. It should dissipate today and by the end of the week, we’ll have mid 50s and rain. Never thought I would be so happy about that!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wisconsin new resident guide books don’t include “seek shelter during tornadoes dumb ass” warnings? A definite oversight.
    Circus beer? I’m in!
    Looks like a lovely hike, though I bet that Wooly Mammoth ahead sign was a lie.
    Great news about Tara’s new job. And it was very kind of your boss to help. Perhaps a brick of cheese to say thank you?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats to Tara, and how neat the job isn’t far from yours. When we were working on-site, my wife and I were also close enough to share a lunch out, run a couple of errands, etc. We got our schedules worked out we even commuted with one car for awhile. I think when I was younger I might have eaten a pound of cheese a couple of times. I know I’m gonna have “When The Saints Go Marching In” in my head now. Devil’s Lake State Park looks fabulous from those images. Great getaway.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I thought fall was spectacular in the northeast, TIL that Wisconsin sports some dazzling shades of fall: my favorite is the one with the two “flames” (trees) on each side of the river — those gorgeous trees are simply stunning!!! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yay for Tara, and by association you too! House hunting should be fun! The tornado story lends itself to so many cliches- any wicked witches cycling by, cows swirling through the air… as does the ice age trail. How many mammoths did you encounter? Have they really found bones there in the area?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Ice Age Trail is pretty cool! (Pun not intended.) It’s 1,200 miles long and follows the route of the glaciers that carved through Wisconsin during the last ice age. That little two-mile section we explored is nothin’, ha.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The nice thing is, we’re seeing lots of significant price drops now. Love that we sold our house for max value and can now watch those prices hopefully keep dipping. Interest rates are high, yeah, but we’ve got so much equity Tara says we should be able to buy points to secure a lower rate. When it comes to mortgages, I’m trusting her as she knows a helluva lot more than I do.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats to Tara on the new job. That must be a relief. The circus museum sounded vaguely familiar, so I looked on the map and sure enough, it’s not far from the Wisconsin Dells, which I remember quite well. I guess I was there as a tyke. Enjoy exploring!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your picture of the river and spectacular autumn leaves is gorgeous. I don’t think I’d ever get tired of that (now, snow? I’d definitely get tired of that). Congrats on Tara’s job! I think your timing house-wise could work out well for you. You sold while the market was strong, you are renting while interest rates are high, and you’ll probably buy again when things settle down. Yay you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congrats to Tara, and kudos to you for your networking! As for weather, it SNOWED here on Friday. It accumulated on the grass! Way. Too. Early. Yes, it was gone by midday, but still, it’s the principle of the matter. I still have spring bulbs to plant, for crying out loud! Happy house hunting! It’s nice that you have the freedom to be leisurely about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So wonderful about Tara’s job! A well-deserved bottle of whatever it is that guy drinks.
    Cool/scary about the tornado. Those suckers freaked me out growing up. I’m glad YOU like weather.
    Beautiful leaves, neat about the Ringling place.
    We hosted a party last night. Someone brought up Dahmer. I said, “Hey, I went to the same high school as that guy.” All heads turned. The guy who brought it up said, “Whoa! News flash.” So I got to share my mini-Dahmer claim to fame story. Good times with the association with a serial killer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great story to bust out in situations like that! Almost makes me wish I had a close call with a serial killer. By close call, I mean, went to the same school but 20 years later. Doesn’t need to be any closer than that!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Beautiful photos, but really, you should get cracking on the welcome to Wisconsin guide. And really, look into that football team cause how do you lose to the jets at home?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You know, if you did it tongue in cheek it really could be quite good. You have the right writing voice for it. And as I get ahead of myself, it could become a thing….

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Your move to Wisconsin has played out perfectly– well except for Covid and a tornado but those are things that could happen anywhere. I’m glad you’re feeling better and that Tara found a job and that a house, yet to be found, is in your future. Happy Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love the one commenter who said “just leap and the net appears.” Such a good mindset. Congratulations to Tara on the new job! It sounds like you are both settling nicely in Wisconsin. ❤️

    My husband travels throughout the Midwest for his job, and last Wednesday he was on his way to Minnesota/Iowa via southern Wisconsin at the same time the tornado passed through your area. Fortunately, he was just fine. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Don’t get thor for this comment, be it seems like you’re a magnet for excessive weather.
    What was the pub you liked in Washington? Can’t say I have a fav, but on the other hand I did just brew a batch of Irish Red Ale.
    Nice fall colors.
    Nice that Tara found work. It helps to have friends in the right places.

    Liked by 1 person

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