© 2016 by Marisol Cruz.

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    Relics from the Past

    September 25, 2016

    On Saturday morning, Paul made breakfast.


    Eggs and sausage and toast.


    We had that while Karen helped Nixon pack for his upcoming journey to North Carolina.


    We "putzed around" to use Paul's terminology.


    I blogged while he did laundry and other household duties.


    Karen was making pasta that evening.  Ultimately, Saturday was more of a catch-up day for us.


    In other words, not much to speak of... at least not until that evening.

    Paul wanted to take me to a special place for microbrews, and we found ourselves at The Church.


    It is an old Catholic church converted into a brewpub; it feels strange walking into the place for the first time because you're literally walking down an aisle looking for a pew to sit on -- only there are no pews.


    The altar holds several large stainless steel and copper vats while more of those vats are located on the left side of the bar (as you enter). 


    Oktoberfest was in full swing and so was the live music. 


    We started with pints of Paul's favorite: Pious Monk Dunkel.   


    Then, we tried a few other varieties in the sample size (5 oz).  Their porter was too heavy on the tobacco/cigar side for my taste while the Abbey was too strong in alcohol content. 


    In all, I think we tried four other beers, but kept coming back to Paul's pick.


    Although we had intended on having just one beer or so, we ended up staying at The Church for a little more than three hours. 


    Topics of discussion ranged from our past lives to religion to politics to social justice issues to family.


    We did not arrive back at his homestead until close to the witching hour.


    Because I was hungry, I had some of Karen's pasta (that I did not have earlier).  Her delicious food served as my "midnight snack" before going to bed.


    I felt guilty for our late arrival, but Paul would have none of it.  He was the one going to 9 a.m. mass, not me.

    When I awoke the next morning, it was nearing 9:30 a.m.


    Karen decided to make pancakes for everyone; Paul was still at mass.


    She teased me about the "one beer" Paul and I were supposed to have; technically, we did invite her.  Still, I took full responsibility while Paul was away praying for all of us.


    Similar to the evening before, we had the pancakes when we wanted: nothing formal due to varying schedules.


    Paul and I had plans to see Steveo and Charese in the Mercer area very, very soon.


    We finished breakfast and said goodbye to Karen and Nixon and another family friend named Lily.


    I would be leaving in a few days, so time was running out in the way of visits.


    On our way to Steveo and Charese's, we stopped off at two places: Conneaut Lake (a glacier lake) and Paul's family farm.


    At Conneaut, we toured the park and carnival area; some of the relics in that place date back to the 1890s.  No joke!

    Imagine the people walking around this current ghost-town, yet this form of entertainment exists today.


    We still call them amusement parks; we still go on carnival and fair rides.
























    Paul's father came here as a kid.



    Meanwhile, Paul thought I would appreciate its photo worthiness.


    Following our Conneaut tour, we stopped by his family farm. 


    While there, we met his older brother Joe and his wife who stopped by to do a little bit of landscaping work. 


    Paul took me for a walk around the property; later, I helped Joe pot some plants near the driveway entrance.


    Paul and I got back on the road to see Steveo and Charese at 4:30 p.m.


    Dinner plans were around 5, so we would be a few minutes late.

    We pulled onto their property and was greeted by Steveo and Riley (their springer spaniel).


    Charese was in the kitchen slaving away (as usual).


    We walked inside and gave her a big long hug, too.


    As a group, we had not been together since July of 2015 -- during Brian's Ride.


    It was great to see them both -- in regular clothes -- as opposed to biker spandex. 


    We had a wonderful dinner outside overlooking their country estate (last time I was there with Hope it was overgrown and full of debris):  sausages and chicken and potato salad and roasted potatoes and roasted vegetables.


    Later, we sat around the living room catching up on their return trip from Ely, Minnesota (a canoe trip, right where I was, too!) and learning about Steveo's Hall of Fame induction ceremony (for wrestling).


    Meanwhile, Paul and I shared what we had been doing since the last time we had seen each other. 


    All in all, it was a lovely evening.


    Unfortunately, we all started our yawns quite early -- around 10ish. 


    Paul said goodbye and drove back to his farm (to sleep) while I stayed over at Steveo and Charese's house.


    It filled my heart with joy being able to catch up with everyone.

    Until we meet again, my friend. 

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