This has been an interesting week. After almost 6 inches of rain over the short course of three or so days, we were flooded here. This turned out to be the highest rate that the Fox River has ever seen on record. The river finally crested at 7.48 feet. That meant that the channels around us were flooded as well.
On Saturday, the 20th, we went to Michigan to help Jon celebrate his upcoming 50th birthday. With a cookout at the 40, we celebrated with BBQ and the fixins. The best part was all of the family who gathered. It is always good to see Busia. Irene and her family came up from Fort Wayne and Ohio. Donna and Norm came in from Chicago. They all have such a good time. They are fun to be around.
On Sunday, we returned to find the water a little deep over the roads. There are barricades to warn people to stay out of the area. River Road through the state park is closed, cutting us off from McHenry. It seems a little strange driving around it every day to get into the neighborhood. The best signs are in the neighborhood though. Basically, it said if you weren’t a resident, you would be arrested.
We were high and dry though. The basement sprung a leak for a day or so which meant that we were vacuuming up water. Rich got up early on Thursday to find the basement filling with water. There was a considerable puddle in front of the bar. He quickly moved furniture and got the area cleared. With a little Yankee ingenuity, he built a jig to dam up water and suck it out through a hose to the sump pump. Luckily, it went from sucking water out every 15 minutes down to an hour at a time.
We’ve talked about fixing the cracks in the basement a couple times, but the leaks were never that bad. I got motivated and found a company. I called them and set up an appointment for them to come out and give us an estimate. They didn’t sound too busy on the phone. On Friday, Glen came out and took a look. Rich heard what he wanted to hear. We set up an appointment to get the work done. It was time.
The weather improved, so Rick started painting the garage. We borrowed scaffolding from Dave. This would make reaching the 10 foot ceilings easier. The primer went up and he started the white paint on the ceiling and halfway down the wall. The other half of the walls will be blue gray. It should look like a real nice workspace and home for Sally when it is done. We have our fingers crossed that he can complete it by next Saturday.
So plans continue for the annual Derby party here. The flood waters should be gone. Rich is still planning to BBQ up brisket, ribs, and chicken. I have stocked up on food and people are planning to bring things to help out. Oh yeah, the Zurekbrau is brewed and kegged. All we need are a few good people to drink it. We’ll see who shows up.
On Thursday evening, our department was treated to drinks and foods at a local establishment. We went over to enjoy some time with our co-workers. While we were talking to people, we came across a couple of new people. Turns out, a couple of engineers from Krakow are in Schaumburg working in the bay and acting as liaison for products from Krakow. I found out I actually know them. We have worked together by phone for a few years. I guess I’m well known in Krakow as well. The question everyone there asks is if I speak Polish! They see the Polish name and hope that I do. Unfortunately, I only married Polish. We’ve invited Marcin and Aneta to the Derby party. Thought it might be fun for them and good me to reinforce my connections to Krakow.
Rich is organizing a reunion of people who served with the same group he was with in Germany. Someone had started a Facebook page for the related groups. They have been exchanging photos and memories. Someone suggested that they meet up for dinner somewhere. San Antonio came up in the conversation. That’s as far as it got. Rich decided to take on the task of really organizing dinner. Since Rose lives in San Antonio, he went with the suggestion to do it there. A web site went up on Zurekbrau with an email list. One of the guy who is in San Antonio is checking out German restaurants in the area. It looks like we are on for July 6. Hang on, Rose, we are coming down for the 4th!
Vacations are planned and we are adding these as we go. I might have brought this up before, but I am excited for it all to start. I’m working on adding more.
We start out in June for Chicago Bluesfest. We are staying downtown. It’ll be the Bluesfest during the day and trying to hit some of the places we’ve wanted to go in the evening. We are identifying all the brewpubs, bars, and joints that we’ve wondered about. Should be a busy few days.
The following week, we head out to Kansas City. My favorite blues band, Trampled Under Foot, is holding a release party for their next album. Rich put in enough to their Kickstarter account to get invited to the party. They sent out the date and place. Now we just have to show up and listen to the music. I love the name of the bar where we are headed. It’s called The Trouser Mouse. More to come on this one.
July will find us in San Antonio for the 4th of July. We will be attending the first reunion for Rich’s group from the Air Force. Should be fun as well. It’ll be nice to Rose and hang out with her for a while.
In August, B. B. King and Peter Frampton are coming Aurora for a concert. I’ve wanted to see B.B. for a while. Peter is an extra. I purchased my tickets and ready to go. I’m hoping for good weather as this is an outdoor concert. More to come on this, too.
In September, we head down to the Great Smoky Mountains for a little hiking and some mountain views. It’s been a while since I’ve been down there. Rich hasn’t been. Once again, we are hoping for good weather since we plan to be outside a lot. Big question is: bears or no bears. There’s a good bet of seeing at least one.
Well, it’s time to start another week. I have deliveries this week. But I don’t think that will mean my workload will get easier. Might be time to think about expanding the team again. We’ve definitely got more than enough work to go around, and then some.