Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

When kids come home

Wick's World

 


“When the chickens come home to roost” is an old 14th-century saying that roughly refers to evil men returning home and laying a curse on their own house after doing a bad deed. Chickens from the proverb also appeared in Robert Southey’s 1810 poem "The Curse of Kehama." He wrote, “Curses are like young chicken: they always come home to roost.”

When the kids come home has a whole different connotation than the chickens coming home to roost, and our kids usually come home for a week each summer. For our family, it consists of eating, playing, gambling (poker), cavorting and staying up real late. It also means we go out a lot. The dining highlight this week was Stella’s Fish Cafe "Happy Hour." This landmark seafood restaurant sits on a corner in Uptown and is associated with its rooftop views of the city of Minneapolis. On Thursdays it is known for a happy hour that consists of inexpensive two-for-one drinks, half-price oysters, and a king crab dinner that costs less than buying the giant legs at the grocery store. I called the experience seafood gluttony.

The rest of the week included a trip to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival and Canterbury Downs in Shakopee. One glorious afternoon was spent on the American Queen Steamboat Company’s Mississippi River cruise. We capped the week with Edward Meeker’s 1908 version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” We went to the first-place Saint Paul Saints new outdoor ballpark for a noon ballgame. That evening was spent with the last-place Minnesota Twins at Target Field. We virtually covered the fun-filled weekend from top to bottom.

Many of our friends have had their Generation X children come home to live with them. In most instances this has been a temporary situation in which the young adults have used the old home place either for financial reasons or while obtaining higher education or learning a trade. This is a very common practice today and hasn’t been seen in numbers like this since the early 20th century when most households consisted of extended families ranging from grandparents to great-grandchildren.

Our children fled the nest immediately after high school graduation. After spreading their wings and getting a first-class world and collegiate education, they landed in San Diego and Phoenix. Conversely, every single child of our closest friends landed in Minnesota, with many living either at, or near, their childhood homes. They are successful, hard working, productive members of society who enjoy the bliss of being near extended families. This past Sunday we had what we called an “Open-House and the Kids-Are-Home Party,” and we were quite honored so many of this next generation came to see us and our children. I am proud to call them friends and I want to thank them for allowing us to be surrogate aunts and uncles and grandparents to the many children they brought to our party.

One reason for the party was the completion of our expensive (but well worth it) remodeling project. We replaced a fireplace with a large window, which gives us a remarkable view of our lake. We also replaced the dirt-collecting carpeting in the house with oak floors stained in black walnut. This effect was no less than stunning. The stain brought out the grain of an already beautiful wood. The final aspect of the project was a refurbishing of our deck. We replaced all the railings and added a cedar privacy fence that allowed an open view of the lake, yet provides privacy for dining outside.

Our Sunday open house was filled with food, drink, horseshoes, croquet, fishing and ladder ball. A special thanks to all my exceptional friends who traveled 250-500 miles and my children who came all the way from the West Coast to help us celebrate a three-year delayed open house.

 

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