In thinking about all I am thankful for this week, I cannot help but to express gratitude for the friendships that have helped me through this most difficult year. And for diversions. Sometimes we just a need a break to unplug and unwind, which always calls for a trip to Green Lake, Wisconsin.
Green Lake 2020 Trip – A Weekend In Trump Country
For the ninth year in a row, I flew into Chicago then traveled up to Green Lake, Wisconsin to spend a weekend with former colleagues from Star Alliance who are now dear friends.
We kept delaying this trip during the year due to the pandemic, but decided to pull the trigger in late October. One of my friends is in a higher-risk group, so this was a trip in which I took extra care to minimize any potential exposure to any germs. I quarantined and tested before and kept to myself during the journey from Los Angeles to Chicago.
Once there, we stayed at home for the weekend. Tradition calls for fish fry on Friday night and a nice steak or prime rib dinner out on Saturday night. But in this more conservative, rural part of Wisconsin, indoor dining continues and patrons crowd around bars without masks. There was also a severe COVID-19 outbreak in Wisconsin at the time. My host felt it would be better to stay home and I did too…not just for me, but for him.
Our choices in life are a constant risk/benefit analysis and I am quite willing to take more risks than many would be comfortable with. But the thing about this virus is that it impacts more than the risk taker: it impacts those in his orbit. I could never forgive myself if I exposed my friends to COVID-19 by engaging in foolish action. And yet note that key and highly-subjective word foolish. Some of you may reasonably claim the journey itself was foolish, despite the precautions I took. I don’t think so. Not because the trip was a matter of life and death, but because sweet fellowship is like a balm that heals wounds.
We had a nice weekend inside. Saturday was a beautiful autumn day. It snowed on Sunday. I ran into herd of deer on my walk. We had Lou Malnati’s pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, grilled steak, omelets, and Italian beef sandwiches. The Trump yard signed outnumbered the Biden ones by about 20 to 1….I’d say “Trump country” is a fair description.
This was an unusual trip to Green Lake in an unusual year. But I’m deeply grateful for it…and a month later I can report back that no one got sick from our trip. Next year will mark 10 consecutive years: I am already looking forward to it.