Why, hello there and greetings from the Frozen (almost literally) Tundra of Wisconsin, friends!
This week, I am happy to report that this writer made a pilgrimage, of sorts. It is a pilgrimage that every Green Bay Packers fan has a dream to do at least once in their lives. And yes, that dream is going to Lambeau Field, whether it is for a game, a tour or just to drive by and say, "Yup, there she is...The mothership" while sobbing tears of joy and appreciation.
This past Monday started off the same as any other Monday in Casa Moen-Kadlec. The hound was howling, Manpig snorting and snoring, while others in the house consumed copious amounts of Norwegian coffee (pronounced kaf-fee) just to face the day.
We are a caffeinated group of people. What more can I say?
This Monday was different. Manpig and I decided that may be time for a change of scenery, and in order to get out of the four county radius that seems to keep us corralled in the western part of Wisconsin, we were heading out to Green Bay. Vacation time (of which I have a lot of) was requested, the hound was given a stern warning to not invite strangers into the house in order to give her Milkbones, Manpig was heavily sedated and off in the truck we went.
For those of you who don't know me personally, you may not be aware that I am able to adapt wherever I go. I am like the Rambo of Western Wisconsin, able to blend into trees and still rock an awesome mullet while emerging from the mud. Manpig, however? Manpig is a creature of habit. Wake up, drink coffee, hang out with hound, watch hunting shows. Repeat.
To throw a monkey wrench into Manpig's life, I was the one who recommended this little jaunt. I, however, had somehow forgotten that Manpig and I had made a similar trip to Atlanta to watch a Braves game.
About halfway through our fifteen hour trip, Manpig's very life and well-being was threatened as he complained about the length of time it took to drive through Illinois in addition to the inadequacy of truck stop bathrooms and the lack of alcohol content in other state's beer.
By the time we made it to Atlanta, I debated on spending my vacation money for a Greyhound bus ticket back to Wisconsin for myself, leaving my car in Manpig's care. I vowed that Manpig would never be in a car with me for any significant length of time again.
Monday's jaunt to the motherland of Green Bay started out with a few sighs and a few thousand "WHY do you INSIST on doing this?" from Manpig, but, we made it.
Our ultimate goal, which was an interview, was completed and Manpig said, "Let's go walk around somewhere before we drive home." Four hours in a car one way... Four hours in a car home... Yup, we needed to get the old blood circulating.
My idea? "Let's go to Lambeau Field and check out the Pro-Shop! We can take pictures of Curley Lambeau and Vince Lombardi! We can check out parking for when we go to a game together! We can bond with other fans of the Green and Gold, and build lifelong friendships! Kind of like a sorority with more beer and less hazing!" Excitement filled me, as the signs for Oneida Street began to appear. I, after a disasterous attempt at going to Packers Family Fun Night, was FINALLY going back to Lambeau Field.
A gentle peace filled my soul, as a slow smile spread over my normally tired, worried face...
And then Manpig took the wrong exit.
"What are you doing?" I snapped my head towards the stream of traffic, who I was fairly certain were all going to Lambeau Field, as Manpig barreled down the exit ramp.
"Going to Wal-Mart to walk around. What do you think I'm doing?" asked Manpig as he not so much drove through traffic, but aimed at oncoming vehicles.
Okay, I thought to myself, all is not lost. Let Manpig get in his box-store fix, check out the hunting goods and then he'll break down and take me to Lambeau Field. I've been married to the man(pig) for nine years...He knows what kind of hell and havoc I will reign on him if I don't get my Lambeau trip...
While walking through the DePere Walmart, I began to see the warning signs of Manpig's ire. The frown on his face when it was determined that there was only "girl" hunting clothes (that we could find).
The flash of frustration in his eyes when I said, "Well, of course the girls are doing the hunting on this side of the state because the GUYS ARE WATCHING THE PACKERS!"
The gritting of his teeth as I lovingly hugged every single article of Packers merchandise that is not available on my side of the state...
"Get in the truck..." says Manpig through said gritted teeth as I leaped (Lambeau style) through the parking lot. "We've got a long drive home."
"Yup. And we need to go to Lambeau yet." I grinned as I got in the truck, happiness abounding. I buckled my seat belt just in time for Manpig to jam the truck in gear and tear out onto the freeway, nearly killing us both, and others, in the numerous round abouts that seem to make up DePere.
We get on the freeway and I, who is normally directionally challenged, thus my love for my very angry and bitter GPS ("I SAID TURN RIGHT, FOOL!") but the mothership of Lambeau has a strong pull to it. And that pull was getting weaker as Manpig plowed through traffic.
"Why are we going west, Manpig?" I softly asked, eyes narrowed.
"Manpig go home. Wife go home, too." Manpig grunts, possibly thinking of the time that he has lost spending with the beagle and regretting the fact that he had, at that point, spent six hours with his wife. And many more hours ahead...
It was about that time I flung myself against the back window of the truck, face pressed up against the glass like a Garfield sticky-cat, screaming, "NOOOO!!!!!!!!"
If you were driving on Highway 41, heading towards Appleton on Monday afternoon, and saw a little green truck with a hysterical nearly six foot tall, furry woman, pressed up against the rear window, howling, that was more than likely me and not a captured Sasquatch.
I was like two minutes from Lambeau Field. Two minutes from the welcoming arms of the Packers Pro Shop. Two minutes from the warm glow of other devoted Packer fans. Two minutes from seeing where the Green Bay Packers play...
Goodbye, Charles Woodson. Goodbye, Donald Driver. Toodles, Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, and B.J. Raji.
Hello, Manpig. Welcome to hell.
I don't really remember the drive home. I briefly remember getting out of the vehicle in Pittsville (the geographic center of the State of Wisconsin, if you so inclined to read signs that tell you this type of information) and then blacked out in a Packers deprived stupor.
I was in this stupor for the remainder of the week. During the rest of the week, I learned about crazed weiner dogs and stuffed two feet tall beavers yet I couldn't take any enjoyment in this knowledge. But that's a completely different story.
When I awoke this morning, the fog lifted and I feel somewhat human again. Manpig, who has probably wished that the weather was warmer this week so he could have lived in his deer blind with his dog rather than deal with his wife (aka me), timidly asked, "When do the Packers play?" To which I responded "3:15, CBS. OH! And did I mention that they are playing at Lambeau Field?" At that point and time, Manpig wisely collected his hound and left the residence under the guise of "cleaning out the shed." Or as it is otherwise known as "hiding from Mrs. Moen-Kadlec and wisely so..."
So, yes, my week was filled with chaos, all stemming from Manpig's lack of cooperation. I also find it ironic that the Denver Broncos are going to make it to Lambeau Field before I do.
With that being said, and due to the fact that I am in a mood, let's hope today's game finds the Green Bay Packers 4-0. Manpig would appreciate it.
Go, Pack, go!