It was two years in the making.
I knew at some point I would see her less and less and promised to make every minute with her special as I readied myself for that natural cleaving. We stayed close. And my DNA in her runs strong.
You'd never have known it had been so long.
We fell into conversation on the ride back from the airport in the Twin Cities to the Wisconsin Northwoods that was of our nature. One sentence might be music. The next philosophy. Then a cultural reference. A loved memory shared. And a heavy sprinkling of humor.
The folks at The Ranch seated us a little late -- 9:08 p.m. after my promise to be there by 9:03. We old editors believe every minute is a damned eternity. And they had fulfilled my request of a relish tray with extra radishes, which covered the other gems on the tray but were gone quickly enough as the kid and I are radish friends (note to self: great name for a vegan horror movie).
The next day we brought lunch into the newspaper so I could treat staff and let them meet this person they hear me reference everyday and, I think, were beginning to believe didn't exist.
I gave the kid a bit of a tour and we finished the day with a real Wisconsin fish fry at The Steakhouse. I lived at the lodge there for my first month in town and they're my local family.
On Sunday, we relaxed with Chippewa Springs water -- our family staple -- and talked about her senior thesis she's working on. It's a look at how corporate and cultural hegemony affects late-night TV shows, her chosen milieu.
That night, we had the best wienerschnitzel in the world at the Chippewa Inn on County B -- along with a relish tray that included an extra bowl of radishes. It occurred to me that in northern Wisconsin "radish" is singular and plural. The bowl of whole radish prompted nearby tables to exclaim the excellent service.
I worked the better part of Monday but she was ensconced in another office in the building, working on her senior thesis.
When I kicked out of work at about 3:30 p.m., we had time to kill until more food so we played pool at TNT in downtown Hayward.
Oh, I had forgotten she's a shark.
Years ago, I taught her pool and then grasshopper surpassed the teacher. She's a shark in petite form, willing to play off on her intellectual and creative personality and then she'll pass that 8 ball by you like the a cold, black piece of coal to fire the pits of hell.
She will do well in Hollywood.
Tuesday: Deadlines? Pressure on two publications? More pool where she kicked my butt? I worked again as we had the Wednesday weekly coming out and our Magazine, The Visitor, due to the printer ASAP.
I introduced her to the food and drink of Angler's Bar and Grill. She had the basic bacon cheeseburger -- in which you can taste the meat of two animals.
I took all of Wednesday off as a sleeping-in day as well as time with no agenda.
We started off with a late lunch of the Big Chip Cobb Salad at Treelands resort -- split because one salad would be as big as our huge heads. We come from big-headed people. If you meet me, ask for the jokes.
And then (angelic music from the Gods) we saw another pool table. And played three games. She won the rubber match.
We had rest/nap time which is valuable mostly during vacations. No one should return to work more tired than they left.
A couple of cocktails at Powell's on the Lake (formerly the first Famous Dave's) and pizza, drinks and pool at Treelands.
Despite my advanced age, I am not tired.
Seeing my daughter and listening to intelligence has invigorated me once again.
When we hugged today at the Twin Cities airport, I said four times, "I love you."
I've never meant anything more in my life.
Peace, love and kinship unto all of you my brothers and sisters.
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