Tarmac muses…

Sitting on the tarmac patiently in Minneapolis as a mechanic looks at the underbelly of this 30-year-old dino-plane waiting to get in the air after a long week of training.  I was sent to the small town of Keshena, Wisconsin –the land of the Menominee—to catch an Apple training to educate me on the ins and outs of Final Cut Pro—a video editing program that will be the lifeline for my video broadcasting classes.

I was handed a Mac a week or so ago and I’ve been slowly reintroducing myself to the computer.  The last time I used a Mac was when I worked at the newspaper designing ads and laying out pages.  Needless to say, my PC mind is slowly adapting to an Apple.

When I first found out I was going to be sent to Wisconsin, I was a little disappointed.  I was hoping to get to Stanford or Harvard for the training, but I accepted Green Bay as a new adventure and packed my bag—as in singular (I didn’t want to have to pay extra to check a bag).

When we arrived in Green Bay I was quite surprised at how small it was.  When flying, I base the size of a city by their airport–you know the old adage about first impressions.  When you land in an airport that has one small security checkpoint, you know a lot.  The size surprised me.  Green Bay has an NFL team for crying out loud.  How does this airport handle fans?

After a quick stop at Lambeau Field we hit the road.  I soon realized that the training was NOT in Green Bay as we drove north until we entered the unincorporated village of Keshena, the Land of the Menominee.  The tribe’s lifeline has been based on logging, but now a casino/bingo palace and still-under-construction hotel helps.  The tribe has also built a college—The College of Menominee Nation.  The college offers a great opportunity for the people of this area, including a Apple Training Center.

Thus, my new home for the week would consist of days in a dimly lit computer lab cramming my brain full of shortcuts and processes, and nights in a hotel room working the computer program on my Mac with an allowed 15 minutes for casino action every night and a nightly fireworks display—which caught me off guard the first night as I thought I was caught in a casino shootout– compliments of the family who were selling the explosives out of their garage across the street from the casino.

Breakfast and lunch was at the casino for the entire week—that’s the only place close enough to eat at.  Dinner consisted of road trips to the nearby town of Shawano.  My favorite dinner was while driving around Shawano Lake when we case across a lady’s house—Mrs. Sigrid, I’m assuming—who had a bar—Sigrid’s– attached to her house.  The sign on the road said “Fish Fry on Friday”, so we turned in, parked the Enterprise ride, and rolled the dice.  And it was good!

Mrs. Sigrid has Loon Lake front property and surely attracts fishermen from her dock with the lure of an 8-foot beer sign.  She had tables set up in her backyard just feet from the water with lots of gnomes peaking from every corner, guarding the lot.

Since it was the middle of the week, we got to choose our table.  Mrs. Sigrid came out and greeted us with her thick German accent and proceeded to tell us the specials.  She suggested we have either the Bavarian schnitzel or the Jagerschnitzel—both of which I had no clue what it was—but I was feeling wild and adventurous with 92 extra bucks in my purse thanks to a Menominee slot machine.  I chose the Jagerschnitzel and Spaegle and Mrs. Sigrid went into her kitchen and got to work.

Red cabbage, German slaw, a salad (with Ranch, please) and a gorgeous sunset over Loon Lake held us over until the main course arrived.  The main course consisted of pork covered in mushrooms with a gravy-like sauce, more red cabbage, and some sort of noodle covered in more sauce.  It was hard to leave over half of the meal on the plate—Mrs. Sigrid doesn’t skimp on serving size—but not even a hungry fisherman could have eaten the whole thing.

On the final night in Keshena we ventured into the War Bonnet bar.  The War Bonnet was where you could buy fireworks out of someone’s truck bed, crash a wedding reception, meet the locals, and load up of Indian Fry bread.  The Bonnet Bites consisted of mini fry bread balls mixed with a taco salad mix.  Fry bread, enough said.  Since it was a Friday night, and the crowd was getting jolly pretty early into the evening, we opted to call it a night early to pack for our journey back home.

And now I’m here, sitting on the tarmac, still in Minneapolis waiting to get into the air and get myself home.

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