Welcome to Wisconsin


I have a great pair of winter boots.  I bought them in a big snowstorm about ten years ago when Meka and I were dating.  They’re not exactly stylish and – to be honest – they weren’t fashionable even when they were new.  They’re big and gonky; I have a hard time determining which one goes on my left foot and which one goes on my right.  The tops are colored a dirty olive and the bottoms are the color of uncooked dough.  But they have one redeeming quality: they keep my feet warm and dry.

I slipped them on as I got ready to go up to Menasha, Wisconsin.  I had talked to our tech up north who claimed he cleaned about a foot and a half of snow off his driveway.  We got about four inches in Belvidere, but a strong wind had piled up a drift down by the mailbox.  I had two days of training to do at a client, plus a meeting with the powers-that-be.  I had to be up there at ten o’clock in the morning, so I got going in the pre-dawn darkness around six.  I was a bit groggy, even with the 44 ounce Diet Pepsi I picked up on my way out of town.  I had this feeling I was forgetting something, but I couldn’t think of anything obvious.  I had my laptop in my backpack.  I had my meeting notes and training materials.  I had packed my suitcase and was reasonably sure I had socks and underwear for the duration.

Despite the snow, the roads were relatively clean.  The sun – when it rose – was unopposed in a blue sky.  I flipped on news radio and was reminded about once every two minutes that the governor of my home state is a goofball.  I finished my first Diet Pepsi in Milwaukee traffic and stopped at a Kwik Trip to pick up another one.  That’s when it dawned on me my work shoes were still sitting at home a hundred miles away.  I was dressed in a button down shirt and dark slacks; neither matched well with the gigantic boots I was wearing.  However, I needn’t have worried.  Menasha had a foot of snow overnight.  I clomped into the office and thudded heavily through the hallways to the training room.  Two of my students (including a vice president) were wearing their best business casual combined with a pair of boots.

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