The sidewalk incident

Now I know why, when I was a child, my mother always admonished me to pick up my feet.

While walking down a street in Milwaukee recently, I became the victim of an uneven sidewalk.

One minute I was talking and laughing with Hubby Bryan and friends Craig and Paula Stock. The next minute, I was flying through the air —definitely not with the greatest of ease — before getting up close and personal with a slab of concrete.

It was Memorial Day weekend, and we made the trip to Milwaukee to see the Minnesota Twins play the Milwaukee Brewers. We had plans to tailgate prior to the game with former Worthingtonians Kevin and Kami Lease on Monday. But this was Sunday, and we had just departed the Lakefront Brewery tour. (And no, I hadn’t imbibed too much —just a couple of small samples.)

It’s all a bit fuzzy, but I’m sure I was talking with Paula —probably gesturing with my hands, as I often do — and putting my camera away at the same time.  The section of sidewalk was raised up a good couple of inches. I would have needed to be goose-stepping to avoid tripping over it. So trip I did —flat on my face —although I managed somehow in that split second to turn my head to the right. Instead of a broken nose, knocked-out teeth or even a concussion, I ended up with a bruised cheek, a split lip, and two very bloody knees. Instead of a trip to the emergency room, my injuries only necessitated a stop at the drugstore for bandages and antibiotic salve.

At the game the next day, I noticed a few people giving me a sideways glance, no doubt wondering if I was the victim of abuse. I just held my head high, and we cheered the Twins on to victory.

Now, the bruise has faded, the lip just has a small bump and the knees have scabbed over. In retrospect, I realize that it could have been so much worse. I’m grateful for my husband and friends who picked me up from the sidewalk and treated my wounds (both physical and to my pride), the Lakefront employee who came running out to assist, as well as a passing bicyclist who stopped to see if he could help.

The “sidewalk incident” as I’ve come to call it, seemed to be just the start of a small run of bad luck, however.

The next day, we forgot the signs that we’d made to take to the game in hopes of drawing the attention of the Minnesota TV crew. The Leases —who set up camp in the stadium parking lot on a drizzly morning and cooked up some Wisconsin bratwurst for us —forgot the accompanying potato salad in the refrigerator.

The missing salad was only a big deal because Kevin and Kami had bragged it up, the recipe having supposedly come from the files of former first lady Laura Bush.

Then, finally, on our way back home, Bryan and I had the final misfortune of a flat tire just outside of Fairmont.

Since bad luck seems to run in threes, we’re hoping our streak is done.

Kevin and Kami promised to email me the potato salad recipe, and I will share it once they do. In the meantime, here’s another Wisconsin recipe for grilling season.

German Cheeseburger

In a food processor, pulse 2 slices rye bread into crumbs. Combine crumbs with 1 pound ground beef, ¼ cup brown ale, 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, ½ tablespoon salt, ½ teaspoon caraway seeds and ¼ teaspoon pepper; mix well. Shape mixture into four patties. Sauté 1 cup sliced mushrooms; set aside.

Place patties on grill over medium coals. Grill, uncovered, to desired doneness. Top each with a slice of Swiss cheese, and continue grilling until melted.

Spread mayonnaise on bottom of four potato rolls. Add a slice of Black Forest ham to each, and place cooked patty on top of ham. Add sautéed mushrooms. Spread top of bun with additional mustard.

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