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Some things take us away from the farm. Today Bob had a checkup with his heart doctor. You’ll be pleased to know that he passed with flying colors—he still can’t tolerate taking statins, but he and the doctor have figured that he can live without them.

On our way back from the Green Bay clinic, we decided to stop in town and check out Seymour Lake. It was just reopened this year after a long hiatus and we wanted to have a look around.

The day was cool and windy, so the lake was empty, except for us. The park looked immaculate. The grass freshly cut. Many memories flashed through my mind when we got to the lake. During the 80s and 90s we spent many hot summer hours there. That’s where our four children learned to swim and where we built sandcastles.

So much looked the same, but one big difference is that there will not be any lifeguards. It’s swim at your own risk, just like the bigger lakes in the area.

We were especially checking things out for this coming July. Our Manzke Family Outing will be here on the farm. Tents will be pitched in our backyard and food will be cooked over a campfire—Bob and I will sleep in our own bed. Since we don’t have a pond on the farm, we figure the grandchildren will love a trip to town to take a dip in Seymour Lake. Besides the water and sand, there are a few picnic benches and playground  equipment for all kinds of fun. It will certainly add some splashes to our campout.

Of course, I have more plans for everyone here, too. We have two carts that will both get a workout. Some people will be driving them around, while others will be taking rides. All, hopefully will do this safely.

I hope the mosquitoes and other bugs will give us a break for our time outside. Recently, I was quietly attacked by a swarm of no-see-ums. I thought they were gnats, so I just shooed them away while I was planting. It wasn’t until I went inside did I realize I was covered with itchy welts.

I thought friends were joshing me about a biting bug called a no-see-um. After all the years of outside time, this was my first encounter with them. I’m bug shy now and will do everything I can to keep those and other bugs away from our children and grandchildren this summer—Bob was outside at the same time I was attacked. He only got one tiny bite. I guess the no-see-ums like their meal sweet.

I twisted my knee while walking today, so I don’t mind sitting by my computer.

For months I thought about signing up for an online language class. I’ve read that learning a new language can help keep a person’s brain sharp. Anyway, I investigated the nationally known classes, but couldn’t make myself buy either. I would hate paying money if I didn’t follow through with the classes.

My research took me to a review that said there was a free language class online. I typed in Duolingo.com and signed up. Now I’m two weeks into learning German. (There are 14 other languages to choose from and you can do more than one at a time.) The best thing is that Duolingo.com is FREE.

I am not speedy with my lessons and I often review and review and review things when they don’t sink in. With my German class, I don’t mind failing and trying again. My time on the computer is fun, even if some days it’s only 15 minutes. I’m treating it like a game.

Okay, so I’ll never be fluent, but maybe the effort will keep my mind sharp and I’m all for that…and did I say that the Duolingo classes are FREE?

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; sunnybook@aol.com.

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