Greg Koelker

Koelker

Vince and I rendezvoused in a backyard of Goose Island on a small backwater Saturday morning. The sun was just starting to shine through the trees, causing a light haze over the woods and water. He had been there for a bit, drilled a few holes in the 3 inches of ice, and found the water shallow and the fish either already on holiday or more likely moved to deeper water.

We decided on a walk-about, or rather a ride-about, in the F150 to check out a couple other spots we thought might hold a fish or two — if the ice was strong enough for our less than petite and/or buoyant carcasses. Anyway, we checked a couple places and didn’t find anything that looked like it might be worth a cold bath. He said a couple fishing fanatics from down at school said they did well on Green Lake in Blackhawk Park earlier in the week, but for some reason they were in Goose this morning. Hmmm... We did talk a little Packer and Badger football. We made plans to try this again next weekend, maybe up on Lake Onalaska. We shall see.

Ellen’s brother, Tom was visiting from Arizona and had a birthday while he was in Wisco last week. He wouldn’t put a number on it as he says he is working backwards. Maybe so, but he told people that he had a special birthday, as he got to shovel snow in the morning and feast on fried-in-butter venison tenderloin medallions for supper. By the way, I have been getting a lot of grief about my cooking abilities lately. I’ll have you know I grilled said venison tenderloins, pan fried rib steaks — twice — and deep fried bluegill and perch fillets served with coleslaw. I also made bagel McMuffins with egg, bacon and cheese for breakfast and thawed out pizza twice for supper while Tom was here. Ask any teenager — baking frozen pizza counts as cooking. Oh, after taking Tom to airport in Rochester, Minnesota, I made breakfast, or rather I called my sister Diane, and invited myself to a breakfast of eggs, taters and bacon at their place in St. Charles, Minnesota.

Our big news this week is that Ellen is moving to Gundersen Lutheran’s Inpatient Therapy wing tomorrow (Monday). Mark flies in from California at 9:45 and El and I plan to surprise him with his mother at the airport before we go to her new home. Anyway, El is stewing about the move. She — no we — will miss all the wonderful young people who cared for her while she was at Bethany Riverside. The staff at Bethany Riverside is top-notch. If anyone thinks that the younger generation is not as caring and compassionate and professional as their generation was, they are sadly mistaken. I will gladly educate them. They tell us that this is a good move and is a huge step on the road home. Let us hope.

Until next time, get out — Mark and I hope to cut a Christmas tree and set it up and have Ellen come home to help decorate it this week — with maybe a meal I will prepare — I am thinking pulled pork. I know you are going to think that I am losing my mind, but I hope it snows — enough for a true white Christmas anyway. In the immortal words of Joni Mitchell, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” I know, more than ever, that this year I got my best Christmas present ever — another Christmas with my best girl. Here’s to a white, peaceful and very merry Christmas to you and yours from all of us here at Grouse Hollow. Enjoy.

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Contributor

Greg and his wife Ellen Koelker are retired and live on Grouse Hollow Farm near Stoddard. He is chairman of the Vernon County Chapter of Wisconsin Conservation Congress.

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