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Everyone should have an Uncle Barry

GAYS MILLS - So as it turns out my brain apparently hasn't been working at full capacity for about six to eight months. 

As Chasca and I were backing out of the driveway, I caught a flash of the orange tag on my license plates. 

“Are my plates expired!?” I squawked to myself. 

“I dunno, I haven’t seen your license plate for months its been covered with snow,” Chasca replied. 

I continued to ponder aloud the entire drive to our destination–I couldn't have forgotten to renew it…I’ve been followed by LOTS of cops, you’d think I would have noticed…or someone would have noticed and told me… 

Sure enough however once we got home I saw it. August 18. I had been driving around with expired plates since August! I blamed it on the fact that my beloved Aunt passed that month and the pregnancy fog all just took over my brain. And why would I ever look at my plates anyway I guess?

Back into the car we hopped and off to Viroqua to the little renewal kiosk in Walgreens. I had promised my uncle who is housesitting use of my more fuel-efficient vehicle, so having things up to snuff seemed important. 

My uncle has been looking forward to this special get-away housesitting for quite sometime. 

An interesting fellow my Uncle Barry is. He is a life long bachelor, who knows a little bit about everything it seems. He knows someone everywhere he goes, or at least, knows someone who knows that other someone.  He lived with us for a while when we were young kids. He was always good for some kind of adventure along the state line. Retrieving livestock, visiting his buddies or going to the junkyard. My brother even once got to ride in a limousine with him on a day he played hooky from school. I always tease Chasca that if he wouldn't have ended up with me, he one day probably would have been an Uncle Barry himself. 

One time, my uncle must not have been thinking straight because he agreed to take a whole bunch of us cousins camping. He somehow managed to maintain his patience, even when we all set up our sleeping bags and left him with the spot boasting a big rock and some small bits of gravel. 

It wasn't until we woke up to what seemed like an army of raccoons raiding our coolers, crawling on the ceiling of a tent and trying to infiltrate the doors did he lose his temper. Luckily it wasn't at us, just at the little fuzzy jerks that ate all of the bacon and lunchmeat. 

Things went from bad to worse for poor old Uncle Barry during that trip. My brother and cousin Brandon were the only ones brave enough to stay aboard following the raccoon attack. They thought, well, why not have a leisurely afternoon of fishing. Leisurely it was not, as just as they managed to get to the middle of the lake, a massive storm struck, which, unbeknownst to them turned into a tornado in the surrounding community. My brother and Brandon hunkered down in the boat and hoped to make it out alive while Uncle Barry blasted across the lake as fast as the boat motor would take him. All’s well that ends well so they say and all three of them lived to tell the story of course.

Not one to ever give up on being young, wild and free, Uncle Barry had made plans with Chasca’s mom to jump out of an airplane the following spring. 

Due to her untimely death however, they were never able to complete their plan. Recently though, he made mention about needing a smidge of her ashes for when he goes. 

I’m judging however by his excitement to hunker down, feed the wood stove and watch Netflix, he may just be resting up to take on such a wild feat after all–we’ll see.