Why you should enjoy your local community events.

I live in a northern suburb of Milwaukee called Mequon. There are a few special things about Mequon:

  1. It’s conveniently located just north of Milwaukee
  2. It’s on the shores of Lake Michigan
  3. The village of Thiensville lies in the middle of Mequon (Like a little Wisconsiny Vatican City. But less Popey.)
  4. People are always mispronouncing it. (There is no I in Team. And there is no Me in Mequon. Think mek + the name Juan )

One of the special things that happens in Mequon is Gathering On The Green. It’s an annual summer music event that offers 3 nights of musical entertainment featuring national acts. It’s extra special if you dig country music or were rocking big bangs or a mullet in the 80s.

This year they have added a Sunday afternoon concert featuring Milwaukee’s own Danny Gokey of American Idol fame. (I just hope he doesn’t try to hit that high note in Dream On by Aerosmith again…)

Gathering On The Green is a really special event driven by a board of talented community leaders and supported by great community businesses.

I have lived in The Quon since moving North from Atlanta 6 years ago. But I had never attended GOTG until last night.

My wife Dawn and I decided we should make an effort to go, support, enjoy and understand what the gathering was all about.

And…

It was amazing. The music was good. But the vibe was great. I’ve never been to anything that felt quite like it.

But this is not an advertisement for Gathering On The Green. It’s simply a reminder that there are special events in your community that you have never attended, but should. I highly encourage you to:

  • Go to the concert series.
  • Attend that fundraiser.
  • Go see the games.
  • Go to the play.
  • Attend the festival.
  • Watch the parade.
  • Shop the farmers market. (Buy yourself a nice farmer.)
  • Do the holiday event.
  • Or the school event.

Key Takeaway

Communities become great through support and participation. Lean into your community events. Join, attend and contribute. Spend time with friends and neighbors. Make new friends and new memories. Start great new traditions. It will help you feel more connected to the people and places around you. Which is one of the great joys of life.

Thank you to all of you who contribute your time, talent and treasures to make your community events special.

+ Special thanks to my friend Matt Richmond for inviting us to enjoy the event from the Richmond Investment Services tent. A good time was had by Albrechts.

Take time off to tend to your other business.

I hold 3 jobs. I am the Founder and leader of the advertising and idea agency The Weaponry. Which is a full time job and then some. But I am also a husband. And as if those 2 jobs weren’t enough, I am the proud father of 3 kids. It’s hard to tell which of these 3 jobs is most important. But I know for sure that it isn’t the ad agency gig.

Up North

This past weekend I took a little time off from The Weaponry, and my husbanding duties (I wrote duties…) in order to take my kids camping. With August drawing to an end, this weekend offered a perfect opportunity for Ava(14), Johann (13), Magnus (10) and I (ageless) to spend some time together before the kid head back to school(ing) on September 1st. It also offered my wife Dawn some overdue alone time before she resumes the role of Chief Educational Officer of the Albrecht Family School System. Because this year, our school district will be virtually schooling for somewhere between 1 week and all of eternity.

Spending time together builds a family foundation on stone. (See what I did there?)

Dad’s Camping Adventure 2020 took us 200 miles north of our home in Mequon, Wisconsin. Our campsite was on Bear Lake in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Northern Wisconsin. (You just mumble-read through the word Chequamegon didn’t you?) To say we got away from it all was an understatement.

Kids, clouds and quiet.

There was no electricity. No lights. No internet. In fact there was no phone service within 10 miles of our campsite. And that’s exactly the way I wanted it. Not only were my kids and I refreshed by the clean air, and cool lake water, we participated in a 3-day digital cleanse. Because with no phone service and no electricity to recharge our digital distractors, our mobile phones were quickly and thankfully dead.

It was 61 degrees this evening. My kids have viking blood.

I didn’t have to compete with social media, video games, or text messages. It was a full weekend of me and my children, fully engaged with each other. We talked and told stories. The four of us piled into our 17 foot canoe to go fishing and explore the lake together. We hiked. We campfired (which really should be a verb, right?). We cooked our own meals together. We stared at the stars as if seeing them for the first time. At night we crowded our sleeping bags close together in the tent.

Larry the Log Hauler.

As we were camping all seemed right with the world. In the middle of the woods we weren’t worried about COVID-19. We weren’t masking up or wearing out the pump on the hand sanitizer. We were just enjoying life together like it was 2019. Or maybe 1819.

We decided to come home through Michigan, which marked the 6th new state of the summer for my kids, who have now seen 42 states.

As a working parent, I can’t think of a better cherry on top of the summer than getting to spend 3 full days alone in the woods camping with my children without digital distractions. We were all completely present. Completely engaged. And completely invested in each other. We made memories we will never forget. At least until the Alzheimers or amnesia kick in.

We capped off our weekend with lunch in Escanaba, Michigan. Our table was as close to Lake Michigan as you can get without getting pruney.

Key Takeaway

It is easy to forget that we all have more than one job. Remember to put time and energy into your other important roles. Take your vacation days. Enjoy your upcoming Labor Day. Spend time with your family and friends. And Dad’s, spend time with your children. You can’t get that time back. Remember, it will be your kids that will decide which nursing home you end up in.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.