The above photo shows our apple trees just blooming. Aren’t they old fashioned looking? Can you imagine the hammock that is going to stretch between them soon? When I was a young girl I fantasized about living on a ranch and somehow these two acres encompass as close as I’ve ever come to that feeling. Sometimes I think I should be changing the header of my blog now that we are planning on being stationary and staying put in America’s Heartland. In fact, I am giving thought of whether I should even continue blogging when stationary life may lack sufficient fodder to adequately entertain readers to even bother to tune in. In a routine lifestyle what is “bloggable” anyway? At minimum, I suspect once the house is finished, my entries will become much more sporadic—more as an update for old friends to know that we are still alive and kicking and up to no good.
I had hopes upon moving here to be out and about taking photographs of this beautiful state much more than providence has provided so far. Our time just seems so limited, especially with Marc never taking even one day off, that unless I care to travel on my own it doesn’t look like it will be happening at least for another year or two. Add four cats that eat twice daily to the equation and my weak bladder and it becomes even more of a travail to travel-ha.
And to be honest, I’ve been fairly happy in my little portion of the world. There are intangibles here, hard to describe, which draw me in and are keeping me content. Something about the very shape of the world here—rounded or smoothed, soothing, with the nuances of thousands of trees and greens I’m not used to. The west now seems stark, barren and harshly formed in comparison. Dry. Filled with cookie cutter houses. And unending traffic and congestion.
My world has weather and the skies change daily (which I appreciate more as time passes), is bucolic, wholesome, languid, timeless—old fashioned. I think that is the word that best describes it: old fashioned. Marc and I often talk about how nearly everything here reminds us of life 30 years ago: Everyone on their little plot of verdant green, wood piles and clotheslines, old cars and cornfields; quiet country roads, small towns, little traffic, no lines, very old homes and farms and common folk. People interested in their communities, other neighbor’s wellbeing, being helpful, kind and attentive. People smile here and when I step foot in the post office, everyone in there greets me as if I’m not a stranger. I appreciate all the wildlife and birds constantly reminding me daily that we share our lives and the earth with something important besides ourselves. I wake to birdsong and go off to sleep with the sound of crickets and bullfrogs.
Experiencing the full range of seasons imparts a rhythm of nature to the days that has broadened my horizons and makes each totally distinctive and welcomed. It’s taught me to appreciate the good ones and to forgive the nasty ones and to drink it all in with wonder as living in a constantly pleasant climate cannot do. If there is never any change how do you recognize difference? It makes me pay more attention to the differences in our local landscapes wrought by the seasons; the colors, the vistas, the smells. I decided I got tired of complaining about less than perfect weather; does it change anything, especially mood, to do so?
To my utter astonishment quite a few people in Wisconsin that I’ve met have never left the state to travel beyond its borders. Whether from inertia, financial inability or total contentment I can’t discern. But with each passing day I understand how it could be the latter. When one is happy where they are, why go farther? We may just be ready to rest and absorb our little corner of this beautiful world in central Wisconsin and call it home for our final chapters. No one sees it all; that is only an illusion that drives the restless. Some are lucky enough, at the end, to have seen and experienced a few of God’s chosen places and that has to be enough. Even fewer get to live there. I can count several so feel myself very fortunate. This place just stirs our contentment. It’s as simple as that. This place: it wasn’t a choice at first but it is now.