Saturday, June 12, 2010

Road trip

A road trip here on the homestead means going a little farther than normal, to get something specialized done that could  have been mailed, but we need the  respite from some of the routine chores of the land.  We needed to have the blades sharpened on the clippers to shear the alpacas, and the only place that does that kind of work is in Hayward. Only a couple of hours away, so good for a rainy Friday morning, to take a jaunt off the beaten path and see how the rest of the world looks like and is fairing. It has been  a long time since I have visited the old stomping ground, going way back as a teenager, searching.but.never..finding her nitch in the world.  The familiar road seemed to say welcome back, while new places have been built where before there were woods, or trails startled us back into reality. 

Turning off Hwy 70 at Couderay, toward the Indian Reservation brought back memories of fishing, wild parties, and happy times.  As a teen, one never, ever thinks that they will reach the ripe old age of 60+., being indestructible, infallible, and knowing all.  The tall 100 year old pines formed a canopy over the wet, slinky, winding road, while the lakes peeped thru the undergrowth beckoning the passerby with the deep blue mirror reflections of the dark rain clouds. The Chippewa Flowage was quiet, deep and mysterious, nary a ripple on the water, its beauty concealed by the gray storm clouds, all the while hurrying down to the hidden creeks beds, to destinations unknown.The deep dark greens of the tall grasses sparkled with diamonds of white daisies, and blue cups of the wildflowers as the highway formed a ribbon along the landscape, and the deer bounded out without a thought to the danger that could await them from a speeding car. The tranquil setting of the north woods was a positive thought on a thundering, raindrop falling atmosphere, signaling a time for reflection and peace. We reached our destination, dropped off the blades and decided to take a different route back among the many resorts, lakes, restaurants, that paved the way to untold delights, endearing many a tourists into their open arms.
Traveling back we stopped in Radisson to see Uncle Ray and the boys.  His sign business is doing better, now that they got refinanced by the local bank, and have expanded with a new truck, and hired one new employee, a local veteran back from Afghanistan, who needed work.  In this  tiny, sleepy town, this is a good sign.  Uncle Ray stands away from the crowd with his out of the box thinking, and blames the the oil spill on the enviromentalists who did not want drilling on land or Alaska, therefore we were forced to go a mile under water, creating the scenario we face today.  Not in the mood for a political debate this "tree hugger" let him spew on with his thoughts, some good, some not sensible...but then what do I know, he has 10 years more under his belt...maybe he knows something I haven't yet learned.  Its always good to go and see what the other side of the world is thinking, and maybe readjust ones thoughts to a keener view of the landscape.

Crossing the bridge out of town, the Couderay River spun around the huge rocks with glee, playing with the tall reeds on the sides of the banks, happy with the excess water, making it easier to speed on down the paths to the Chippewa, and onwards, maybe dreaming one day to enter the sea.

We stopped at the cemetery, to see our ancients graves, so quietly waiting for the sun to reappear.  Mary Lou's stone was decorated with a blue bird, flowers,  and things that only grandchildren would place with tender care.  It stood apart from the others with colors, and love radianting out into air for all to see. Behind bare and lonely, stood Mom's and Francis's graves,so distant, unadorned as the life that they once lived.  I am thinking will buy some solar lights to put on Moms grave.....(saw one on some of the other graves that were there,) and thought that would be an easy, unobtrusive way to light up her piece of ground with out causing concern for the cemetery lawnmowers.

Back home again, the sun appeared to taunt us with its rays for a brief few minutes, and then gave way to the stubborn clouds that have been dominating our world for days now.  Like spoiled children, they play tag with the winds, and rain, not willing to give up their time to let the sun kiss the grasses that are cradleing the songbirds, or the clover blossoms  that send out their seeds for the future summers. It is a test of wills, with Mother Nature letting each of her children test the system to see how far she will be content in their mischievous games.


  1. I felt like I was in the car with you, looking at all the old sights. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I agree with the above comment. I still see the potential of you writing your memoirs or maybe a fiction novel. This former neighbor of yours still wishes you were living next door.

  3. To the comments from above...thank you...thank you...its pretty cool to have someone actually like to read narrations of the homestead.