Sojourn to Northern Farm Country

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In far southwestern Wisconsin, down endless two lane roads, lives a sturdy population of no-nonsense farmers. These farms are not part of an amalgamation, but 500 acre farms grown larger by marrying the girl next door or by purchasing from a neighbor without children.. Angus cattle, Holstein cows and wild-looking horses with manes and tails embedded with burrs are too leery to come to the fence and take an apple from my hand.

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These farms are inhabited by people who have owned them for generations. The oldest members of the family retire, no further than to town, when the next generation gets itchy to fill their thick-soled barn boots and get to it.  Men and women hunt deer and turkey and watch football games on TV. A squirrel supper is not uncommon. The type of rugged individual who lives here would be good to have with you in an emergency. They wouldn’t hold your hand or say comforting words, but they would get you through it.

The wind blows fierce across these corn stubble fields in January. Roads flung like ribbons across an eider down quilt cause apprehension at the top of hills where one wonders what will be at the top, a sheer drop or a man on a tractor straddling the double yellow line.

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I spent a week there in January while my sister and her husband reunited with the sun in their prior hometown of Sarasota, Florida. The white frozen fog lifted high enough on just one day for me to go outside and walk on the property.

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It is an interesting feeling to be alone in someone else’s house for a week. I’ve never been able to feel my sister in that house. But, I saw her personality outside hidden under fallen leaves and in the birdhouses riding on wire strung over the thick arms of old oak trees.

 

Stay warm…I’m back to work at the shop beginning the first weekend in February.

~Ginene

 

38 thoughts on “Sojourn to Northern Farm Country

  1. It read like the opening of a great novel. You have narrated the countryside with the felicity of a Coleridge. It got much more intense as you drew it to a close by describing how you felt the presence of your sister under the fallen leaves and the birdhouses on wires and old oak trees. You have enriched the piece with succulent images of the farm and the birdhouses, although none was needed.

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    • Someone I spoke to from the next little town said that the local people were not happy to find that the local bank, in business for 150 years, had been sold to a banking network. Change comes to all little towns now.

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  2. Oh wow, I love how you described your sister in this environment, “I’ve never been able to feel my sister in that house. But, I saw her personality outside….” Your description of the land and its people is very powerful too. WV is a lot like that, both rural farmlands and mountainous woodlands. My husband & I philosophize occasionally on the people – many of whom are relatives – who we’d most want to “get us through” if ever the situation arose.
    Welcome home, back to gray grind. Spring, come soon!
    Rita

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  3. What an interesting post. My family has lived by the coast our entire lives. As retirement nears, we’re seriously contemplating moving a little more west to more land and rolling hills. Your photos urge me even more.
    ~Joanne

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  4. Ah, you have such an amazing way with words, Ginene. I want more! Truly. And I love the photo with the ladders and the gnarled branches. You captured some wonderful images.

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  5. Thanks for a delectable visual treat of Wisconsin countryside and farm lands. You have truly adorned it, Ginene, with your graphic narrative that reads like a page out of one of those Victorian novels. Your sister is lucky to be living amidst such a sylvan setting where sweetly scented fresh air winds through foliaged trees to continually uplift the spirit. It is heartening to note that you have ready access to these vibrantly open spaces relatively unaffected by urbanisation. May it remain so preserved as much as your inspired outlook to keep narrating such tales and reflecting it in your antique pieces.

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  6. I’m going to try and comment…hoping it will actually go through this time! Love your descriptive writing and your gorgeous photos. I’ve missed your posts. Interesting that you can’t feel your sister in her home – but you can feel her outside.

    Hopefully, we’ll see more posts from you soon…maybe featuring some items in your shop?

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  7. How nice to hear from you today, Deb.I agree with you, we have to look a little deeper to see the nuances of color in winter, but it is beautiful. Completely different, of course, but it is there.

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  8. This was such a naturalistic post. The story you told in the beginning was so befitting of the pictures you posted. Its like you’re at peace with the nature setting while taking in all the small details (that living in a city) you could miss. Even though you hadn’t felt your sister inside the house, I’m sure once you get back home and reminiscence on your visit it will hit you..and you’ll realize how warm you felt in her home. This was a wonderful read, thanks for sharing with us. Stay warm and I wish you safe travels on your way back home.

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  9. Today the sky is blue and it is a day begging for everyone to be happy. I’m back to the job and painting a piece of furniture that I got at an auction on Monday for less than the going price because someone, somehow, locked the key inside. I have a jar of old keys. Talk to you soon, friend Jamala.
    Ginene

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