Yesterday's "adventure" was a drive to Copper Falls State Park which is about two or so hours from Frederic. It has always been one of my favorite parks for it encompasses three waterfalls and at least one lake. The drive to and from there is through the Chequamegon National Forest...and along the drive I encountered three flocks of wild turkeys crossing the road. I stopped for each and every one of them so they could cross the road safely. I also saw a female elk crossing the highway (stopped for her too)...and realized as I drove through 30+ mile of "elk crossing" warnings, that elk have finally been re-established in this part of the country. Lastly attached is a picture of Copper Falls from today. It was a good day...
On a recent early summer day I arrived home. In the morning I'd been out and about having breakfast with a dear friend, did some book shopping. Then I drove home. Upon pulling into the driveway this feeling of having arrived home washed over me. Since moving into this house three years ago it was the first time that this feeling of pleasure and comfort were mine to enjoy.
An old quote declares "home is where the heart resides." Yes this is true. However, Melody Beattie says it even better: "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend."
Over the years I've been blessed with many homes. My parent's home where I grew up, college dorms (well, kind of home), apartments, condos, and townhouses. Each place I've enjoyed and cherished. However, when I purchased this house and then moved into it...I had the hardest time accepting it as home. Yet here I am knowing that finally...I've arrived home.
Already these rooms have been filled with love and laughter and memorable events. All of these things make a house a home And for that I am eternally grateful.
Thank you Universe!
This is not posted under my recipe sections for it is not so much a recipe as a celebration of the start of summer. And even though the calendar says summer does not start until June 20/21, here in the Northwoods it is at hand. BTW, my pasta salad is nothing more than a box of any pasta I might find in the cupboard and a lot of creativity. In this case it was elbow macaroni, tuna, celery, sliced olives, and mixed vegetables tossed with a sweet Italian salad dressing.
Oh...and while preparing the pasta salad...I had a bloody Mary. My bloody Mary is nothing more than vodka, Clamato...and garnish (in this case spear of pickled asparagus and sliced bread & butter pickles).
The pasta salad and the bloody Mary were both enjoyed. Trust me. And that is how I welcomed summer to the wee cottage in the woods.
And today...yes today...as I walked into Wayne’s (in Luck) to get a salad kit, there was a big sign proclaiming that June is “National Dairy Month”. I thought to myself: “Self, yes, let’s celebrate with a Tanqueray & tonic!”
A drive to Gooseberry Falls from NW Wisconsin is a perfect day trip. It is a worthy location of any type of drive. Recently I had the chance to visit the park once again along with family that was visiting from California. We were there on a Monday in late May and it was a spring paradise.
After our hike around the park, our appetites were enormous and we stopped at the Blackwoods Grill & Bar (Two Harbors, MN) for a delicious lunch. We all opted for the walleye sandwich...which was perfectly and deliciously served by their knowledgeable staff.
So...I recommend this combination...a hike at the falls followed by either lunch or dinner at the Blackwoods Grill & Bar.
Memorial Day for Americans is a three day weekend break away from work...for many workers. It has become a time to take a long weekend and celebrate whether in town or out of town. There are some more serious roots to this "holiday" for it was meant to be a day to honor the dead...those that fought in the wars on behalf of the United States of America. And now in many ways it has been expanded to be a weekend of remembrance of those that we have loved that have transitioned before us.
Today while on the drive to visit both my parents graves as well as my sister's grave, I momentarily was listening to Sarah Brightman singing "Wishing you were somehow here again..." on the car sound system. The words from this "Phantom of the Opera" song seemed so appropriate that I am including them on this post:
"Wishing you were somehow here again,
Wishing you were somehow near.
Sometimes it seemed if I just dreamed,
Somehow you would be here.
Wishing I could hear your voice again,
Knowing that I never would.
Dreaming of you won't help me to do,
All that you dreamed I could!"
Thank you Andrew Lloyd Weber for these poignant words. As I gaze at these pictures, I wish that somehow they were here again...and wishing I could hear their voices again.
Thankfully their voices, their faces, the laughter shared...is anchored in my mind, heart and soul...and as I am typing this...I am hearing their voices once again.
Here in the northwoods spring comes slowly and reluctantly. Yet when it arrives it is glorious for it arrives with a cacophony of color as well as a cacophony of sound. Flowers bloom and birds sing. While the eye settles on the latest freshest flower to emerge the ear is blessed with the songs of robins, warblers, finches...and even Canadian Geese. As the soft spring air ushers in through the open French door, I now know that I want to fill my cup with fresh coffee, sit on the porch, and revel in the embrace of this wonderful day.
I leave with you this wonderful Robert Frost poem:
A Prayer in Spring
Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.
For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.
Those of you that may or may not pay attention to my posts, know that WA Frost & Co is one of my favorite restaurants. That said, I have another favorite too that fits in a busy day of errands: Jake's City Grille. Today I had a wonderful lunch that started out with a Sangria Cocktail, Asian chicken salad, and then rhubarb crisp & ice cream with a delicious cup of coffee. I am so full tonight that I just may skip dinner!
I had an interesting drive this afternoon in the Gov. Knowles State Forest. My niece gave me a book on Wisconsin ghost towns/villages and it has been fun finding some of these towns or what remains of them. Last fall, I thought I'd found the remnants of a town called Trade River. However, today in the above mentioned state forest, along the Trade River, I found the remnants of what may really have been the town/village of Trade River. All that is left is a small chapel and a cemetery. When looking at these pics, can you imagine Sunday worship at this small church 150 years ago??? Life in these Northwoods must have been brutal. Can you imagine a winter in the 1800s, living in a log cabin and your only heat would have been a wood stove or a fireplace? The cemetery tells its own story of the harshness of that life. Mable Erickson...born 1901 died 1902...for instance and that was only 120 years ago. I need to find out more about this area, this town, and the people that lived here...especially the real Americans who lived here before the European settlers arrived...the Saint Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin.
Life's little blessings...for me...include sharing my home with a Maine Coon Cat. His antics constantly give a smile to my face as well as a smile to my heart.
Family, friends and home are the treasures that bring me the most pleasure. Through my blog, I wish to share part of my life and heart with readers.