Two weeks ago I took a trip to visit “Rachel.” A cancerous tumor had been discovered in my friend’s brain stem, and while the removal was a success, she would need to live in a rehab facility for the longest, toughest phase of physical therapy.

I avoided the interstate on purpose.


20150623_082913When one breaks from the suburban south of Wisconsin, one enters a clear, open space, where farms still live and die by the land. Because I had no deadline, I paused often on the road.

20150623_082837 20150623_082822

20150623_08224320150623_084305I loved how every road felt worth a journey, from the well-tended to the unpainted. The farmlands themselves felt perfect for a hike (trespassing aside).


20150623_082924And the run-down places begged for a looksee.

20150623_084653I crossed over a heavily-treed river and noticed a small waterfall—manmade, I figured. As was the mill.

A skeleton of a mill.

20150623_083514_HDRAnd it was beautiful.

I watched the water fall and cast ripples, carry sticks and leaves under the bridge, to the other side, and beyond. As a mother of young children, I am often not allowed to admire natural wonders. The blink of an eye can mean a missed mill. It can also mean a missed child.

So when these moments away from family come, and I am allotted hours to lose myself in the partly-tamed wilds, that is precisely what I will do. As a mother, it allows me a moment to breathe and enjoy the quiet. As a writer, I am reacquainted with the quintessential rural setting. Lose yourself in the natural world around you, and discover a wealth of sensual touches to make your created worlds real.

For more images of Wisconsin, please see “Where and Why I Write” as well as “The Need for Place.”

22 thoughts on “Roads

  1. Beautifully written! I especially loved the section in which you address how we as mothers usually have to be hypervigilant in watching our kids. How true thta we seldom get the chance to look at natural beauty. I”m so glad you had a well-deserved break to linger and to gaze without fear of having a lost or injured little one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! We’ve found these breaks (usually monthly) to be vital in maintaining our sanity both as parents and as human beings. I love the sound of my children’s laughter, but they do make it a bit hard to hear birdsong… 🙂

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    • LOL I believe it! But that’s one of the cool things about Wisconsin: when you go west towards the Mississippi, you drive through these amazing bluffs that EXPLODE with color come autumn. I hope to take some pictures there either this summer or fall (catching autumn colors at their peak is almost impossible).

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      • Me, too! But children–especially my sons, the little snots–don’t like it when the car stops just to take pictures. 😦 That’s why any road-shots have to be done when I’m by myself, so I have to plan day-trips solely to get shots for my blog. (Now *that’s* dedication, huh? Huh? 🙂 )

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  3. Yeah kids are such snots that way. They take over you and your life. We are heading to Glencoe on Friday for the weekend but it is Spring so we are much more likely to stay ON the road cos although it is Spring everything will probably be bleak and dead and still snowy up that way.

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    • Aw. Still, if you’re a crazy planner like me, you may be able to use the trip to scout potential locations for a photo shoot. I’ve already been brainstorming places where I could get some shots of fruit trees in bloom, but this spring has already been so bizarre that Lord knows when they’ll actually flower. Gah!

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