the lost summer

a dramatic thunderstorm passed through
in the early predawn hours
now cool and low humidity
  for the first time in weeks

home no longer home
only a house  many rooms of which
almost completely filled
floor to ceiling with life 
  packed in 1.3 cubic foot boxes

two weeks ago
I headed west
970 miles to find
(and another 970 back)
a new home

and I did
in the Driftless Area 
  of southwestern Wisconsin
missed by glaciers of all four Ice Ages
the landscape is roller coaster hilly
 woods in wavy alternating strips with tall corn
  hay and soybeans
impeccably clean dairy farms

I have lived here before
high on a hilltop
where I was part of the weather 
  as it passed through

this time  valley life  hill bound
11.5 acres  upwards of 2 acres of it in 
  emerald green lawn beneath
  black walnut trees

the remainder a forested hillside
with trails blazed through it

a small pond
a bumper crop of blackberries 
which should be ripe when I arrive

20 minutes from Madison
which has grown in the intervening years
engulfing small surrounding towns
housing/condo/apartment developments
spreading over the landscape
and as it happens
when this happens
it has become an expensive place to live 

and I prefer the beauty and quiet of the countryside
especially since Madison is so rapidly reachable
via a four lane highway
that wasn’t there when I left

within minutes of
a dear woman friend of 35 years
the new county hospital
 should I ever need it
the county seat with
supermarket and farmers market
little towns with local cheese factories
two state parks with lakes 
and one on the Wisconsin river
 (and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin)
miles and miles of bike paths
(all the way to Madison
should my legs ever become up to it)
ski areas both cross country and down(gentle)hill

the house itself  
  (mind you all furnishings are the current tenant's)

yes the porch is a-tilt
but only on the outside

I've concocted a tale
  as to why:
a landlooked ship's carpenter
moved by the rolling hills
built the porch while dreaming of
the pitch and yaw of sea waves . . . 

smaller than the generous space here
I doubt I will have space for all my shelving
for all my books
on the other hand
it has both a heatilator fireplace
in the lower living room

and a wood burning stove
in the upper (by one step up and open to each other) living room
 (stove not visible in this photo)

to supplement the furnace heat
and a stack of seasoned firewood
enough to last the first winter
all ready to burn
2 small bedrooms
a dining room
 which will be both library and workout room
2 screened porches
 one for clement weather dining
the other between the garage and house
 for keeping the firewood dry
 and the Weber out of the precipatate weather 
 for winter grilling use
a ladder between the large kitchen and upper living room
leads to a balcony that runs across the lower living space
 where I’m sure the cats will be pleased to sit on high overviewing
with a loft area at either end
 (one for text work:  the computer area
   the other for textile work: 
    spinning wheel/fleece/yarn/ drawing table designing

a tiny  but sufficient laundry room with applicances
it has a huge attached three car garage
one of which the landlord uses
to store the lawnmower and his motorcycle in the winter
the car will take up
maybe ½ of the remaining two car garage
and the rest can be used for storage

there will be new carpeting and new linoleum
installed before we arrive
and the 500 gallon oil tank for the furnace 
 will be full
computer/Net hookup  will be through satellite dish
 also installed before we arrive

altogether much less costly
 in rent and utilities 
than here

after we get there
mid-August there will be more photos
EMPTY signs are popping up here
on closets and furniture drawers
as packing up reaches the end:
 it can happen soon enough to please me!

One comment on “the lost summer

  1. andras ungar says:

    Suzanne —

    I wish you every happiness in those walls and trees. It would be great to see a picture of you in one of those frames .– Andras

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