All of this Wisconsin beauty is compelling enough, but it is only a backdrop for the real attraction, the reason I am in love with being here, with the idea of living here and the hope to return again and again: Our Family welcomes us. Does that sound obvious? I think it is something exceptional, a treasure. From my very first visit, as Geoff's soon to be fiance, and with every visit since, I have felt like one of the family. There is no pretense or hesitation in the hospitality. Everything is relaxed, inviting and familiar, like being in my own Mommy's house. In fact, the warmth and kindness I feel here, in this house, feels more like a home to me than almost any place I can visit... it's has been a constant in my life for 20 years.
I am sentimental about this little brown house, two blocks from town, with trees out front and a creek in the back. I am delighted with returning to Main Street, the shops, and the pretty houses on North Street and Elm Street and out by the Lake. I love corn on the cob and pasty, and eating home baked apple crisp out on the porch, while a summer storm thunders and pours. I feel comforted and connected seeing family pictures, hearing family stories, knowing these people, their voices, their laughs. And while I can go on and on describing tangible delights, pretty scenes and romantic ideals, I know that at the center of my affection for Wisconsin is family. Grandma Nancy and her dear Bill, and all of their children, and the grandchildren and now great-grandchildren too, they are at the heart of this being a truly wonderful place to be.
Yesterday we met Gabe and Betsy at the zoo in Madison. Their daughter Jordan and Maria are both 2, nearly 3, and they are peas in a pod. Both cute and curious and ambitously trying to keep up with the big kids. Jordan's brother, Griffin, is blue eyed and handsome, charming, bright, gentle, busy... he's on his way to kindergarten, and I think he is going to be a happy assest to his class.
I know, I know. Where are the pictures? The zoo was awesome and the children are ready friends and we