Into the Driftless

Laying down to sleep I was asked what my favorite part of the day was. My mind filtered through the day’s contents and I declared: All of it.

Yesterday held all of the ingredients to what perfect days are made of. I awoke to the embrace of a loved one from the warmth of a house nuzzled into the snowy embankment of Wisconsin’s Driftless region. After coffee, eggs and helping to push a friend’s truck out of the driveway I walked through a forgotten never-land of snow fairies, untold stories and whispering trees.

Why do we let things fall apart like we do? While that question remains present in my mind, I’m thankful for nature’s persistence and perseverance at reclaiming what is hers. This picture was taken inside a farmhouse we estimate to have been vacated by the family since the late 80s. Yet, it’s been far from abandoned. As evidence by the havoc that’s taken place as well as scat and a couple of skeletons, animals have long since called this house a home. The floors throughout the entire first floor are giving way, collapsing towards the middle and lending itself to funny happenings such as this shelf that toppled over and continues to stand on end.

Outside of a small adventure to nearby Dreamtime in West Lima, most of our time was spent indoors. We crafted, read, played games (so much chess), told stories and of course, made food for each other. Of the food we enjoyed, the highlights include:

A venison roast from a deer that was found as roadkill 14 miles from the farm earlier in the week. I sucked the marrow from inside the bone, a first for me!

A beaver roast which included tail and leg. I tried the leg.

Wild rice harvest this fall from Wisconsin.

Popcorn popped with bear fat.

I also made us a killer salad the last night with locally harvest baby greens, shredded carrot, boiled golden beets, orange slices, sauteed zucchini and pecans with a flax oil and orange juice vinaigrette.

The meat listed above as well as the wild rice was procured by one of the folks also staying out at the farm with us. Whereas the deer was scavenged, the beaver was trapped and the rice gathered by him this past fall. It’s a safe bet he has an intimate relationship with the origin of the bear fat as well.

Lastly, what else to do in rural Wisconsin but shoot guns? Actually, it was the very first time I’d ever shot a gun and while not all the shots on the target are mine, I proudly boast to lay claim to at least one of the bulls-eyes!

Thank you Driftless & dear friends for the perfect days.


One response to “Into the Driftless

  1. And thank you, my sweet daughter, for the opportunity to vicariously enjoy this perfect getaway through your eyes and words. Makes me want to go out and spy on snow fairies with a loved one myself. Let’s go snowshoeing up the river sometime soon. xox mom

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