Small Town Observations

* Our mailbox is across the street from our house. Weird.
* Our mail is delivered by someone in a grey pick up truck – not an official USPS vehicle. Weird.
* Our kids have made more friends in the last 2 days than in the last 2 years. Pretty great.
* The world’s greatest Walmart.. is here. In this little town. Weird – but wonderful. And is ‘all the way across town’ – so, like 6 minutes.

* People leave their cars running – keys in them, the whole deal – at the bank, the grocery store, the post office..Ā 
* I took a long, long walk this afternoon in the blazing heat [we are NOT in Racine anymore, hallelujah!] with 60 pounds of KID in the double jogger… and we spent most of the time meandering purposefully through a ginormous cemetery. The population of this thing has GOT to be bigger than that of the town. And oh, if you know me, you know I love a good cemetery! This one does not disappoint. A cursory first look revealed headstones back to the early 1800’s, and I’m sure there will be some from the 1700’s as I keep looking. What a story these stones tell! And this particular cemetery follows the ‘only real plants from May-November, only fake ones from November-May’ which I love. Some of the stones have elaborate gardens… some are starkly blank. I’m not sure why it’s so moving to me, but I think it hearkens back to the Martens [my family] semi-annual cemetery tour in Platteville, WI. No matter what was going on in our lives in busy Green Bay, twice a year we would make the trek to Platteville with a trunk full of artificial flower arrangements for mom and dad to put on the stones of their parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles. It’s one of the most favorite memories of my childhood, to be sure… I only knew Mom’s mom – all the others were long gone when I was born – and something about the cemetery made Mom and Dad tell stories. I love to hear the stories of their families! This Baraboo move has me strangely nostalgic for Platteville. This southwestern section of the state of Wisconsin is some of the most beautiful land I’ve ever seen – seriously. It’s gorgeous. I’m grateful.


Will post photos soon of the piano… tonight, it was showtunes. One of the problems I’m facing, though, is that living with this piano again evokes memories of 1988 – so the only songs I can think to play, suddenly, are the songs I played on this piano in high school. So we’ve been singing Les Miserables, Richard Marx, Chicago 19, and Stephen Schwartz stuff. Not bad. Now I just need to find my hot rollers…




18 thoughts on “Small Town Observations

  1. Southwest Wisconsin is wonderfully beautiful country! I went to school in Richland Center and Platteville. In fact, Platteville is where I met Buck. And his roommate for a year was Jon Dahl who you also know.

    Cemeteries are interesting places. One year one of my professors took us on a field trip and one of the stops was a cemetery. He pointed out a group of tombstones in which the dates were very close together. I was the only person who knew that there had been a small pox outbreak that year and the mother had walked barefoot and buried her children in that cemetery. Her husband had been a captain in the Civil War. Lots of history in a cemetery.

    • Jenny, did you go through a cemetery in Richland Center or in Platteville? I ask because most of my relatives are buried in the huge cemetery right behind Hugunin [is that how you spell it?] Hall in Platteville… maybe that’s where you were!

      You know of my regard for Jon Dahl… and for you and Buck! Of course you all come from the same stock. šŸ™‚


  2. “I love a good cemetery” – So do I!

    It is delightful to hear of your kids’ friends, keys left in running cars, memories, pianos and missing hot rollers. I hope you find them soon.

    A new chapter in your life has begun!

    Praise God from Whom all blessings flow…

    • Oh Carol, there’s such a chapter two to this post that I haven’t had the internet to post yet! šŸ™‚ I will tell the car saga in the next…..

  3. Oh, Sweetie! You are NOT in Ray-SEEN any more! Guess what? My town is so small I don’t even GET mail delivery to my door. We bought the house and I noticed there wasn’t a mailbox. That’s when the realtor told us, “Oh yeah. You’ll have to get a box at the post office.” We could lobby to be put on the “rural route” but that could take years…

    Hot rollers AND lycra leggings–you saved yours, right? Glad you’re getting settled…can’t wait to pop in on you now that we’re practically in the same neighborhood. šŸ™‚

    • Seriously, Lynn. Can’t wait to see you.

      But… the post office!?! I don’t think I could take it. That would be roughing it to the furthest degree for me. Mail Call is the happiest time of the day.

      In the good news department, the lack of TV and size of house have converged to give us the most family time we’ve probably ever had – seriously, ever. It’s been a gift. But I still miss ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. šŸ™‚

      See you SO soon. S

  4. Don’t feel too badly for me, Steph. The post office is exactly three blocks from my house…the bakery is on the way at exactly one and a half blocks…it really is an easy trip…especially when the boys do it. :0

    But if you ever send me something perishable, please call first. We’ve been known to leave our mail for days at a time…

  5. Yes, Lynn, I still remember when I sent the truffles…it was a NEAR disaster (-:

    I LOVE CEMETERIES. The girls and I worked at the food closet at one of our old churches last month, and on the footpath is a little area with half a dozen or so grave stones. Very cool…love the crumbling edges, the moss, the brief info that makes you long for more of their story.

    Any plans on what your epitaph shall be? I guess mine could be, “I hope there is French roast in heaven.” (-:

    Welcome to Small Town, WI, Steph. One thing we do know is that it is a better place because all of you moved there.


  6. steph,

    i also love cemeteries. one of the things i loved the most when i was in europe, were the cemeteries. it was interseting to see every cultre, every country, celebrate death a little different.

    welcome to the rural route! we are on a rural route. the mail lady drives a jeep cherokee, it is rigged up with the steering wheel and stuff on the passengers side like a regular mail truck… i don’t know how you get one of those.

  7. Hey Stephie:
    OH MY, your new town sounds exactly like my little hometown here in East Texas; we are about 5,600 and if you count the outskirt subdivisions; probably closer to about 7000. BUT…it’s a place just like yours. I have a feeling you will love it and it will love you right back!
    If I was close, I would come help you out with kids or unpacking, whatever you needed help with the most. I HATE moving/packing/unpacking…but your comment about the kids making a lot of friends….i think that is a good indication that you are where God wants you. Bless you and your family so!
    i hope it is all going well!

    In Christ’s Love always to you and yours, Ruth Ann

    • thank you so much, Ruth Ann! Scott drove off to church this morning and we both just have such a strong sense that this is the place for us to be – that God is in it – we are very grateful…

  8. Sorry Steph, I was speaking of a class in Richland Center which went through the Botton Cemetery which is a small cemetery on Cty. J near Lone Rock, WI. My grandparents are both buried there now. It’s very close to where I lived when I went to my first two years of college in Richland Center before transferring to P-ville. But, I do know where that cemetery in P-ville is, I think. Amazing.

    I’m glad you know the peace of the Lord where you are. He does lead His children well, doesn’t He?

  9. Welcome to small town America! I LOVE living in a place very similar and am blessed to run into people I know whenever I run errands šŸ™‚

    You know, I *think* I have some roots in the Platteville cemetery. I’d have to ask my cousin who has intensively researched our family roots. Cool šŸ™‚

    You know, I’ve been thinking about your lack of TV reception and me thinks it may end up being much more of a blessing than you ever expected!


    Tammy ~@~

  10. So glad to read your post! Made me think of the phrase from a hymn, “God leads his dear children along…” .
    God is so gracious to give your kids friends right away. I didn’t think they would have trouble. Can’t wait to hear the car story.
    So glad the circumstances have drawn you even closer. Your family is great.
    Let me know if you want some help for a day or two. I’d be glad to run up there.

  11. I’m loving your description of your small town. A lot of houses here in Ohio have their mailboxes across the street…I’m thankful that ours isn’t!

    I’m a cemetery buff as well…so much history to read about. I see something new of interest every time I visit our small, local cemetery.

    I hope you’re still doing well in your new spot! šŸ™‚

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