A new travel adventure begins. This series chronicles the migration from Ohio to a new life at Villa Lucci in Mazomanie, Wisconsin.
Seven days ago the movers arrived bearing my life in an Atlas van. I have posted one blog in the chronicles and have two others started, but I don’t those episodes can come later. I want to be true to a promise I made myself when I left Cincinnati–I want to be better at being “in the moment.” In this moment, it is 7:19am on a Wisconsin school day morning. A yellow bus is turning down Carter Road which run in the middle of Spring Valley which Villa Lucci overlooks. Only a half hour ago, I took a cup of Creme Brulee coffee and headed downstairs to let Guiliano Grigio I (another new addition to my life and the villa–more later) in from his night work as a rodent control expert. We had a brief discussion about appropriate places to sharpen his claws and I settle into my Snooty Fox club chair in time to watch a blush of pink signal the beginning of the day.
Morning has broken.
As in so many good things, the morning glow lasted only minutes but motivated me to venture into the chill of this late autumn morning. I wanted a photo from the porch to catch dawn without the grid of window panes. I appreciate the rich and oppulent colors of fall, but the joy is always tinged with the knowledge that the dead greys of winter are just footsteps away.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found more beauty in the forlorn late fall and winter landscapes. But the beauty of this valley has me actually excited about the cold part of the year. Already I have seen a storm roll in from the North and an icy frost glazing the trees and glittering on the stems left from the soybean harvest. Once February comes, I will be done with my job in Cincinnati and devoted to preparing and opening my studios here. I won’t have to travel in harsh weather unless I want to. That changes things.
The fall planting.
Earlier in the fall, I brought legacy plants from Mt. Muchmore. My mother’s irises from the farm. My irises from the McFarland house. Kathy’s dwarf irises. Lilies of the valley from Becky. Seed from the beautiful deep yellow yarrow Sue gave me a year ago. Seed pods from the Carrie Catalpa and my exquisite yellow Baptista. I transplanted the rhizomes and dried the seed. Come January, I will launch my nursery in the new laundry room and see if my seed produces.
Bonnie brought two bags of daffodils that came from the garden of one of her studio ladies. Though it was 50 yesterday, the earth above the rock wall surrounding the deck was too hard for negotiating 200 bulbs. Instead, I planted them close in 5 of the 8 big planters that the movers more than reluctantly brought her from Cincinnati. The pots sit in full view of my porch, writing room and bedroom. They will be a glorious welcome to my first spring at the Villa. Next fall, I will naturalize them into the garden above the rock wall.
My Wisconsin people.
At 10am, I will meet Bonnie in town to search for a unique buffet with plentiful storage for my new studio/dining room. This is the biggest reason for moving back to Wisconsin. Saturday I drove 30 minutes to see my son, Philip, and watch the Badger game with Kathy. Sunday, Bonnie dropped in and son, Thomas, and Cassie came for dinner. These and other of my first people, are my children and oldest, dearest family and friends. I don’t have to wait for a quarterly visit of a half hour as I am traveling through–I get to have them in my day to day life . . . impromptu coffee, spontaneous picnic, impulsive road trip.
I will miss my daily encounters with my Cinci people, but know they will sally forth to the new world of Mazomanie. And cannot wait to have them renew acquaintances of my first people and make new friends with and at the Villa.
There are many other stories about what has happened in the last 11 days, but that will come . . .