This Thursday, after my freshman class ends at 4:50, Lois and I will take off (from the university area) for Jefferson, Wisconsin, the site of the annual Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. It's a great show, medium sized, full of wonderful local and regional artisans working at a consistently high level. I have always loved this drive.....It's my old stomping grounds, sort of -- a Minnesotan can't help but love the landscape and people of Wisconsin. Besides, it's in Wisconsin that I broke my nose while skiing at Trollhaugen in southern Wisconsin, more or less on a dare.....You do NOT go skiing with a couple of daredevil lads and take their word for how you can ski down the expert slope with no experience whatsoever. They flew OVER a deep pit; I fell into it -- so much for the lovely Romanesque nose. Sigh. To this day, it doesn't work properly (I sniff all the time). Years later, a plastic surgeon tried to get some of the fragments out and straighten the nose....didn't work. The fragments part anyway.
Other memories are more positive. Wisconsin's glaciated regions are drop-dead gorgeous. There are butte-like landforms that invite climbing, vast reaches of sculpted hills and valleys. The most famous, of course, are the Wisconsin Dells landforms, but much of Wisconsin is just as beautiful as that riverbed area -- boulders deposited by glaciers, and the sharp edges of the escarpment where you can still see where the glacier ended.
In the countryside, a fat dairy cow inhabits every field -- I swear. Well, perhaps I exaggerate.
But it's a wondrous place, and I do hope Lois can put up with some rhapsodic exclamations from time to time. I'll also want to stop in Milton, Wisconsin, at the odd old house that's been made over into a craft and art center for the entire county. Last time, I bought some great hand-sewn bags there.
More later, with photographs of the event. Happy Labor Day. We are closing the studio for TWO DAYS IN A ROW, for the first time in the firm's existence. Everyone is tired.