Lost in Wisconsin, Part 2

We’re visiting Wisconsin again to celebrate Jonathon’s parents’ 50th anniversary. Two days ago, we pulled up to our Air B&B house in Sun Prairie at dusk. Out of the corner of my eye, I spied a spark. A bonfire next door?


They winked on and off in the neighbors’ yard. Then we spotted some in our yard. They put out a tiny light in the darkening sky. After we moved all our gear inside, Ruby and I hung out in the yard. We tried to catch them, but they were too quick.



We didn’t see nearly this many, but we are in town. It felt magical. The last time we visited Wisconsin, I missed seeing fireflies. I sacked out when it got dark. Jonathon and Ruby saw them, swirling around our cabin in the woods. I couldn’t understand why the neighbors didn’t enjoy them outside with us. Then I got bitten by a mosquito, under my clothes. Never mind.

It’s humid and stormy here of late. It rained off and on most of the day yesterday. Did I mention I brought no long pants on this trip? Because, Wisconsin in July. And when I’m outside, I’m not cold. But wet clothes + frigid air conditioning = cold all the time. So. I learned something. It’s okay to overpack a little. Fleece can span the seasons.

Today, despite a bit of run-walking yesterday, I only had energy to walk. I got out and the air blew cool. Rabbits fled from my presence. I walked along, admiring blooming yards. I willed myself to wake up. I spied a cardinal on a high wire, greeting the morning. I walked all the way out of Sun Prairie, past the cemetery and the middle school. I turned around and walked back.

I figured I’d check into one of the small neighborhoods off the main street to add a little more time. I hooked a left and then went straight. I found a penny on the sidewalk. Ala the Non-Consumer Advocate, I picked up the scruffy cent. I felt the back of my pants to slide it into the pocket. Why was my pocket inside out? That can happen with workout pants. A little embarrassed, I reached back and tried to push it back in. Which is when I realized my pants were on inside out. Again. Really?! I could see the logo on my right thigh, the North Star that guided me in getting dressed this morning. Now I noticed it was the embroidered underside of the logo, not the top. Up to this point, I hadn’t seen a single person out this early on a Saturday morning. A piece of God’s mercy, that. I pulled my shirt down all the way and prayed my good fortune would continue. I went on and took another left to get back to the road. But the left took me to a T in the road. Left was Davenport Court and right was Elvin Street. Hmm. Now what? I should mention the street was torn up, a sandy gravel surface and fresh concrete pours all blocked off. I was lost. Also, again.


I backtracked the way I’d come. I saw the street I’d turned down, Kohler, and ambled back to the main street. Aha! Now, which way? I looked left. I looked right. I saw the dumpster I’d passed before. Was that before or after I’d gotten turned around? I decided to take a chance and step right. “You can’t steer a parked car”, as the old saying goes. Then I saw the sign for MARS (a remodeling business, not the planet), with its paint-chipped Buddha squatting underneath it. Almost home.

As I walked down the short street, I remembered how getting lost can help us appreciate home, no matter where we are. I thought of a combination of bumper stickers I saw on the way into work the other day: Wander Home. It’s okay to get lost, to find adventure, but eventually wander home and find safety. Love. Security. Peace. Family.

P.S. Also, sometimes it can pay to get lost. But it might be only a penny.