Sunday, July 8

Fish Creek, Wisconsin

Fish Creek is a place where people go to get away and where my dearest Emilia grew up. As we drove in late at night, silhouettes of all the lush, my first of many city girl questions was,"so, would you call this the country?" She had to think about it for too long, so I don't think that's the name for it. It's a mix of fields of corn, peas, and wheat, sand hill cranes squacking in the distance, very old barns, lazy cow piles, birch forests by the lake, harbor villages, small town charm, and porches with motel chairs. On a trip through Point Reyes, she pointed out that it reminded her of Fish Creek, so does the show Gilmore Girls. Are you getting a better picture? I concluded it is the Big Sur or Ojai of Wisconsin. It's where everyone wants to vacation to and wishes they could find a way to live there, to settle in the peace and do something they love for all of their life. Well, the Coulsons did and do just that running the White Gull Inn, cooking up award-winning breakfasts, being modest town-celebrities.

this is Fish Creek

all the roads look like this


Emilie co-wrote a play, Victory Farm, about German prisoners of war, who came to pick cherries in Door County. It's been reviewed in papers far and wide already, and everywhere we went in town we heard praises for the play. American Folklore Theatre is literally in the middle of the woods, and on the night we went to the performance, as we walked in Em said the air felt like rain ( city girls can't detect such things) and in the first couple of scenes the wind picked up like crazy and above the stage, the sky was lit up with a lightning storm, and then the downpour came. On our way home in the rain and lightning, fireworks from one of the harbor towns were booming, it was the best night drive of my life, a sky full of light and color. We went back the next night, this was the whole reason behind the trip after all, and I was in awe the entire time, to see her creation come to life with such amazing actors, costumes, and choreography. I laughed, cried a lot, and had a deep desire for cherry pie after the play. I am so proud and inspired. And I think about how we open worlds for each other as friends. This girl is golden.

" you want to go watch the garden grow?"

Just a girl in her garden, in the low evening heat, watching things grow, opening her heart and home to her best friend and her family, probably with Brandi Carlile playing in her head, her dad's banjo song strumming.

On a peninsula, one side Green Bay the other Lake Michigan, fields and forests in the middle, you can spend your whole day dipping and hiking. During our visit the temperatures were almost unbearable, so we spent two days at the beach, lots of time cooking in the house with the ac on. I played bean bags for the first time and tried deep friend cheese curds, real midwest living, I think.

Well, Fish Creek, I'll be back for more summers, hopefully falls and winters too. I already had daydreams of J and I moving in. The Oakland Tribune published a piece about retiring in Door County, so I think the secret is getting out. They have a cabin on their property that can be restored, J's love of making and growing would be perfect for this town. I could teach, open up a shop that also acts as a literary venue. Things seem more possible here.


Silvia said...

It sounds lovely! I want to go to Fish Creek now.

mari said...

Silvs,It would be a good place for a writers retreat, let's go!

Natalie (NJ in L.A.) said...

You are such an amazing writer! I felt like I was with you when reading these words. Happy you're back to blogging ... are you? xo NJ

Dyan said...

this sounds like such a special trip and there's no better way to get to know a best friend even better than a trip to her hometown. :)