Monday, February 3, 2014

Weeks 20 & 21: Clam Lake, Wisconsin

View out our window
We've settled into a quiet routine in Clam Lake. I'm totally enjoying the peace and solitude of the space. I want to thank Lea and Jerry for allowing us to stay here and take care of the lovely cats and beautiful home. Most days, I set the alarm for 7 AM and try to rouse myself from bed to do some yoga before preparing breakfast for Larry and me before heading upstairs to the loft office where I work on my memoir and Sweetie Pie scripts. Larry takes care of the cats and fills the bird and deer feeder. He also does a huge amount of household work, which allows me time to really just focus on writing. I'm so grateful for his support during this time and only hope I do enough to support him.

When it's warm enough--which hasn't been often, as temperatures have been zero or below the past couple of weeks--we'll go on a snow shoe hike. This gives me a good break from living in my head and allows me to ground in my body and to experience this beautiful, snow-covered landscape. Then, we'll come back and I'll cook lunch before heading back to my work. We had the chance one Saturday to go to a guided snow shoe hike with a naturalist from the Cable Natural History Museum, Emily Stone. She helped us identify tracks and pointed out different fungi on trees. It was about zero degrees that day, so we tried to keep up a nice pace so we would keep warm enough.

The good news is that everyone here is complaining about the early winter and the cold, so we don't feel like wimps staying in.

Driving to Hayward in the snow
The evening after the guided snow shoe hike, Emily had been kind enough to include us in a sushi-making party she was having at her house. I ended up going solo and had a great time meeting some local people as well as two young men doing research on Martens in the area. Food as project is something I'm really interested to do so it was a perfect party for me. Then we watched "Desert Dreams," a beautiful film about the Sonoran Desert, which made me really homesick for Marfa, Texas, where I lived for four years and which has a similar landscape.

Sushi Rolling
Most of the last week, we spent working on a Sweetie Pie performance, "Salt! The Tastiest Rock," which premiered at the Cable Natural History Museum on Saturday morning. Larry spent hours helping me revise the script to break down the points into kid-friendly material and then helped me lock in all the lines. It was a lot to learn in a week, as I played Sweetie Pie and a puppet, The Salt Monster.

But the work paid off, and we had a great time at the Museum, with a small but eager audience of four children and six adults. The performance closed with us all going to a back table to make salt dough.

Natural History Museum, Cable
After the Sweetie Pie show, we tooled around Cable, impressed by the Ideal Market, Redberry Books, and the nearby gift shops which just seemed to have a lot of inventory for a town of 700.

Cable Library
Then, we went over to Hayward for lunch and to explore Main Street, before grocery shopping and heading home.

Main Street, Hayward
Main Street
Of course, Sunday, we watched Seattle trample Denver and holed up with the cats.

Dawn with Darby
Larry's also started taking a neighbor's dog, George, for a walk a few days a week. We love that even in Clam Lake, Larry's finding the chance to do the work he loves and is best at, pet care and dog walking.


We look forward to going up to the ice caves in Cornucopia later in the week, but until then, I write, we read and watch movies, play with the kitties, walk to the post office to send postcards, and work out on the treadmill and exercise bicycle that our hosts have. It's a privilege to have this time to work without interruption. I treasure it.

Thanks for reading!

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