Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Eydie and Sharon's Excellent Adventure

Heading to glory...or Old World Wisconsin.
Prairie Eydie and I have a bit of Thelma and Louise in us--minus the murder and the flight off the cliff.   We love a road trip!  It is escapism at its best.  We have taken some locally famous (or infamous) trips, our favorite being the 2010 pilgrimage to Lake Pepin, Wisconsin; Walnut Grove, Minnesota; and DeSmet, South Dakota--the grottoes for Laura Ingall's Wilder geeks.  It was on that trip that we waded on the banks of Plum Creek (and just about caught malaria from the mosquito population) and did a photo shoot with sunbonnets on the site of the Ingalls claim on the prairies of eastern South Dakota.

This week-end we ventured out for yet another adventure, heading to Old World Wisconsin, a living museum between Milwaukee and Madison, for their annual Laura Ingalls Wilder celebration.  Being a veteran of this trip, Eydie described the butter churning, straw twisting, quilting, clothes washing, and gardening we would do during our visit.  Sounds like a perfect way for a couple of mothers to escape their own household chores, doesn't it!  She also warned me about the crowds--the teaming masses of humanity who would be gathering for this event, all vying for a turn at the butter churn. Here was the parking lot at 10:30 AM.
You could hear crickets chirp.
Perhaps it was the 90 degree heat and the 99 percent humidity, but it was pretty darn quiet.

We did bring our sunbonnets. I think Prairie Eydie should have ditched the sunglasses for pure prairie authenticity.  Notice that I am not adding my bonneted mug to the mix.  Perhaps sunbonnets are a look best left to little girls in gingham dresses.  The next time Eydie makes fun of one of my Friday beauty tips, I will refer her to this photo.

Old World Wisconsin contains actual  houses, barns, businesses, schools, and churches of 19th century rural Wisconsin that have been moved to this location and restored.  Alas, air conditioning was not a feature commonly found at this time.  We watched a blacksmith sweating over a forge and several women cooking and dripping over caste pot-bellied stoves in period clothing--wool pants, corsets, long-sleeved dresses with bustles.  This was a sweaty time folks, and I don't think they had a ready supply of Mennen Sure Stick or Secret Clinical Strength.  I think I might have slipped a few electric fans into the restoration plans--nothing too over-the top, but just enough to send a cool breeze up my crinolines.

When it was time to stop for noon vittles, I thought we might be instructed in how to make a rabbit snare or at least forage the edge of the highway for road kill, but evidently the folks at Old World know when it is time to plop a bratwurst or a burger and a pile of kettle chips in front of a tourist. And this being Wisconsin, a cold microbrew was also offered.

We managed to stay out of trouble for most of the day, although later I found out that I wasn't suppose to be feeding the horse grass or instructing the tourist kidlettes how to do the same.  Even Prairie Eydie tried her hand.  Yes, those are actual daisies in her hair, but I am not sure who told her you were suppose to wear your bonnet like a feedbag.  Watch out, that horse isn't looking at your bazongas, Eydie.  More about bazongas later.

Just so you don't think that I am taking advantage of my dear friend, I guess I had better throw in a less-than-flattering photo of me, but I am really not sure how you can look cute and perky doing the wash with a hand agitator.  I have heard stories of pioneer women going insane because of loneliness and despair.   It looks like I am halfway there.  Even Eydie looks like she may be going over the edge.  

Once I made it home, all I was good for was a long bath and a mojito.  Eydie, on the other hand was inspired to go home and simplify.  More about that later.

Prairie Sherry  

I call dibs on the Geena Davis character.  I'm taller.


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