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Today I stepped inside every shop in Galena. I roamed into the popcorn store, the chocolate kitchens, and the spice shops just to breathe distinctive scents. My senses: so awake lately. I browsed the boutiques and antiques and books. I ogled at art. I wanted to buy a purse the color of sunshine and wanted to fill my walls with the entire Kelly Rae Roberts collection. Instead, I bought Jovie a nice leather leash and some dog treats at a unique place called New Earth Animals. The owner was beautiful—exotic, with a heart for creatures and a voice of grace. She’s a writer, too, and she invited me to a gathering of the local writer’s guild. I felt that Godwink down to the soles of my feet.
My senses, so accustomed to “flat,” bask in the beauty of a landscape that rolls and changes and flows. My black lab and I will explore the streams and bluffs which Josh and I discovered at the state park this weekend—the state park just seven miles from my door with its meandering paths where crossing over a bluff could mean you’ve placed your foot onto Wisconsin soil, but no official signs can say for certain. You know only you’re on the edge of beauty on either side.
I also live midpoint between my new two favorite cafes. They both boast tin-punch ceilings and an ambience that begs, “Write.” I ordered my caramel macchiato. Decaf, ma’am. Skinny. Sugar free. Extra whip, please. The barista smiled. I sat in my special nook and realized my coffee order describes me. An oxymoron. A contradiction. A….woman. A woman who can shoot a pistol, quote Shakespeare, catch bluegill, live lovely, love stubbornly. I am a woman who had to leave to find what she wants. I am a woman who can’t help that I need art, words, and culture. I need cafes and cobblestone pathways, fresh markets and bakeries. I need husband time; I need alone time. And I need sunshine and a creek and my dog. I need this melding of new and old, town and country, the midpoint. I need the freedom to indulge and luxuriate while living uninhibited and frugally. In this place I did not know I would be, I love wildly and stubbornly this life that is organic, authentic, free.