Slice of Life: Living in the Rural but Beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin

We’ve only been here since Friday. ‘Here’ is at our cabin in north-central Wisconsin. We built the cabin in 2005 after purchasing the land in 2001. We own 2 acres of lakefront property on which we built a timber frame cabin. My husband designed the cabin by researching timber-frame homes, building a scale model of the house with four bays of designated living area on the first floor that included a living room, kitchen, private bedroom, bath, and laundry room. The upstairs, a loft, is where our three boys slept on our bi-weekly visits here while they were growing up. Our eldest stopped coming as a sophomore in high school due to weekend participation in show band, the musical accompaniment, and oft-ignored compliment to show choir. As our younger boys got busier and busier with theater, tennis, soccer, and track trips to the cabin became less frequent. Months would go by without a visit to our retreat. Now, my husband and I have elected to make the Northwoods timber-frame cabin home, at least for the next year.

A box-free area at the cabin! © Carol Labuzzetta, 2022

Today, I took the first venture out to the grocery shop for a week’s worth of groceries. It’s a 50-mile trip to the grocery store and back. So, running on a nightly basis to the local Festival Foods as I did at our former residence will not happen here. Granted I made a couple of extra stops today but all of them were on the way there or the way home, and none, with the exception of finding the nearest thrift store, caused more than a drift off the beaten path.

The grocery store is one to which I’ve become accustomed over the years we’ve been coming to the cabin. It’s a Country Market if that name is recognizable to anyone who reads my blog. I grew up on Wegmans and it’s hard to beat those markets but Country Market does as good a job as Festival Foods in my opinion. After all, I can get my Yancy’s Wing Cheese here and I couldn’t in our markets around La Crosse.

We are finding garbage disposal to be different too. We will have to take our garbage to the disposal sites of which we can choose from two, on two different days of the week. There is a cost to dispose of each bag, as opposed to having taxes on garbage pick-up at the house. This will be a change. And, maybe the change won’t be too bad. We’ll have to watch what we throw out and attempt to produce less trash. It seems that recycling will be on a limited basis too. I hope it’s not too limited as we do try and recycle as much as possible.

One huge benefit of living in the rural Northwoods is the quietness. It’s been so quiet here since Friday! Even over the weekend when we have neighbors that are working on building a house and non-lake residents fishing on the lake, it was quiet. This has been a welcome finding. During the last few years when we’ve been here (usually for a long weekend), it’s been less than quiet. Brewers games on the radio in the woods and pontoon boats blaring 80’s music on the lake were noises created by our neighbors. But, still, we left daily construction noises on three sides of our old property. Development is booming, as it has for the last twenty years in the community we left. We missed the cornfields that surrounded us when we first moved to Wisconsin in 1999. Here, at the lake, we are surrounded by woods, water, and gravel roads lined with milkweed and native wildflowers. And, when you drive there are still cornfields, soybean fields, and white pine forests, not a sea of houses.

Sunset on the lake at the cabin. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2022

2 thoughts

  1. I tried to leave a comment, but I think it got eaten, so here I go again.
    50 miles to the store & back is a big deal, especially if you are like me and often forgetting items. I bet you’ve gotten good at have a solid list before you go. (Or you will be getting good at this!)
    It’s neat that you moved someplace you are familiar with and have a sense of what it will be like full-time. The thought of moving somewhere I haven’t stayed gives me anxiety… : )

    Like

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