By Joann M. Ringelstetter
Saturday morning, Ruth and I left my house at 5:00 am to catch the early morning light in the Stoughton, Wisconsin area. It was a beautiful morning with a cool breeze and fog nestled in the valleys. As the sun began to rise above the horizon, we saw this birdhouse scene with heavy fog in the marsh below it.
By the middle of August, there are signs of the end of summer and the upcoming autumn season. The wild grapes and elderberries are turning purple and there are little splashes of orange in the vegetation. The cornfields are tall and the stalks are starting to turn a golden color. We’ve been down most of the backroads in Dane County, Wisconsin, but occasionally we come across one we haven’t yet traveled. This barn, with its mature corn crop, was the first thing we saw on one such road.
Around 9:00 am, we made our way to historic Cooksville, “the town that time forgot” when it was bypassed by the railroads in the 1860s. The Cooksville Historic District consists of around 35 historic buildings and sites and is listed on both the National and State Historic Registers. We are always pleased to find that the Cooksville Store, which has been operating since 1846, is still open.
As I stepped out of the car, a little black cat, who had been basking in the sun on the porch of the store, came over to greet me. After playing with the cat for a few minutes, I went into the store, walked the length of the creaky old wooden floor, and bought Sasparilla and Birch Beer sodas for the trip home. When I returned to the car, there were two kittens watching me with caution from under the store owner’s car.
As I got back into the car and started it up, Ruth and I had another one of our silly conversations:
Ruth (motioning with her head): “Check out the parking lot over there.”
Joann (looking around in confusion): “What parking lot?”
Ruth (pointing next door): Right there.
Joann (still confused): Huh?
Ruth (pointing again): “Right there…the kiddie parking lot.”
Joann (shutting off the car): “Oh, I get it; I guess we’d better get a picture of that!”