…back in time.
Was it March when we acquired this gem of a popup camper? I think so. Sporting a color palette that was all the rage in 1995, the year of its birth, this deluxe model Starcraft has secured a place of affection and great utility in our burgeoning family culture. We’ve become Camper Folk, and it is a distinction we wear proudly.
Back in March we laid the plans for the camper’s maiden voyage, a trip to the southeast corner of the state to take advantage of the start of Laura Ingalls Wilder Days at Old World Wisconsin, a “living museum” that brings to life a snapshot of Wisconsin taken in roughly 1870, through the kaleidoscopic lens of the immigrants who settled here. We’d never been to Old World before, but we had little doubt that it would resonate deeply with us. And we were right.
It is a world of woodstoves and crochet rag rugs and clotheslines. We felt right at home.
Evidence of the hand was present in everything we saw – the hand that baked from simple staples, the hand that molded cloth to a body’s shape or to a bed, table top, or floor. The hand that worked the forge, bending iron to meet the demands of the age.
Oh, there was flax! And then linen. And a loom that filled a room with its grandeur and ignited a serious fire within me for weaving. With no shortage of handwork exploration, I’d written off weaving as not-really-of-interest, but now? I have been seduced by flax and may not come out of it unscathed.
We drank it all in willingly, each of us. The Boy quickly became drunk with it all and sought relief upon Daddy’s shoulders, using Daddy’s hat to rest his head as he slept.
We reveled in the old world animals – the pair of oxen, the wild turkeys, the heritage breeds that populated the paddocks, barn stalls, and rafters of the smoke house. A distinct highlight for me happened when strolling through a garden; I spied a head of wooly locks through the fence and came upon a handful of sheep resting in the shade. What better validation for our lifestyle, we reflected, than to go on vacation away from it all, and to be so elated upon finding those same characters elsewhere? To be truly excited to see the chickens roaming, to scratch the muzzle of a friendly beast, to ease into a wooly caress without startling the ewe – one might think these mundane interactions would be old hat for us, but no! They became the visit’s highlights, the cream that floated to the top of it all.
If we ever have to move again (god forbid) I think we’ve agreed that we’d like to move to the 1870s.