apple pie, cheese, cow tipping, MythBusters, road trip, roots, Wisconsin
I have roots.
I’m not referring to the roots we all have, the ‘Alex Haley 70’s miniseries about his ancestors‘ kind of roots, although I was back home visiting those as well. I am talking about the emotional roots that tie me to a certain place, a place where people love me and I love them. Now, that place is whatever place my children and husband happen to be.
Pulling out of the driveway last weekend, heading out alone on a trip I really wanted to take, I could feel the roots pulling out of the ground as the car lurched over the curb. The roots ripped clear, and it hurt. It happens every time. Sigh. During the drive to the airport, I struggled to find an emotional wet paper towel to wrap around them until I could get to Wisconsin.
Once on the plane, I tucked my roots safely under the seat with my tray-table and seat-back in their upright and locked position. The nice stewardess flight safety specialist (what are they called now?) gave me a warm chocolate chip cookie, which helped.
After landing in Wisconsin, and the drive to the area where I grew up, I face the trick: my roots feel comfortable there, and they want to sink down deep once again where my parents are. And near my dear sister and her family. But then I have to rip them out all over again for the road trip back to my Now Home.
So I spent several wonderful days there, roots heeled in to the ground only miles from where my great-great-grandparents, great-grandparents and grandparents also lived. It is a beautiful area of the state, with rolling hills and a big lake. My ancestors from both sides of my family arrived from Germany to this area in 1850 or so, and the towns still reflect the hard work of those immigrants. By my generation, most people did not speak German in the home, but this article from NPR provides some interesting background on the German influence in the area. The town mentioned is an hour or two from my tiny hometown, but it is similar in many ways to the place I grew from.
On a less historical note, here is one quote from the weekend:
“Apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze.” Because, you know, June IS dairy month. I love that place!
When people (from other parts of the country, clearly) find out where I’m from, they sometimes joke about cows, and ask about ‘cow tipping’. Hmmm. I never tipped a cow, nor do I think I knew anyone that tipped cows. (Did I, folks?) It sounds like something our buddies at MythBusters should look into, an urban myth dissing Elsie and all her fine bovine friends. Don’t try to tip a cow, that’s today’s rule of thumb.
As expected, I felt like a college freshman again when it came time to say goodbye and give the you-know-whats a good rip. I wrapped them up and considered myself lucky that I have two places that feel so much like home.
I grew up in Tennessee and, although I was aware of the concept of cow-tipping, I never participated nor did I know of anyone else who did. Ironically the only person I’ve met who professes personal experience in such things is an extremely rich gentleman from New England. Not exactly the type you’d picture out in a cow pasture under any circumstances!!!
I can relate to the root thing. Ironically it’s the small town I spent summers in (in MN) that tugs at my heartstrings, even more so than the Southern city I grew up in. When I go back “up North” every summer, I start mourning the fact that I will have to leave soon almost before the vacation has begun. But when I get back to OH, that feels like home too.
I grew up in Ohio. I have seen a cow tipped. I have also seen what happens when one misjudges the distance away from said cow that the resident bull is standing at the time your less than sober friends tip the afore mentioned cow.
I will leave the rest to your fertile imagination.
I loved the visual of the “wet paper towel” ….how many times have I left a garage sale or plant sale with small uprooted plants wrapped in some wet substance to keep them clinging to life until I could place them once again into the rich earth that we all stand on every day and mostly take for granted…..
It must just be Ohio cows… probably not though. Today’s rule of thumb: never underestimate the depth of a cowpie.
They’re called Flight Attendants. (It’s a mistake you want to avoid if you hope for a refill of your drink…)
I don’t know if it is still on the books, but at one point there was a law in Wisconsin that restaurants had to serve a slice of cheese with apple pie.
Like you, I never heard of cow tipping until coming east (or at least until leaving WI); I guess we know the value of a cow, and treat it with care. (Or know the danger of lurking in a cow pasture after dark where it is hard to watch your step…)
Funny how despite being gone longer than you were there, those roots definitely sink back in quickly!
Tom, if the slice of cheese isn’t a law, it should be.