Sunday, August 13, 2017

Wisconsin in a Bahari's nutshell.

I cannot remember when was the last time that I had visited Kuala Lumpur much less celebrated a birthday, this year I was invited to visit my sister and her family as the children were leaving for the United States to further his studies. My grand nephew, Adam will be attending the University of Wisconsin at Madison and so I am to give him a few tips on how to survive the Wisconsin folks and cold winter.  Wisconsin I told is a very beautiful country full of beautiful  down to earth folks and all it takes is to in their hearts and it will all work out for him. The Wisconsin Dells is a good place to visit at this time of the year as the family can enjoy some of the most awesome fall colors in the Midwest. A visit to Door County in the Sturgeon Bay area is also another place that the family could drive to as they were renting a car upon their arrival there. It would be the fruit picking time especially the Bing Cherry famous in the area.
Wisconsin will always be my home away from home after having spent eight years of my adult life there. I was a meat packing plant employee and attended the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay and graduating with a degree in Fine Arts. I had a very close relationship with the community and was well accepted by most who I came in contact with. There are those that I have offended in one way or another and this too was part and parcel of living life in a balance. Green Bay was my first destination when I left Malaysia sometime in 1973 and it was here that i had my awakening experiences that had prepared me to survive 21 years of my life spent in the United States. It was here that I was divorced from my first marriage and my son and it was here that I redeemed myself by putting myself through school and graduating with a degree. It was here that I discovered that I was destined to live life like a rolling stone; that life was impermanent. That change was inevitable for the better or worse, letting go is never easy but to be able to let go means one can move on and not get bogged down by any situation or circumstances.
One of the few things I learned about the life in Wisconsin is that the people live their lives doing same thing almost their entire lives especially the farmers and those who ran the taverns and bars and those who teach and lectures; the people of the community. I envy their lives as it seem so stable and without much complications, however I could not accept the stagnancy that I noticed in their lives as they grow older with not much changes in their lives. The homes, the cars , the golf clubs, the boats all grow old with them and most ending up in the garage. I also noticed how the younger generation were eager to leave at the drop of a hat and venture off far from their homes as if escaping from being imprisoned by the tedium of a small town life where beer drinking and deer hunting is one of the hype of the daily activity. As for the parents, school basketball meet, baseball and football was the center of their excitement that kept their lives fulfilled. 
The four seasons had a very strong effect on my life in Wisconsin as it dictated where or how i was living at the time especially in winter. The Wisconsin winter can be brutal with the wind chill factor dipping the temperature way below zero and to be caught without a good warm cloths on out in the open could mean a disaster. In summer I suffer from real bad sinus infections as the rag weeds were in full bloom and the wind would transport the pollen everywhere. Then again, in winter it can be the most beautiful landscape one could ever witness on any given day as the land would be snow covered for as far as the eye could see like a pure white blanket and nothing could calm one's spirit more than this. The summer months would see so much excitement with all kinds of activities at the parks and along the lake sides, Wisconsin explodes with summer where baseball and football dominates the evenings and the nights are filled with BBQs and Toga parties.
The Green Bay Packers, The Milwaukee Brewers, the Wisconsin Badgers and a host of other High school and College teams has kept the community alive all summer long and Lake Michigan is never short of fishing boats and pleasure cruisers wind surfers and kayaks. And off course the women comes alive like nowhere else in the summer months; Wisconsin is a smogasboard of sun burnt skins in tank and halter tops with cutoffs and sandals. 
I will always cherish the life I spent in Wisconsin, it was an experience that had filled me with so much food for thought and liquor to drown in.  

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