As most of my gentle readers know, I have packed up my belongings and my wire hair fox terrier, Ivy Claire, and relocated to a new town called Clintonville. My heart is still with you in the Northwoods and always will be. But, the five-hour drive to see my family was seriously wearing me down.
As I grew older and stiffer, those intense hours behind the wheel (and don’t forget — I had to come back, making it 10 windshield hours) were happening less and less and I felt I was losing touch with them and they with me.
So, I put my house in Glidden up for sale and after almost three years of trying, finally sold it. It was a nice house and I do miss being spittin’ distance from the Chequamegon National Forest and Lake Spillerberg, but if I was going to do it, I felt like my time was running out. I couldn’t envision the possibility of relocating in my late 80’s or even 90’s. So I took the plunge and here I am settling in this pleasant, small community about two hours from Stoughton, two hours from Chippewa Falls and also two hours from the Milwaukee airport, which eases the trips for my sons in the south (Florida and Georgia). I am glad to report that even if I didn’t know a soul here, I find the nesting going nicely.
Since I basically threw a dart at the map to locate a potential home, I was mostly looking at the price tags (most were too high) and the property taxes (again too high) when I found a reasonable Dutch Colonial built in 1945 with a big front porch and a backyard that opens to a park.
My quiet street has a pleasant curve to it and has very little traffic. There are lots of big trees and the real value … great neighbors!
I feel like I have been welcomed to a place where my neighbors love to live and enjoy making it nice for a newcomer.
I have met so many people on my block and all have been friendly, kind and helpful.
First, it was neighbors who helped me pull out a falling down garden fence. Then I noticed that my front yard was being raked by some mysterious neighbor. So nice to discover it raked. Then after several heavy snowstorms this winter, two neighbors have kind of tag-teamed to keep my sidewalks and driveway cleared out. (even widening it so I could get my trash cart down to the street).
I have been asked to my next-door neighbor’s house for lunch and received a poinsettia for Christmas. Everyone seems eager to visit and have been helpful with information like recommending a good vet and groomer, where to get my oil changed (I will so miss Balzar’s in Fifield), where to choose a new doctor or hair stylist. What do I do with my Christmas tree?
I found the community so kind that I decided it might be good to run for city council. My friend and editor Seth Carlson calls this “going over to the dark side.” Which I admit will be odd for me after more than 35 years of sitting on the reporter’s side of the table.
At any rate the incumbent challenger (and a very fine gentleman) had a rather last minute change of heart and decided not to file his nomination papers and so here I am. Unchallenged.
I had thought it would be a good exercise for me to circulate my nomination papers to gather 20 signatures. I could meet the folks in my ward and get a feeling for what the issues are here. But, here I am the elder alder!
I am sure that the residents here are all asking: Who is this Peg Zaemisch person? Who would aspire for a position that would mean another two years (at least) of more meetings after covering the county board, county executive, school boards, city council and public works and anything else that came down the pike for the past 35 plus years? I mean, really, who would? Well, I guess getting to know my neighbors has taken on a more serious tone than talking over the back fence and so I am rolling up my sleeves and getting ready to commit to even more meetings!
I hope to do my best over on the dark side and try to aspire to do some good things for my new community.