This morning I flipped my calendar with a definite good riddance to March. One of my Facebook friends shared a similar attitude when she said, “Well, March was interesting,” to which her friends added a barrage of colorful comments.
March was interesting, to say the least. Like many of you, the first half of my month was filled with the usual outings and obligations. The second half was nothing but cancellations. However, just before the start of my cocoonment, my husband surprised me with a day of meandering through Wisconsin’s countryside, all based on his accumulated stack of gift certificates. I’ve gotta say, spontaneities are not his norm so there was no way I could refuse. Besides, isn’t that why I’m self-employed?
I’m so thankful we did that day. What seems like such a long time ago—only three weeks actually—is now saved in my bank of precious memories. Little did we know it would be the start to a universal slowing down and spending time with those you love.
Edwin Brix Winery, Juneau
Our first stop was a scheduled meeting with an architect (we’ve been contemplating a garage addition, like, forever). We met in the upstairs loft of what once was a grainery and is now a tasting room for Edwin Brix Winery. Seriously, you have to go there—rural, rustically quaint, and so very welcoming. Plus they were just featured on Discover Wisconsin.
Wollersheim Winery & Distillery, Prairie Du Sac
Our next stop was two counties west to the ever-impressive Wollersheim Winery & Distillery. We had a nice, slow lunch in their bistro while perusing decades of family pictures hanging on the wall. We bought wines for the large Easter gathering we would host (which, of course, we now can’t) and brandy for the raspberry cordial we’ll make this fall (which we most certainly will).
Stoddard’s Meat Market, Cottage Grove
From there, we drove to the small town of Cottage Grove for a first-time visit to Stoddard’s. What a friendly shop with a drooling selection of meats! We happily spent our gift certificate and more.
James J Chocolate, Lake Mills
My husband has been married to me for 41 years, which goes to show he’s a very wise man. These two things he knows so well: 1) A woman needs her chocolate, and 2) happy wife, happy life. We made this necessary stop to James J Chocolate, a store I normally only visit at Valentines and Easter. This year I’m placing online orders. You should too, they truly are the finest!
Tyranena Brewery, Lake Mills
What’s a road trip without a brewery stop, right? Tyranena’s Headless Man has been our Friday choice of beverage for years, but always with a fish fry. Sitting down to a friendly server in Tyranena’s taproom was super fun, but alas, they’re discontinuing our favorite amber. Instead, they’ve introduced Mangy Fox, and equally tasty copper ale. We left with a growler of Mangy Fox and one of my favorites, the Chief Blawhawk Porter.
How have you been this month of March?
“Interesting” is certainly a facetious way to describe March 2020. For some, it’s been bitterly so. Local, family-owned businesses everywhere, just like these we visited a few weeks ago, are now hurting—some to the point of closing their doors. People are sick and dying. We all wonder what April will bring.
If you find yourself needing something to grab onto during this COVID chaos, please consider listening to Hope Lake Country or one of the many churches now offering online services. No matter who you are or what you’re going through, this could be a nice chance to slow down and spend time with people who care about you.
Take care and be safe!