About Me

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Born in Santa Monica, California, I was raised in the small bedroom community of Sunkist Park that borders Culver City, Playa del Rey, Mar Vista and Venice. I attended Venice High School, West LA Community College and California Institute of the Arts. My studies included English, English Literature, Poetry, Creative Writing, Choir, Classical Voice, Shakespeare, Musical Theater, Television and Film Acting and Art History. In 1980, I relocated to the Pacific Northwest and in 1982 I married Kurt Wolf in Corvallis, Oregon. During the course of our long journey together, I have remained devoted to not only my husband, but to my friends and family, and the arts. What defines me most is my passion for expression through art. I’m an avid reader, writer and poet.I also enjoy painting and photography. Additionally, some folks consider me a pretty good cook.

Email Susie Rosso Wolf

If you have any questions about "New Prairie Woman", "Saving Susie", my "Phoetry", Montana, or writing in general, please email me directly at: GrumpySusie@msn.com — Looking forward to hearing from you. I hope you enjoy "New Prairie Woman". ~ Susie

Sunday, May 29, 2011

03.S09 Chapter Three, Snippet Nine

New Prairie Woman
Susie Rosso Wolf
Chapter Three, con't

 She stood at the bedroom door and in her extra soft sweet voice she asked “Are ya all right?” I tried to choke out an answer but couldn't. My throat was completely closed up as I coughed and gagged gasping for breath. I heard the door open and Brenda came rushing in with a glass of water in her hand. She came to me, putting the glass up against my lips while holding my chin to keep steady. Mentally forcing myself to take a long enough reprieve from the violent jolts of this sudden episode, I sipped a tiny little sip and let the water trickle down my throat. Right away I knew it was what I needed so I coughed more, then drank more, again and again until I was finally able to gain control over my body. “My God, what happened? You scared me.”
“I don’t know, I just got hot all over and started coughing. Were you smoking in the house?”
“I’m so sorry, Sue, I couldn’t sleep and didn’t want to go outside so I was standing in the kitchen blowing the smoke out the back door.”
“Well apparently, it blew right back in the house and nearly killed me. You know I’m allergic to cigarette smoke, Brenda. I can’t be anywhere around it.”
“How does that happen? I mean, you smoked for twenty-five years. How can you be allergic to something you did for so long?”
“Do we have to discuss this right now? I’d like to get some sleep,” I said, then got up from the bed and grabbed my pillow.
“Where’re ya going?” She asked in her strong accent now.
“I’m going out to the sofa, I think I’ll be more comfortable out there, it’s too hot in here.”
“Oh, all right then. I’m sorry Sue, do you want me to open the winders?”
“Yes, please, just the one in the den, I’ll go in there.” She followed me into the den and while she attempted to tuck me in like a child, insisting on seeing to my every need, I waved her away, closed my eyes, rolled over facing the back side of the sofa.
“Good night again Sue, please forgive me,” She begged.
“Okay, good night,” I said as I tightened my eyes trying to force sleep. I listened with one ear up as she walked away, scuffling her feet within the mule slippers as she always had done, then I heard the back door creek open and realized that she went outside to smoke again. It broke my heart to think about it, how addicted she was to those cancer sticks, those smoke poles. I knew the addiction well, as she said herself, I did smoke for twenty-five years and it hadn’t been four full years since I had quit. The mere thought of my smoking addiction gave me the shivers as I traveled back to the night that changed my life forever.

Friday, May 27, 2011

03.S08.P2 Where We Live

Where We Live

Susie Rosso Wolf

Where we live we can stand at our kitchen window and watch the moose walk down the hill behind our home, step over our fence, clomp across our pasture, down into the gully and then up to the mountain.

Where we live the sky is endless and blue and looking at it makes your eyes water and your mind wander, wondering if anything could ever be as beautiful.

Where we live three rives join at the headwaters to make up the glorious waterways that travel all the way to heaven, it seems.

Where we live the Great Blue Heron fly across three rivers then land in the marshes and proclaim first dibs on the day’s best catch.

Where we live there are more cows than people and if there are two cars ahead of you or two cars behind you or three cars beside you’re in a traffic jam.

Where we live our houses are not on streets but on roads or trails with gravel or mud or frozen ground.

Where we live we hang our wet laundry out on a line in the summer and listen to the wind flap the sheets dry, then quickly take them down before the loud clapping of a thunder storm gets too close.

Where we live counting stars is not a past time but a spiritual experience, a mandatory nightly ritual.

Where we live there are more churches than banks and more men in those churches who are comfortable in loving their wives their children and their friends and neighbors and they aren’t afraid to ride a bull but sure pray on Sunday that they don’t fall off of one.

Where we live there are no video arcades, Starbucks, Taco Bells or computer stores or shopping malls.

Where we live there aren’t any street lights or traffic lights. Where we live there is only one stop sign in the center of town.

Where we live you can spend about two hours at the hardware store just chewing the fat.

Where we live there aren’t any contracts to be signed only hands that shake on a man’s word and it is kept.

Where we live your neighbor is your best friend and he will always be there when you are in need and likewise.

Where we live we don’t drive new cars but old tractors and combines, pick-up trucks and quarter horses.

Where we live our horses and dogs are considered family members.

Where we live you can sit out on the front porch to catch a glimpse of four mountain ranges that make up some kind of glorious magnificent miracle.

Where we live life is simple yet grand. Cold but cozy. Extreme and incredible.

Where we live each person lives by the honor system, respects our community and values their freedom.

Where we live the Bald Eagles soar as the Red Tail Hawks screech and circle over their prey.

We live where buffalo once roamed and have since come back home and the deer play hopscotch across the prairie.

We live in a place called “the last best place” and we aim to keep it that way…

…We love, living… where we live.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

03.S08 Chapter Three, Snippet Eight

New Prairie Woman 
Susie Rosso Wolf 
Chapter Three, con't.

That night, she led me into the master bedroom where Mr. White resided. He was out of town at a rubber band salesmen convention so Brenda had gone to great lengths to add layers of feather beds and foam rubber egg crate mattresses to ensure my comfort. Inasmuch as she bent over backward to fulfill my every need, I could not close my eyes to save my life and I stared up at the ceiling reflecting on the dinner and conversation we shared at a local restaurant, and then came back to the house to talk the night away. I was fascinated while listening to her stories about Robert’s relocation to Montana and how she had helped to move Robert and his girlfriend, April, to the little town of Three Forks, where they had bought a small two and a half acre parcel of land approximately 100 miles northwest of West Yellowstone. April, a newly divorced woman in her late twenties from Rialto, California had fallen hard for my nephew so invested the entire proceeds from the sale of her home into the Montana property and the purchase of a 2700 square foot, log cabin replica, manufactured home.
They began their journey in the dead of winter, 2005, just before Christmas. Living in a motel in Belgrade, Montana while the house was being built and the land was being readied, April foot the bill for their expenses while Robert looked for work and April waited for a position to open at the post office that her job in California had transferred her to. April worked for the United States Post Office for several years and was willing to take a cut in pay and position to leave California and escape the “rat race.” Brenda was brought along to help lend a hand with the build and transition into the new home once it was erected on their land by the mobile home company. Brenda was very good at moving into a new place, she had moved so many times in the years I’d known her that I had more red line scratches in my phone directory under the letter T, than there were names in the entire book.
Her description of the land, the mountains, the small town and the wildlife stirred me to my soul. It all sounded just like I had imagined, just the way I had learned about it in those books all those years ago. Montana sounded exactly like the wild side of paradise. I had been reminded about the beauty and mystery of Montana and listened to every word as she told the tale of Robert’s dream finally coming true; to live in small town America in a nice comfortable home on enough acreage to have a horse or two and let his children play without harm or danger from the crime and chaos of the big city. His dream was happening, unfolding, and becoming real. And Brenda was left to make a very serious decision about her future; would she stay in Sun City to live with her Mr. White, or, should she move to Montana to live with her son and the now, very pregnant, April? This question plagued my sleep as I tossed and turned for hours in the overstuffed bed with the heavy quilt and comforter that was so suffocating. The faint smell of cat urine became too much to ignore when suddenly, I became overwhelmed with heat and abruptly sat up in the bed, gasping for breath. Covered in perspiration, pins and needles, while the room began to spin, the smell of cigarette smoke wafted into the room and I began to cough uncontrollably.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

03.S07 Chapter Three, Snippet Seven

New Prairie Woman
Susie Rosso Wolf
Chapter Three, con't

The outside of the house was typically high desert with its colored green pebble rocks painting the front yard with a kind of faux grass. She had a few succulents planted in terracotta pots that lined the front porch and ceramic statues of deer and eagles that were sitting in the green pebbles. It was a well maintained yard and very inviting in a foreign kind of way. From an old hippie beach bum’s point of view, the desert scene didn’t do much for my senses but I could appreciate it just the same. There was a kind of beauty there that I was sure I could find, given enough time to explore it.
Once I turned Zippie’s engine off I could hear her two dogs, Wyatt Earp and Misty Blue, a mother/son Border Collie team that were gregariously greeting the new stranger as Brenda yelled at them to knock it off. The moment I opened the door she began crying. “I can’t believe my eyes! You’re here! You’re actually here!”
“Yeah, I’m here.” I said, with a whopper of a headache pounding as I slid off the seat and the rest of my body followed. Stiff, tired, and very hungry I wasn’t exactly full of energy but happy to have my feet on the ground after the long drive.
“Come on in!” She said, with that southern drawl I knew so well. “Do ya want some aspirin and some water? Are ya hungry? I made some tuna would you like a sandwich?”
“Yes, and yes, thank you,” I answered.
“Okay, come in and sit a spell then I’ll give you a tour.”
“You don’t have to tell me twice,” I said, as I followed her into the back door from the garage entrance. The kitchen, neat and clean with all of the Brenda style decorations perfectly placed in every nook and cranny, was brightly lit and very appealing. She led me to a chair and handed me a glass of fresh water then pulled out a large bottle of Tylenol. I was happy to be out of the truck and just as soon as I swallowed the pills I walked around the rest of the house while she fixed the sandwich for me. “Wow! Brenda, this place is really nice. It’s huge. I love your den, it’s so open and the fireplace is beautiful. Those stones are enormous!”
“Thank you ma’am, I thought you’d like this place. Mr. White rented it when we were split up so I didn’t have anything to do with finding it. But we’re happy here and I love my back yard.” She opened the back door off the den and led the way outside as she handed me a tuna on whole wheat wrapped in a white napkin. The back yard was lovely but small, with many little planting beds full of perennials mixed with annuals, all integrated with green succulents. There was a clothes line in the middle of the yard and a four foot tall chain link fence dividing her yard from the neighbors. We talked outside for a while then navigated our way back to the kitchen where we sat and chit chatted for at least an hour. Everything was going well as we sat together as if we were old friends with years of history under our belts. Indeed, we had been as close as sisters for thirty-five years, give or a take a few bumps in the road and although we were attempting to heal the pain of the past three years, I mentally noted something odd about the entire situation. I felt out of place there, despite her gracious attempt to make me feel comfortable and welcome.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

03.S06 Chapter Three, Snippet Six

New Prairie Woman
Susie Rosso Wolf
Chapter Three, con't

While rebuilding our relationship, my internal radar continued to alert me to the fact that every chance Brenda had, she brought up Robert’s name. For this reason, I hesitated when she invited me to spend the weekend with her in Sun City. She began calling me just about every day and I of course enjoyed calling her as well, to chit chat and giggle but she never failed to mention him in some way, for some reason, regarding something he said or something that he did or didn't do and each time I heard his name a jack hammer pounded on my head and in my heart and shot a red hot poker right through my chest. It was painful hearing his name, reliving the sadness of his decision to drop me from his life. And as much as my peace and harmony practices with meditation and yoga were in fact helping me to live a more balanced and emotionally stable life, eventually through the course of our phone conversations I asked her politely to stop dropping his name so much. Naturally, Brenda argued and explained her side of the story; that it was I, who needed to get over her “good for nothing heartless son” and how fortunate I was that I’ll never have to deal with his selfishness or his ego ever again. I always cried when she talked like that, still holding onto the love that I remembered.
The drive to Sun City was long and hot but served a great purpose as it provided the perfect opportunity for me to be alone with my thoughts; thoughts that were derived from confusion and that drove me to the question of second chances. Spending the weekend with the girls served as the catapult back into the land of doubt and fear. Although my daily mantra of “forgiveness and understanding is the key to happiness” absolutely held me up when the pain beat like a drum (taunting my senses) and I had carried on with my life as I continued to function in a healthy lifestyle, I simply could not stop random thoughts of Robert from entering my mind. Each time I thought of Robert, Brenda entered the picture and that lack of trust reared its ugly head. But I’m only human too, I told myself, and far from being perfect. I’ve made so many mistakes in my life and I have always received the blessing of forgivenes held my breath with anticipation. For just a slight moment, I closed my eyes to receive His graces. So before I ever reached her door, I decided to forgive both of them. To enter her home with an open heart and allow myself to enjoy my weekend with my old friend, whom I loved and cherished and counted on, as an integral part of my life. Brenda played a part in my story. I realized that in a full-fledged way as I entered her driveway and garage, honking the horn as I.

Friday, May 13, 2011

03.S05.P1 The Rose Garden

The Rose Garden

Susie Rosso Wolf

Here I sit in my garden

Roses all around

Great rewards like pearls

For simply tilling ground

Victorian in nature

Subdued with muted hue

Bring calming meditation

And tender thoughts of you

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

03.S05 Chapter Three, Snippet Five

     Watching a small child look up from her dinner plate, covered in tomato sauce and grinning from ear to ear could only be topped by hearing her say, “Aunt Susie, you make the best biss-ghetteeee and meatbulls I have ever eaten.” My heart swelled with joy while Brenda and the girls ate a good meal before they headed back to the high desert, my face draped with an ear-to-ear grin. Their mother, The Beautiful Girl, that Robert had married some years earlier, was gracious and kind to allow this special visit and I was incredibly grateful for her generosity in sharing them with us for an entire weekend. Thankfully, the weather had held in the valley which allowed us to swim and play in the pool, work in the garden and take a walk over to Jo’s house so she could meet my little darling angels. Naturally, Jo was taken by them right away, and her heart too, swelled with joy from simply listening to them carry on and ask their curious questions and watch them listen intently to the answers. Jo fell in love with Snowflake and Cricket and spent several hours visiting with us as she gave the girls a tour of her own exquisite formal rose garden and citrus tree groves, exotic plant beds, immaculate vegetable garden and flower beds. Jo gathered flowers for the girls and gave them both a fresh orange to eat. But time was fleeting, as reality was pushing me back down to earth.
     We stood in the middle of Napa Street watching hands and arms flailing out of the windows as the dark blue car drove up to Encino, and then turned left out of our view. Both Jo and Kurt held my hands as the tears poured down my face in joy and sorrow. How could anyone feel both emotions so deeply, in harmony, with such agony, yet such bliss? A true dichotomy that depicted the human spirit in all its glory marched and stomped all over my heart, leaving me spent, but yearning for more

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