In this, her second memoir, New Prairie Woman is Susie Rosso Wolf’s depiction of her journey from Los Angeles to the historical town of Three Forks, Montana. On these pages you will discover the grandeur of “The Last Best Place” through her writing, poetry and photography, the challenges of living in a twenty foot trailer in sub-zero temperatures and how love, perseverance, and the miracle of faith can lift a soul up from the depths of the deepest, darkest waters.
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.
New Prairie Woman Susie Rosso Wolf Chapter Seven, con't
When April arrived home from work I was quite surprised by her appearance. She wasn’t anything like what I had imagined her to be. She didn’t fit the voice I had grown accustomed to over the phone during the weeks Robert had begun to call me. I pictured April as a girl next door, slight, fine boned woman with a short haircut. The woman who walked in the door was in a word, not that. April was a very large woman on the bottom half with a smaller waist, large bust, and long hair falling down her back that was expertly colored bleach blond with caramel brown low lites. Her hair was beautiful, and it was obvious that she cherished it as her greatest asset. Her face was somewhat unremarkable in its shape and features but the expertise of her make-up applying skills was more than evident. A bit too loud and borderline barrio home-girl for my taste, I was surprised by the bright red lips, thick black lines that were painted across her eyelids and the heavy dark brown eye shadow and layers upon layers of black mascara, all spread over the canvass of her face which was covered in a peaches and cream colored liquid pancake dusted with powder that all seemed unnecessary, given where they were and where she had just come from; the post office. Dressed in her postal uniform shirt over a pair of tightly fitted maternity jeans, her pregnant belly stood out like a sore thumb. Bone tired from a long day on her feet and then the near hour drive into Three Forks from Bozeman, she was pleased to meet us and very friendly but obviously in need of taking a rest, getting out of her shoes and clothes. Excusing herself, she retired to the master bedroom where she took a bath then changed into a comfortable outfit of pink terry cloth stretch pants and a white short cropped t-shirt that exposed her situation.
Robert barbecued steaks for dinner while April made the side dishes of corn, microwaved baked potatoes and a large garden salad. We all sat at their enormous dining room table made of solid oak enjoying the meal and conversation. During dinner I felt the absence of Brenda’s presence because it was she, who was back in Northridge house and dog sitting for us, due to her insistence. She wouldn’t take no for an answer when she offered to watch the house and look after Cutter, Lilly and Dinky and although it cost us an arm and a leg to fly her from Montana and then back again, it was worth the peace of mind knowing that our precious little family back home was in familiar hands who cared for them. Brenda was so thrilled that we would be visiting Robert she would have done anything to promote the effort, I do believe.
After dinner I helped April with the dishes and general cleaning up while Robert and Kurt went out for a walk around his property. We had a nice time sharing about our lives and interests while she put food away and wiped down the table and I dried the dishes she had washed. Eventually we migrated into the den to sit and watch some television while she reclined in Robert’s overstuffed chair with her feet up on the ottoman. I was aware that she was extremely tired so I suggested that she go to her bedroom to take a nap, only to be surprised by her raising her leg up in my direction where I was sitting next to her on the sofa, then bluntly suggesting that I give her a “foot rub.” Unable to deny the pregnant April of her request and taking into consideration that she was just plain tired and not in the mood for putting on airs for her boyfriend’s visiting aunt and uncle, I gently acquiesced, scooted over closer to her and began to rub her feet. To say it was an odd sensation of mixed feelings running thru mind and body would be an understatement of immense proportions, but, I wanted to please her in a freakish low self-esteem kind of way. While working out the stress and tiredness of her day through the magic of my experienced hands, I came to learn that it was, according to her, April who coaxed Robert into moving forward to “healing the wounds” of our relationship.
“Your family is so weird,” she said. “In my family we don’t hold grudges, we just scream and yell and then make up. You Italians hold onto something for so long it winds up killing you and I told Rob that’s no way to live. I told him he needed to forgive you.” Choking back the tears while swallowing this young woman’s explosion of opinion in my face as I rubbed her feet… was all too surreal. It didn’t take any time at all before my mind grew weary and my heart filled with sadness, so I explained to April that I was quite tired from the trip and retreated to Brenda’s beautiful bedroom to take a rest while Kurt and Robert continued to visit with each other, on their own.