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, December 18, 2011

09.S03 Chapter Nine, Snippet Three

Cutter, Lilly and Dinky -  Walking on the Prairie, October 2006.

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

We sat and talked for a few minutes while the dogs slept at our feet then Brenda stood up and walked to the door. “Do ya wanna come over to the house to visit me and April and the baby? I’m gonna make some breakfast burritos.”
“Sure, that sounds good! Is the washing machine empty? I need to run a load if it’s okay?”
 “I don’t really know Sue, I think April has baby clothes in there from last night but we can check it out.”
“Oh, that’s okay I can always run into Three Forks to use the laundry matt.”
“Come on you old lady, get up and come with me, I’m hungry.”
I grabbed my cell phone off the little kitchen table as we walked out the door, hoping I would hear from Kurt if indeed there actually was a storm coming in. As we walked out the door I grabbed the two water jugs and dropped them off at the water hydrant on the way to the back door. Inside the house April was tending to Bella so we walked softly and quietly through the hallway past her bedroom suite trying to be quiet by chance Bella was napping again. But there was a loud distinct “Mom!” coming from the nursery inside the bedroom.
“Whatdayawant?” Brenda asked as she slurred all of the words together in her deepest North Carolina accent.
“I’m hungry!”
“I know, hang in there something’s coming soon, hang on to your panties, woman!”
“Ah! Such love between you two,” I said.
“Aunt Susie? Is that you?”
“Indeed, it is.”
“Come and see the baby!” I walked into the bedroom suite to see my great niece lying on her back on the bed and April standing over her changing her diaper. She was so beautiful, and growing. Her eyes were darting around the room and she smiled as I sang to her the little song I had created for her alone, “Miss Bella oh Miss Bella your beauty oh so rare!” Bella laughed again, a tiny little new baby laugh and my heart beat fast as I watched her squirm while April dressed her in an infant nighty.
Brenda’s breakfast burritos were delicious and I devoured two but could have stuffed three in my mouth. Since we had moved to Montana Kurt and I were famished all the time because of the hard work we were doing across the road to prepare our land for the upcoming build of Kurt’s work shop/garage and the house, and because of all of the walking back and forth, to and from the land to the trailer and to Rob’s house. We were both burning calories and it was challenging to cook in the trailer without water. So we went without proper meals sometimes, only ate snacks and pastries and fast fried food from Three Forks Market’s service deli. In Three Forks, there wasn’t a drive thru to dine at, not one. No Taco Bell, Burger King and certainly not a McDonald’s. Feeding ourselves was my daily responsibility and most dreaded challenge in our tiny little trailer kitchen. 
I finished the burritos, had another cup of coffee from Brenda’s ever going coffee maker, talked with both Brenda and April for a while, kissed Bella good-bye and then walked back to the trailer after filling up my water jugs. The dogs were anxiously circling the gate as I walked through it and Lilly howled and sang a little song for me as she ran and circled my legs when I stood to greet them. “Want to go for a walk?” Lilly woo woo wooe’d and Dinky jumped up with her front paws kicking out and Cutter barked and walked over to the trailer door where on the inside we had their three leashes hanging. I hooked them up, put the girls on my right and Cutter on my left then set out to walk over to our new property to stretch our legs and dream about living in the house that would be built and the beautiful front porch that I specifically requested so that we could sit and watch the mountains change in color, minute by minute, before our eyes.
The moment we walked onto our land I felt a sense of freedom. Although we hadn’t been in Montana long the idea of becoming a resident of Three Forks became more and more enticing and I was looking forward to meeting new people and making new friends. As we walked the land we laid down a bit of a trail through the sagebrush and prairie grass and tall stalks and weeds and cactus all the way up to the farthest corner of our property line. There was a bright orange plastic marker on the barbed wire fence that represented the division between our land and the next lot for sale, a four and a half acre parcel that I had my eyes on. I felt such a sense of peace up at this corner of the land, looking out at the Tobacco Roots and the Spanish Peaks that were already snowcapped and were rich in color and dimension. The mountains fascinated me particularly close to sunset. It was eerie and more quiet than I had ever heard in my life, standing there looking out, it was, well…it felt Holy. So Holy I began to pray each time I landed on my little dent in the soil up top of the corner of our land and it moved me so, I decided to make this my little chapel, my church where I would be able to come to pray and commune with God. Yes, this would be my place to meditate and chant and sing my devotional songs and to sort out all of my fears and troubles and to cry my eyes out if need be. This would forever be my place where I would receive the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of the great sages and gurus throughout ancient history and the healing powers of the native chiefs and medicine men throughout more recent history. There was a vibration here on this spot that I had not ever felt in any man made church, there was something out there, calling me and drawing me in. I didn’t know if it was Indian spirits or simply the magnificence of God’s love for all mankind through nature but there, I vowed to stand on this spot and open my heart up to all of the love from God so that I could receive Him.
As I stood and prayed I watched the mountains swaying in vibrant hues of black, purple and dark green while the hillsides beneath them were glowing in glorious golden brown and orange colored trees in the near distance stood tall and lonely on the prairie floor. As I watched this scene of mystery before me, I noticed a stronger breeze cover us and Lilly’s long black and white Husky mane lifted and flitted as she looked up and smiled. We stood there for a while longer and the breeze became an actual wind very quickly and the sky slightly darkened to the north. I thought of Kurt out there on the lake and prayed for his safety.  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

09.S02 Chapter Nine, Snippet Two

"Blackie," pulling "Yellow Boat."

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

It was a beautiful day on October 10th, 2006, not too terribly cold just a brisk chill early in the morning but by eleven o’clock the sun brought soothing warmth to my bones and I relished the feeling as I dreamed of home and my gardens. My roses were all potted in five and ten gallon heavy-duty black containers now that sat behind the trailer looking completely out of place in their new surroundings.  About a week before the big move from home Kurt went into my rose garden, cut back each plant to bare bones and dug up every one of them, refusing to leave my babies behind. To say it was an act of love in its purest form is an understatement and I felt the depth of his love for me as I watched the man who spent weeks building this garden, breaking his back digging all of the many deep holes for the planting, then installed the elaborate drip system and the purple bearded iris garden and set up my rose lady fountain and then helped me to plant my beautiful ground cover that elegantly crept over the soil. To witness Kurt tear apart the beauty that he lovingly provided, to exhume the roses, brought out raw realization within me which instigated the emotional heartache I was still feeling after we arrived in Montana. So many feelings to deal with in the last few months caused a sensitivity within that was unlike anything I’d experienced ever before and sometimes I felt as though I was functioning as a total stranger, unrecognizable from the inside out.
The truth was though, that I was to blame for the raw emotion that drove me to my secret nervousness. I went along trying to act as though everything was copasetic when in fact, I was scared to death but that was my tough luck because I didn’t have the nerve to tell Kurt no. When all of the conversation about moving was going down, I clammed up each time he asked me what I wanted to do. When I wanted to scream at him and say no no no…I said, whatever. I chickened out. I played it cool, too cool. I actually told the man it was something I could not be involved in, the decision, that is. It wasn’t fair, I told him, for me to decide, because it was he who would be sacrificing so much to bring me up there to my family. It was he who would do most of the work, planning, negotiating, job searching, and making drastic financial sacrifices and taking many serious risks. Moreover, it was Kurt who would have to explain to his mother that we were scrapping our plans to eventually move back to Oregon. So, I took a neutral stand and told him this was going to have to be his decision, not mine, and that I would do whatever he wanted to do because all I cared about was that he was happy. Which, if you think about it is hysterically amusing because he was trying to make me happy by gifting me with a new life with Robert and Brenda and all I wanted was for Kurt to feel the peace and tranquility he seemed to have found in Montana. We were a real pair.  
There had been some tension when we first arrived in Montana that greatly contributed to my nervousness. Neither Kurt nor I could figure out what had changed since we had last visited in late July when we drove up to choose the design of our home and bring some money along as a down payment. All was wonderful during that last visit but now, well, there was a little bit of stale smoke in the room, so to speak. But we didn’t spend much time trying to figure it all out we simply chalked it up to them expecting a new baby nerves and the reality of having family move in on their land and all that it would entail. It was on September 28th when attitudes seemed to have leveled out again though, as my great niece was born at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital and Kurt, Brenda and I were up to hospital until six o’clock in the morning. That was a wonderful day for us all and I was elated to have been able to be a part of her arrival; Miss Bella Rosso.
Although there was a new cheerfulness in the air Robert and April maintained their need to feel as though they were in control of their own lives which was completely understandable to us so we didn’t blink an eye when Robert was concerned about our grey water from the trailer contaminating his well water so we were asked not to hook up the water line, leaving us in a lurch for basic hygienic needs, consumptive requirements and household cleanliness which left me to the task of carrying one gallon plastic milk jugs to and from the water hydrant up near Rob’s back door. Once filled, I carried two jugs at a time back and forth to the trailer, watered the roses, then back again for more water to fill the dog’s water bowl, a huge pot on the little trailer stove for cooking needs and a large plastic bin for dish washing rinse water. The task was exhausting and had been since the moment we arrived. Every move I made left me weak in the knees, aggravated my left injured knee and back and so I found deep sleep quite easily each and every night on the full size mattress made in 1986.
Kurt was out by our yellow speed boat preparing it for its last trip of the season by hooking up to Blackie and loading the ice chest with beer and a couple of sandwiches. He just had to take his boat out one more time before the extreme weather season of Montana hit and our usual jaunts to the lake were squashed for months to come. We weren’t in California anymore where skiing at ten in the morning on Pyramid Lake on Thanksgiving Day was a tradition. Those days were merely nice memories for him now. I didn’t mind that Kurt was going boating for the day but I was concerned that he was going to a lake he’d never been to before without anyone to accompany him. Rob was busy working, Brenda was helping April with Bella and of course we didn’t know a soul in Montana, other than our family. I tried to put worry aside and smile when he was ready to leave. I would have preferred that he stayed with me that day rather than risk any accidents or issues from happening but he insisted on having one last hurrah on the water. So, I reluctantly gave my blessing for him to discover new water on Canyon Ferry Lake up near Helena.
I watched Blackie pull our yellow vintage hot rod boat up Old Town Road until I could no longer see its tail lights. I then went into the trailer to start a pot of coffee on my little two cup machine. Cutter, Lilly and Dinky followed me into the trailer, all three of them struggling to climb up the steel pull-out step, and then stepping onto the small square of carpet remnant that we used as a welcome mat. Our canine trio hadn’t been too terribly happy since we landed in Montana and parked our lovely new estate in the mud pit. They hadn’t been happy since the day I began packing up our Northridge home in late June. But they were troupers, all three of them, although they were terribly displaced and obviously missed their yard and daily routine. I was a wee bit worried about them because they weren’t young dogs after all and it had been a very long trip in the back of Zippy. The transition from the warm climate and low altitude to the thin air of the Rocky Mountains and freezing temperatures that were sure to come was something I was concerned about but Kurt insisted that they would be fine telling me each time I mentioned it that “they’re dogs, stop worrying about it .”
My cell phone began ringing just as I sipped from my coffee cup. I answered to hear Brenda’s voice asking what I was doing. Five minutes later she was at my door with her own cup of coffee from the big house, still in her bathrobe and slippers that she wore thru the dirt and gravel. The moment she opened the door the dogs began singing and barking with joy. She loved on all them for a few moments then sat down across from me on the little bench seat at the table. “I watched Kurt take off with the boat where is he going?”
“He’s going to a lake called Canyon Ferry up near Helena.”
“Why is he doing that?”
“He wants one more fling on a lake before the season ends. He wants to blow the gas out of the engine before the big freeze you guys keep talking about. He doesn’t want a lot of gas in the tank when the temperatures reach freezing so he’s going to use it all up, if he can.”
“Does he know about the storm that’s coming in?”
“What storm?”
“There’s supposed to be a big storm blowing our way from the north, I think they call it a northern front or something like that.”
“Do you mean an arctic front?”
“Yeah, that’s it!”
“Are you sure about that? It’s so beautiful outside, I can’t imagine an arctic front storm coming this way today, can you?”
“I’m only telling you what I heard on the news not too long ago, Sue.”
I grabbed my cell phone and tried to get through but Kurt’s phone went directly to message. I let him know the information Brenda had just shared with me and told him to be very careful out there. I hung up the phone, looked outside, shrugged my shoulders and went back to my coffee.

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