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.

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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

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

09.S05 Chapter Nine, Snippet Five

Lilly braved the October 2006 snow storm from the north when it first began. She frolicked for about twenty minutes out there by herself until the wind began to blow the snow down so hard that she couldn't see.

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

The wind increased in intensity to a wild roar while the trailer shook violently back and forth with each massive gust coming from the north. I held onto the top of the room divider as I tried to pull myself up on my knees a little so I could slide closer to the end of the window in attempt to get a look out at the road, hoping to see Kurt pulling into the gate with the boat. As I positioned myself up with secured steadiness, I felt a chilling sensation on my hands and fingers as I placed them on the metal windowsill and glass. Ice was building up on the inside of the window, ice shaped in patterns of little mountains that looked like ski slopes. I dug my thumbnail into the little mountain to see how solid it was and much to my surprise it was already hard as a rock. This is a strange place for a beach bum, I thought to myself. If anyone who knew me back in the day when I was bodysurfing next to the Santa Monica Pier could see me now they probably would think I’ve lost my mind. The freezing rain or snow or sleet or buckets of ice or whatever the locals would call it continued to slam onto the prairie ground, covering it in a thick and dangerous blanket of terror. Even during the years I spent with Kurt in Oregon I had never seen anything like this. And the dogs hadn’t either. Needless to say, at this very moment they were living in misery and fear.
The storm worsened as did my concern for Kurt. I tried calling the big house again but the phone continued to ring four times then switch over to the message service. I left two messages asking Brenda to call me as soon as possible. Wanting to go outside to see if her car was parked in their driveway, I tried to make my way down the icy steps but could not hold onto the door to stabilize for safety. The wind would whip it right out of my hands then bash it into the side of the trailer while the dogs shook and shivered, wanting me to get back inside with them. I was eager to speak to Brenda or April because I wanted to ask them to check the weather alerts near Helena at Canyon Ferry Lake. I hadn’t heard either of their cars leave after I had visited them for breakfast, but with this storm I doubted that I would have heard anything other than my heart pounding in my chest and the whimpers of Cutter, Lilly and Dinky. The forest of overgrowth and fifty year old conifers added to the distance between the trailer and the big house made it impossible for me to see anything through our tiny windows. Not being able to connect with my family during my first big Montana storm was most unsettling.
Nearly four hours had passed since the storm began. The dogs and I remained on the bed as we endured this grotesquely odd weather experience by ourselves. It wasn’t what I had expected at all when I signed up for the move, being abandoned and alone in this wilderness. Thoughts of resentment and regret enveloped my consciousness but thankfully were interrupted by the faint yet familiar sound of Blackie’s engine. I rolled over on my side, pulled myself up, got on my knees to look out the window. Yes, it was Kurt. He was home. Home safely. I burst into tears with relief and instantly prayed to God in gratitude.
I watched from the window as Kurt backed the boat into its designated space against the fence and then open his driver’s door. Bending his head down to avoid being pelted by the icy frozen snow coming in droves now, he slowly made his way to the trailer door shielding his face with his hands. As quickly as he opened it the door flew out of his hands and banged against the trailer. Flapping in the wind the door nearly swatted Kurt but he managed to avoid being injured by grabbing it just in time and then holding onto to it so he could make his way up the frozen metal steps. He walked into the trailer to find our four fearful faces flushed in white from horror and dismay; unhappy and homesick for our sunshiny backyard and roses. But we were here now so I vowed to myself in the moment that I would not complain but toughen up, no matter what was yet to come.
Kurt described his drive back from the lake while he was toweling off and removing his shoes and wet socks. He was freezing from having to step into the freezing water while he tried to straighten the boat on the trailer at the dock. “Why didn’t you just take your socks and shoes off in the truck and blast the heat onto the floorboard?”
“Because if something went wrong on the drive and I needed to get out of the truck quickly I’d be in trouble. I can’t believe how fast the temperature dropped out there. When I left here the sun was shining and it was warm out. Now look at it.” He shivered as he sat down on the bed.
“How were the roads?”
“Not bad up near Helena but the closer I got to Three Forks the more I realized that you got hit out here pretty hard and I tried to get on the gas but the 287 was iced over and I had a few cars ahead of me that were slowing way down so I practically crawled home from Townsend.”
“I’m glad those cars were going slow it’s not smart to drive fast on the ice, don’t you see all of the crosses along the highways when you drive? They’re there for a reason!”
“Yes, mother, I know.” I laughed and then I told him that I had heard a big loud crashing noise against the front of the trailer and it sounded like glass breaking. I also told Kurt that I was concerned about Brenda and April because I still had not heard back from them and wondered if they had to go to the store or the doctor and couldn’t imagine that they wouldn’t call me if something was wrong. So Kurt put some clean socks and dry shoes on and covered up in his old Oregon blue parka and some gloves and a hat and ventured out to check on the trailer and the ladies over in the big house. While he was gone I started a meal on our tiny stove and placed some biscuits to warm in the tiny oven.
The canned stew went down without an argument and the biscuits were a comfort but it was the cherry pie that packed a punch and finally filled him up. The meal was satisfactory for the both of us but we were missing our big kitchen where all of the magic happened whenever I got near to the stove. Once again I had to remind myself though, that we were here now and I mustn’t complain, because this is what he wanted. This is his vision. His dream. And complaining would only complicate things and life is already proving to be challenging here. So I was training my mind to practice peace and harmony at all times no matter what adversity we faced. And it was a good thing that I was in training to feel peace and to practice peace and harmony throughout every aspect of my life for Kurt had just announced to me that the cinder blocks that he used to tie down the carport easy-up that he is using as a carport for Blackie were lifted up by the ferocious winds and were slammed into the front window covering of the trailer and the covering was smashed beyond repair and he also dropped the bomb on me that Brenda and April were happily watching a movie in the den while the baby was sleeping and that all was fine up at the big house. “Is the phone line out?” I asked him.
“No, the phone is working. Brenda said that April just didn’t want to talk to anyone so they weren’t answering the phone.”
“Are you serious Kurt? In a storm like this, knowing I was alone in this trailer they chose to ignore my messages?”
“I guess so.”
“Oh my God, I’ve never heard of such a thing. That’s just completely insane. Are you sure about this?”
“Yeah, I’m sure Susie. Brenda stood right there in front of April when she said they just ignored the phone all day.”
“We’ve been here three weeks and they’re already sick of us. I hope this build goes fast.”
“Don’t worry Babe, we’ll be breaking ground soon.”
“I certainly hope so Kurt, I certainly hope so.”

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