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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chapter Eleven, Snippet One

Kurt Wolf riding on his new Kubota tractor that will be used to clear our land.
October, 2006

New Prairie Woman
Susie Rosso Wolf
Chapter Eleven

Aspercream and Tylenol came to my rescue and I thanked myself for having brains enough to pack both of them into the trailer bathroom. After rubbing gobs of the Aspercream all over my ankles legs and hips and low back I was able to sleep fairly well through the night. We both slept late the next morning, worn out from the snow storm drama and were pleasantly surprised by the sun peeking through the curtains. I opened the curtain above my bed and could feel the warmth coming in through the window. It was warm outside. The weather had turned overnight and I could see the freezing snow melting all around in the little paddock area and the drips falling off of the roof of the trailer. It would be a muddy mess in no time but I didn’t care about that, I was happy to see the sun again.
I made my way down to the big house to take a shower and check in with the family. Brenda was her usual sarcastic self teasing me about falling during my first snow storm, which I didn’t appreciate but knew that I was probably taking it the wrong way and that she was only trying to be funny. Robert was home that morning and he too made fun of me for falling but I tried to swallow my pride and just laughed along with them as I hobbled down the hall to the bathroom. The hot water felt so good on my aching body, the crying bones that were adjusting to the old trailer mattress and the bruised and swollen flesh from my fall. I must have sprained my neck and back when I went down face first because I felt as though I’d been run over by a truck. But the shower loosened me up and then another application of the Aspercream after I dried off made a significant difference and I jotted a mental note to buy another tube of this miracle cream when we were in Bozeman again later that day.
The storm that dumped a truckload of snow on us was merely a bad day in my journal now and I was so relieved that I didn’t need to put that gigantic jacket on again. When we first arrived in Montana I decided to start a journal, to record anything important that was happening during our transition to country life from the big city of Los Angeles. I wrote about the storm but was unable to express my feelings about the day before in Murdoch’s Ranch Supply Store. And as much as my dear friend Loie had urged me to write about everything so I could always go back to read about our great adventure to Montana I found it impossible to write down anything that was burning within my private thoughts and emotions. I simply noted specifics about date,time, temperature and how much snow had accumulated. The black jacket would never make it onto the pages of my little black notebook journal. But I had decided to keep a daily record of my food intake so I could begin to watch my calories in attempt to drop some weight.
After a small breakfast of an orange and a yogurt for me and a Nestle’s Quick for Kurt, we left the dogs outside in the paddock and made our way back to Bozeman to tie up the last loose ends of the purchase of our land and home. Once our business in Bozeman was completed we stopped off at a drug store for some supplies for me and then Kurt made his way to a little town called Four Corners that was on the way to Bozeman from Belgrade on Jackrabbit Lane. We drove a little further passed the four corners that earned its name and a couple of miles later we pulled into a Kubota dealership to look at tractors. The salesman was a nice man who was very informed and asked Kurt all of the right questions; Why do you need a tractor? Where is your land? What are you going to do with it? Will you need a backhoe? Tiller? What kind of implements do you think you’ll need? How much money do you have to spend? Will you be financing? The two men talked for nearly two hours while I sat back in the truck after excusing myself. I could see Kurt and the salesman walking all over the Kubota parking lot looking at the many tractors that were parked out there. I liked their color, bright orange with a black seat. I thought they were very pretty and said as much to Kurt when we were driving to the next tractor dealership further on up Jackrabbit Lane. “How can a tractor be pretty?”
“I liked the colors, they’re painted so nicely and the design of the machines is very smart, I like them.”
“Susie, have you ever actually seen a tractor before?”
“Yes! I’ve seen plenty of tractors and most of them are dirty yellow with black but those were orange and black and they are more appealing, they’re really cute!”
“Tractors are not cute!”
“Well, they are to me.” Kurt laughed as he looked over at me, rolling his eyes as he called me a silly girl.
Another hour or so was spent talking to the next salesman and then we drove to a tractor sales lot just a few blocks away. By the time we drove back into the paddock Kurt was convinced that the Kubota was the tractor he wanted and needed to begin the process of clearing our land so that he could start building his shop and our general contractor could begin excavating the hole that would become the crawlspace under our new home. After talking to Robert and reading up on all of the name brand tractors, including John Deer which was way out of our budget, Kurt decided that he wanted to purchase one of the smaller Kubota’s made for exactly what we had in mind and needed to do to start creating our dream home on our dream land in this place that was a dream for both of us. Although I was dealing with many emotions and issues I continued to wear a brave and pleasant face in my husband’s presence so that he didn’t have to carry my burden on his back. I bucked up, so to speak, held myself up and my head up high, burying my shame and my pain and the fact that I wasn’t feeling exactly well but never mentioned one word about the weird chest pain I was having, the rapid heartbeat and soreness in my chest. I didn’t want to weigh Kurt down with problems I was having because I had become so fat I could barely catch my breath after walking up to the hydrant with two empty buckets. I buried everything about me. I placed my physical and emotional troubles in a little casket and buried them deep within my heart and soul so that my husband could buy his tractor, build his work shop, work on our new home and get us the heck out of this trailer.
So there we were, in the Kubota sales office, handing over a check for twenty thousand dollars and change. It was a very strange feeling to be the co-owner of a tractor. It was plain weird to tell the truth. Plain weird. A beach bum owning prairieland and a tractor! My Montana of the book report I received an A on was taking shape now in the realm of my little world and my schoolgirl dream to come to this land of treasure suddenly felt so alive and good and clean and fresh as I watched two men from the Kubota dealership drive up to the paddock gate a few days later to unload our brand new beautiful orange and black Kubota tractor. I could see myself sitting on the seat, driving the tractor all over our little plot of prairie, tilling the soil that would soon be my gorgeous vegetable and flower garden. I could see myself wearing farmer coveralls and a straw hat while the summer sun was shining on me. I could imagine living here in Montana and with that thought, there was hope within me, that this change in my life was a very good thing, a healthy change, that would help me to take control of my private issues that were weighing me down.
It did my heart good to see Kurt drive the little tractor back and forth in the paddock as the salesmen instructed him on how to operate the machine that would be put to the test. And in the days that followed Kurt drove up and down and back and forth over the tall prairie grass and weeds that covered our land in the area that Kurt had envisioned to build our new life together. As he drove, Brenda and I cleared piles and piles of debris and cut down many shrubs and bushes and small trees with broken dying branches. While we worked we talked and laughed and it felt good to be spending time with my friend, my lifelong confidant. I worked through the pain from my fall and continued to keep my issues to myself. Brenda may have suspected that something was going on with me but she knew I didn’t want to expose to anyone, including her, the depth of my hearts anguish. My obesity had become the plague of my life and all I could think of now was to work my butt off so that I could get thin, get healthy, get happy, and learn to ride a horse. As I pulled and yanked and tugged at the vines and limbs and sticks I imagined living this life here and how wonderful it could be to reside on the prairie with a milking cow and horse in our barn or stable and maybe some chickens in a coop and perhaps we could raise some pigs too. Anything seemed possible now so I allowed myself to see in my minds eye the sun setting down in the fantastic wondrous way that it does here in Montana, on my ordinary average day as a Montanan who is putting her animals to bed in the barn and bringing in her basket of fresh picked lettuce, radishes and tomatoes for a salad to go with dinner. It was a good thing to imagine, life here, in my daily routine of cleaning my new house and tending to our land and my husband. I listened to the sound of the tractor putting around the land and I smiled to myself, knowing that my dear Kurt was enjoying his own imaginations. It was his vision, after all, that created this dream and now as he drove the Kubota the dream was becoming reality.

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