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Autumn Nostalgia on Windy Roads


Windy roads to a new life

Do you remember that feeling between winter and autumn, when you would building hop, quickly from the car to a store or perhaps an afternoon gathering at a friend’s home - each one like a sauna, encasing you in a warm coziness that wraps your heart up like a blanket? The spare moments in the cold, sometimes jogging quickly to the door with your hands in your pockets, shoulders cinched up like a sweatshirt hoodie, and waddling legs somehow warmer being stiff than loose. These nostalgic moments crept into my mind on a roadtrip across the state this weekend.

After the farmers market on Saturday, we drove three and a half hours straight west for the weekend. We’re moving in two weeks and needed to transport a bunch of wood to the new home. I am keeping this a secret for now, though I love sharing life news on this blog. Something I want to do move of in the new life is more in depth stuff, like writing on this blog and sharing photography with you. I want to keep the details of this place a secret for now, but I can’t wait to share with you on this blog! It’s going to be a whole different life than what I’ve been living.


As we traversed the windy roads, I appreciated the sights along the way. We passed through an area flooded with cranberry bogs, a marshy area filled with wildlife and murky waters. Corn lined the highways like a sea of yellow feathers floating around in the breeze. The further we drove west, the more dense the trees got, and the hillier the terrain became, like mogals at a ski resort for giants. The trees in eastern wisconsin aren’t as changed over as west - the hills were speckled with reds, yellows, and oranges as if each blotch was a paint pile on mother nature’s artist palette. I felt in awe once again, as I had traveling the country, at the sheer beauty of the land around me. Every single hill, mostly baby mountains, were covered in mixed colors of oaks, walnuts, maples and elms. Rivers and streams carved out all the valleys we’d crossed over bridges of, and watery trees lined the banks, like cottonwoods and willows. We passed through many tree tunnels, some completely changed colors and grapevines dripping from the canopies in school bus yellows. A magical, yet mysterious life lingered in these woods, silence engulfed in knowing, hidden knowledge I couldn’t wait to learn about.

It dawned upon me that I have been living in a city for not just this summer, but for the last couple of years. The town I lived in this summer was indeed a city with stimulation everywhere. Billboards every half mile on the freeway, construction everywhere, road noise almost ringing in my ears. I knew it wasn’t for me, but I did my best here and feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself. Even in Sedona, with six million tourists coming through in a year, I felt like I lived in a city with no escape or privacy from people. As you drive further west in Wisconsin, civilization becomes more sparse. Life becomes much slower and small towny, and sometimes quaint towns resemble Hallmark movie towns.


About half of the wood we need this winter, being loaded into the truck and up a treacherous driveway to our new home

After three and a half hours of wondering and pondering, discussing the finer details of the dreams and intentions for our new life, we made it. The weekend consisted of moving firewood, repetitious movements of our bodies twisting and turning wood into and out of the truck. It was satisfying being able to move my body in such motions as I don’t do farm work much anymore. A few hours were spent doing this, though I feel so relieved to finish such a big feat two weeks before we move in. When we arrive, we’ll be able to make a warm fire and be carefree about being cold. We lived in an off grid cabin in Oregon, a real test of resilience and grit having to withstand the bitterness of an approaching cold season.

A sneak peak of our home for the winter

The weekend flew by in a flash, a clap of thunder saying, “it is done! It’s time to go back and finish this thing.” We said see you later to our friends, dear ones who’ve helped us along this moving journey, and hopped back in the car to traverse back to the East. The drive is just as awe inspiring but in reverse, feeling gratitude and humbleness for the new coming yet slowly returning back to present reality, a life needing to finish out. Starting to remember the unfinished business needing finishing, though keeping in my heart the feelings of abundance coming.


The trees became sparse, and the corn fields expanded as the three and a half hours back slid passed us. It was quiet, yet the chill of winter seeped through the cracked windows, reminding me of the coming winter I’ve had the past two years off of. I wrap up in my sweater and rest my feet on the warm air vent as I buckle up for the rest of the storm.

May you enjoy these next few transitional weeks of autumn!

Much love,

Ashley

P.S. - if you missed it, I came out with the second edition of my book A Year Against the Rain! It’s not available on Amazon, you can find it here: https://linktr.ee/adventuresacross