Hellooooo, Wisconsin!!! Saturday, Squatch, Little Man, and I braved a 5.5 hour drive up to the wild northwest of Wisconsin. Squatch had his car loaded down for bear, and I had Little Man with the few remaining things with me.

I will admit – I was extremely nervous about driving so far and long with Little Man by myself. I mapped out a route that would allow us to stop when needed, with one planned break 2.5 hours into the trip. Once he woke up Saturday morning, we fed Little Man, and while he played around one last time with Nanny and Papa, I packed a cooler of milk (this kid will NEVER go thirsty; I feel like a cow at times), threw the water bottles into another, and leftover baby food and a bottle in a third, while Squatch loaded our backpacks and the coolers into the car.

Little Man was super excited to face forward on the drive – I put his seat next to the door, so he could see everything outside. Setting him up that way gave me some extra room to put down the other seat and load his little toy crate and case of diapers. He loved being able to reach into the crate and pull out a toy when he needed it. We passed through so many cute little towns on the first half of our drive. When we stopped for gas, we questioned why we never went on an adventure to visit any of them before. This is what people miss when they only take the major highways and the interstate – they don’t see small town America and their historic main streets and government buildings. One town had the most gorgeous old courthouse in their town square. At our midway stop, poor Little Man had a major freak out as I changed him in the bathroom – the automatic flushing toilets and hand dryers scared the living daylights out of him. We let him run around the convenience store for a bit as we looked to see if there were any snacks we wanted to get for the rest of the trip (just some jerkey for Squatch), and then corralled him out to the car.

I sat him in his seat and gave him his squeeze pouch of veggies, which he started sucking on and then promptly squeezed all over himself. I didn’t feel like digging out his spare onesie, so he spent the remainder of the ride in just a diaper. I gave him his bottle, which he drank a little of and then tried to pour out all over himself and his chair. I did give him some bites of cookie on the ride; there are now so many crumbs and milk and veggie on his car seat. After we take a trip into town to grab a few things from the store, it’s getting pulled up and thrown through the wash.

The second half of the ride was mostly interstate and some local highways for the last hour. We had heard that our usual way up was all under construction, plus it is a very windy road, we decided to try something new, and we now have a new favourite way to get to Granma and Granpa’s house. Little Man was ok for the second half of the trip, but he did start hollering at the 2 hour mark. I played his kid songs the entire ride up – he likes them and they can help quiet him down when he gets rowdy. As I was driving, I was taking mental notes of what we were passing: found the Mini Golf, a local park, saw that the closest gas station is also the most expensive, and I just enjoyed the scenery. It is still hilly here up north, and as we were driving down the last road to Granma and Granpa’s street, I was able to appreciate just how beautiful it is up here. We are a lot farther north, but I was reminded of reading “Little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder. We’re now in a house in the big woods in Wisconsin, and while things have changed a lot since the “Little House” days, a lot of things have stayed the same.

One of my new favourite podasters (I highly recommend “A Farmish Kind of Life” if you have never heard of it) refers to “Ma Ingalls” every so often on her show, and being up here, I can see why. Ma made a lot of sacrifices to raise her family and do what she thought was best for them. She supported Pa in his decisions, much as I am supporting Squatch in his. She was not afraid to take a chance and leave what she knows and is comfortable with in order to further her family.

On this journey to liberty, we have to make a lot of decisions. They are not always easy, and they are not always what one would immediately think is best. And, once those choices are made, life does not get easier right away. Thank you for joining us as we take the path to liberty. There will definitely be some bumps along the way, but that’s life.

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