A Goose Walked over my Grave

Mother Goose has been extremely hesitant about posting this story. I want to be sensitive to the grief of Zane’s family and friends, and I don’t want to be disrespectful to his memory. But the thought occurs to me that if he included my sons in his circle of friends, then that’s the proof that he had a good sense of humor. They are funny and interesting characters to say the least… And so I write on hoping that this will put a smile on somebody’s face even as we remember what a great guy Zane was and how we will miss him so much…

It’s disconcerting to think that Mother Goose spent most of her vacation resting and picnicking in a cemetery. Although it was quiet and peaceful and a soft breeze wafted across the valley to cool our faces, still you have to wonder about a middle-aged couple hanging out in a cemetery. From our first afternoon in Spring Green until we pulled out of town on Sunday morning, the cemetery of the Unity Chapel was our “centering space”, the place we kept coming back around to for just another look. I know…a little morbid, right?

What can I say? I’m just a goose.

Unity Chapel was the place where Frank Lloyd Wright’s family worshiped the Lord through the ages.

The sun has set behind Taliesin, a shining brow on the hill.

Enter the gates of the cemetery.

Here rests one of Mr. Wright’s older relatives… and God bless America.

Jenkin Lloyd Jones was a Unitarian minister in the United States. He founded All Souls Unitarian Church in Chicago, Illinois, as well as its community outreach organization, the Abraham Lincoln Centre. Wikipedia

Some can’t enter the cemetery…

And some can’t get out!

Mother Goose wishes you well today. If you feel a sudden shudder, maybe it’s because a goose just walked over your grave.

Romeo and Juliet and Other Wonderful Sights

We will continue to pray for the family of Petty Officer Zane Stotesbury and remember him even as we return to the continuing adventures of Mother Goose and her husband in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Thank you for your kind and gracious comments — he was a good friend to my sons and a very fine young sailor.

“Every time I come back here it is with the feeling there is nothing anywhere better than this.”
–Frank Lloyd Wright

‘Twas the rolling hills and valleys, the broad sun-washed fields and clear rivers, the rocky outcroppings and the trees full of birdsongs belonging uniquely to southwest Wisconsin which inspired the creative mind of Frank Lloyd Wright. This prairie landscape was the place of his upbringing, the land of his family — they came to America from Wales and settled on this part of the earth because it reminded them of home.

The Gooses visited the area surrounding Spring Green last year at this time, and immensely enjoyed the tour of Mr. Wright’s home, Taliesin. Of course, tours are obligatory, and this year we opted for the Hillside Studio and Theater tour. It was beautiful beyond our wildest imaginings… and we do have wild imaginings, by the way. Here are a few pictures from outside the buildings — photos are not allowed inside the studio, school or theater. Mother Goose scribbled copious notes along the way describing the interior design and history.

The original Hillside School was owned and managed by Mr. Wright’s spinster aunts. They were delighted to give their beloved nephew his first independent architectural design project.

This cascading stairway up to the studio reminds Mother Goose of a waterfall.

In the distance, please tell me you see “Romeo and Juliet” the wondrous and miraculous windmill, Mr. Wright designed for the property. They said it’d never stand for 365 days — that was more than a hundred years ago…

The apprentice studio where even TODAY young (and old) architects learn and work the trade of the master. The saying over the interior entrance reads, “WHAT A MAN DOES THAT HE HAS” and ‘that’ is in red letters. A good inspirational thought whether you are hunched over your drafting board or a laptop.

Exterior shot of Husband Goose with Tour Guide Peggy and Mr. Wright’s jewel of a theater. Trust me — with natural air conditioning and perfect acoustics, it’s absolutely gorgeous inside…

Barn swallows love Frank Lloyd Wright too.

After our breathtaking tour, we rested and recovered and revived inside the clubhouse at The House on the Rock Resort. They have a charming golf course, well-manicured greens and delicious Bloody Marys. We wondered and pondered what we should do next…

Husband Goose pondering our next event…he’s such a character.

At this point, many people would choose to visit The House on the Rock. This is an iconic tourist destination — a cross between Elvis’ Graceland, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, The Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Canyon.

With divine wisdom bestowed upon us, we decided on a picnic on the shores of the Wisconsin River. It was a tasty combination of fresh Wisconsin cheese curds, smoked braunschweiger, crackers and white wine, accompanied by the soft and soothing sounds of the swallows overhead and the river before us.

A relaxing and happy time for the Gooses.

The Gooses Enjoy a Picnic In The Cemetery

Mother Goose and Husband Goose have established a new tradition for celebrating their wedding anniversary! For the second year in a row, we’ve rested in the sweet country air near Spring Green, Wisconsin. The rolling hills and valleys remind us that we live on a lovely planet — not just in a suburban rectangle of lawn with a house on it.

We spend most of our days in Oak Park where the brilliant architect Frank Lloyd Wright began his long, incredible career as the founder of the Prairie School of Architecture. Everywhere we walk in our village we are reminded of his vision for organic architecture. Mother Goose is also intrigued by his scandalous personal life…

Arriving up north on Friday afternoon and needing to rest from our three-hour drive, we promptly set up a picnic in the cemetery of the Unity Chapel. Many of Mr. Wright’s Welsh ancestors are resting here as well. Mr. Wright himself was once buried here…

Resting in the shadow of the great architect.

Frank Lloyd Wright loved a woman named Mamah Borthwick Cheney. Oddly enough, she was the wife of one of his clients in Oak Park. She left her husband and two children to spend the rest of her days with Mr. Wright who, by the way, was also married and the father of six children in Oak Park.

Isn’t it strange how life goes? And trust me, Mother Goose knows all about these sorts of unfortunate circumstances…

So Mr. Wright built his dream home, Taliesin, on the eyebrow of a hill on the 600 acres of the family property. He brought Mamah to live with him there one hundred years ago. They had a love story that rocked the world in many ways, but life was good at Taliesin. It was a rich, creative time for his work. But tragedy fell hard in 1914, when a disgruntled employee set fire to Mr. Wright’s beloved home and murdered Mamah. Several other people, including her precious children, also perished in the blaze.

He personally laid her to rest in the family cemetery.

Mamah’s final resting place.

A majestic white pine tree grows near her now.

Mamah’s tree.

Please come back for the next story of Mother Goose where we doze off during the Twelfth Night.

Did anyone see where I set down my bottle of Santa Marguerita?

Walking with a Goose

Mother Goose has recently begun a new discipline of recreational walking. It’s fun. It’s relaxing. It’s exercise. And it’s very interesting. The goal of the goose is to walk for at least fifty minutes each day. I try to walk with enthusiasm. I do not walk like this, however…

A good solid energetic walk for Mother Goose brings her around Oak Park to some very interesting places. Here’s our local fire department. They came rushing to our home the day AnnaRose accidentally ate peanut butter cookies and had a prophylactic reaction. We are grateful to live close to the first responders and paramedics.

The next stop is our local branch of the public library, the Dole Learning Center. It was originally a church, then it morphed into a junior college and now a quaint, small library just two blocks from our home. Often Mother Goose stops here to use their pretty restroom, because having walked two blocks, it’s usually time for Mother Goose to “go”.

Isn’t it pretty with those grand windows and all the sunlight beaming in?

Anyway, back to my enthusiastic and energetic walk… I walk by the home of Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the classic tale, Tarzan the Ape Man. Edgar lived here from 1914 – 1920, but unfortunately I don’t have a picture of his house. You’ll just have to trust the goose on this one.

On and on I go through the village. Walking as quickly as I can — to burn those pesky calories and getting my heart rate up to about 400 takes a lot of enthusiasm. Here’s another famous author’s house:

That’s where Ernest Hemingway was born, but they didn’t know he was going to be a famous author so they moved out of town when he got a little bigger.

It wouldn’t be a decent walk through the neighborhoods unless Mother Goose passed by the home and studio of famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. He originated the Prairie Style of architecture, and they have a public restroom which is very important to Mother Goose.

Walking has become a sort of romance for Mother Goose. I can use this time alone to daydream about life in days gone by. I ponder mysteries of life. I plan stories to tell my dear readers. I make promises to myself. I even imagine that my walking will turn to running soon, and I will register to participate in 5k races in the spring. Imagine Mother Goose in a running outfit with a number on my back and racing shoes on my big webbed feet! It’s a funny thought, isn’t it?

Here’s a home that I walk by every single time that I’m out walking energetically. It’s Mamah’s house.

Mamah was the “scarlet woman” of Frank Lloyd Wright’s life. He was married to Elizabeth and they had a passle of children. Mamah was married to Edwin and they had a couple of kids. They were all friends, and Mamah’s husband, Edwin, asked Frank to design and build a home for him and his family. Well, lo and behold, the architect and Mamah fell in love and became the scandal of Oak Park. It’s a beautifully tragic story which has been published by Random House, and you can read more about it here.

Mother Goose turns a couple more corners and then hits the homestretch which has a dazzling and descending sidewalk which is just what Mother Goose needs at this point in her brisk walk. She checks her watch — fifty minutes have flown by. According to reliable sources (the father of Mother Goose actually!), that’s almost a two-mile hike! Hip hip hooray for Mother Goose! And then she collapses in her chair… But she’ll be back on the walking tour tomorrow!!

Be blessed today wherever the road takes you!

Important Stats for a Goose

  • 63,068 honks to date

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