COLUMNISTS

Too many decisions, too many lines

Susan Manzke
Clothes flap in the breeze on a clothesline outside the first Amish farm stop near Cashton, WI.

You’d think the decision to accept a free, one-day bus trip would be easy to make. Well, I hemmed and hawed quite a while before saying yes.

This bus trip was offered from Swanstone Gardens as my resin painting class had been. Nancy, Doris, and I were to join a busload of mostly seniors for a ride to see greenhouses, gift shops, etc. in Amish country around Cashton, Wisconsin.

The bus was to pick everyone up in Green Bay at 7 a.m. The morning drive wouldn’t bother me, but driving home after our return at 9 p.m. would. Because of my uneasiness of nighttime driving, daughter Rebecca volunteered to take me to the bus and return me home later that evening. With all that help, how could I say no? I secured a couple of masks for my trip, packed my purse with essentials, and prepared myself.

We arrived at the bus at 6:45 a.m. Everyone else came a lot earlier, meaning only single seats were available. Neither Nancy, Doris, or I would be sitting together, but because of this, we were introduced to other seatmates. My traveling companion was named Mary.

A stately llama poses outside  Justin Trails Bed and Breakfast, Sparta, WI.

Joining the 50 people on this coach made me a bit nervous. I live in a COVID-free home and even though vaccinated, I worried about many things—I had my mask on and so did Mary, a good partnership as far as I was concerned.

In the past, Bob and I enjoyed bus trips across the country. All had stops along the way to stretch your legs. On this trip, our first break was at a Kwik Trip by Oshkosh. That’s where I remembered something uncomfortable about my other bus rides – the lines.

The first thing after getting off the bus from my seat far to the rear of the bus was to get in line for the restroom. Most of our group were ladies so our line was long. Luckily it moved along and no one was left behind.

Again, we were on our way. I enjoyed the view from the window. It showed acres of farmland being worked for spring planting. Of course, this made me think of Bob. Whenever we took a ride around the state, I drove and he watched the farmland, making mental notes about what was being planted and where fields were still untouched—I took over this chore for my late husband and in my thoughts relayed sightings to him—I still feel Bob at my side.

Susan’s mask came off when having lunch at Justin Trails Bed and Breakfast, Sparta, WI.

The bus took us to Justin Trails Bed and Breakfast where we had lunch and I attempted to throw a disc or two at their disc golf target. I’m not very good at disc golf. In fact, I’m a complete failure.

The next stop involved shopping at Down a Country Road. I bought myself a yummy ice cream cone and perused the merchandise.

Soon we were on to a tour of Amish country where we were advised by our guide not to take photos of the Amish themselves.

We went to farms where the families sold handmade rugs, baskets, soap, cutting boards, and numerous other items. Greenhouses were a big point on the itinerary. Many plants were purchased and tucked in the bowels of the bus. I bought Rebecca a patio tomato plant as a thank you.

Blooms abound inside one of the greenhouses near Cashton, WI.

When we got to the Amish Bakery, I hung back. The smell of the food made me hungry again, but the limited space in the store had me rethink going inside. A hand pie would have been nice, but a bit of claustrophobia kept me outside.

The filled day went fast, but eventually we had to turn for home. Too bad for Rebecca; she wouldn’t be picking me up at 9 as planned. We kind of got behind schedule.

I messaged my daughter to tell her of the change. The bus arrived in Green Bay at 10:38 p.m. It was the end of a crazy, pleasant day touring Wisconsin. But by that time I was ready to crawl into my bed and sleep. A person can only have so much fun.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net/blog.