Saturday, August 1, 2009

It All Comes Back to the Boys

This week, I had the privilege of being a guest on The Morning Blend, a Milwaukee-area morning talk show.

I was there to talk about the Horicon Marsh, a 32,000 acre Wetland of International Importance that has been compared to the Florida Everglades. The Horicon Marsh, though, receives much less press and is much closer to my home -- just five minutes away, in fact.

For most of my life, the Marsh has been just five minutes away. And so, for most of my life, I took the Marsh completely for granted. Car loads of tourists arrive each fall to view the migration of the Canada geese, but I was unimpressed. Most of the cars had Illinois plates. Didn't the geese fly over Illinois on their journey south? Why couldn't those tourists just stay home and look up?

Beside, what's so special about geese? They're big, they fly in a V and they make a lot of noise. What more do you need to know?

Then I grew up and moved away. I had children. And slowly, I began to understand the attraction of the Marsh. Like most children, I took the wonder in my backyard completely for granted. As an adult, though, I'm beginning to understand how unique the Marsh is. People come to see geese congregate by the thousands, just as people flock to Mexico to see overwintering monarchs.

They -- the geese, the monarchs and the people -- come to these places because they're special, unique. The animals come because the land gives them what they need, and the people come to see a natural spectacle that exists at exactly one place in the world.

My boys taught me that. Through their love of nature, they introduced me to the outdoors. They taught me about the monarchs, which helped me understand the geese (and the tourists). Understanding the geese (and tourists) inspired me to write an article about the Marsh, which led to an appearance on a TV show. And that appearance may lead to a second one -- to talk about this blog.

All because of my boys.


  1. Gotta love those boys! It's so easy to take for granted things close by. Me, I can't stand the beach, I'm so indifferent to it but I bet the day its not 10 minutes away I will be missing it...

  2. A note on the poll on potty training. I wonder if people misunderstood your word "by"?

    I take it if my son was trained at age 3 yrs 1 month I'd vote "by age 4".

    Every boy I know was trained while 3 years old, or four and one older than that due to having severe autism and being nonverbal.

    I cannot believe that even 5% of boys were totally toilet trained when only one year old. Refuse to believe it.

  3. I too grew up less than five minutes from the marsh. In fact, my father still lives in Farmersville (Which for those unfamiliar is a suburb of Mayville).

    I also took it for granted. I also wondered why tourists flocked there.

    And like you, I have gained much appreciation for not only the marsh, but many other wonders in this great state of Wisconsin.

    And my boys are renewing some of the adventure spirit I had growing up where I did...but I don't want to move back there.