About The River

Friday, January 17, 2020

On the Road Friday ~ Blessed Virgin Mary on Highway 13

 During our travels to Lake Superior in September,  we stopped at the Holy Mother Mary's Wayside Peace Park on Highway 13 on the route to Bayfield, Wisconsin.

Curiosity got the best of me, I decided to dig a little more into the story behind the wayside.

 Below is a bit  of the story above from the Superior Catholic Herald
Fritz’s orchard used to be called Fritz Brothers, and he and his two brothers competed to see who could pick a trailer load of apples the fastest, and who could sell the most at market.
Both of his brothers are dead, and only Fritz manages the operation. It’s not as much fun as it used to be, he admitted: “Now it’s just me against the orchard.”
Fritz renamed the business a couple of years after they died. Fritz Brothers seemed silly with only one brother, he thought. He dedicated the apple business to Mary, and he calls the shrine Blessed Mother Mary’s Wayside Peace Park.
At night, the shrine is lit up – Fritz waited 13 years before hooking up electricity – and during the day, a choir of nuns sing from a hidden compact disc player.
There’s a boardwalk for the Stations of the Cross, and signs and statuary scattered about. On Aug. 17, Mary had fresh flowers for the commemoration of her Assumption on Aug. 15.
The idea to build a shrine came to Fritz in 1990, and for years, he’s devoted any spare money to the effort.
His decision wasn’t compelled by anything supernatural.
“I didn’t hear any voices or anything,” he said.
Mostly, he liked the site, the parity between Hwy. 13 and Mary’s Fatima appearances on the 13th of the month.
He was also influenced by the people he encountered as a janitor at St. Thomas University, the saints he read about in “Butler’s Lives of the Saints” while working overnights in the Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library.
He’s also helped out at several other shrines – Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, others in Texas and Montana – and noticed the dearth of devotional sites in the Diocese of Superior.
“There’s quite a few nice shrines in Wisconsin, but in this area, not much,” he said.
Fritz didn’t want to take donations for his project. The church has enough needs, he said, and he’d rather seeing the money go toward Catholic schools, the St. Vincent de Paul Society or the many other services in the diocese.
The only problem is finishing the shrine by himself is slow going, and Fritzes don’t generally have a long lifespan. While he’s outlived his brothers, Fritz is afraid if he doesn’t keep at it, he won’t get it done.
“We tend to die young,” he said.
He aims to have the visitor’s center, built from a 1970s geodesic dome kit, open by May 2017. The month marks the 100th anniversary of Mary’s first appearance in Fatima; he’s also built a replica of the arch constructed at the site.
When he’s not working at the shrine or picking and selling apples, Fritz might be en route to Mexico, where he helps at an orphanage a couple of hundred miles south of Mexico City.
A few of the orphans get adopted, Fritz said, but most of the children he sees grow up a little more every year.
The clay crosses ornamenting the dome were fired and painted by the orphans.

He also buys most of his religious articles – statuary, Stations of the Cross and more – across the border. Fritz is planning improvements – and he wants to expand the shrine, move it farther back into the 20-acre lot and build a chapel.
He’s also diversified his fruit-growing operation with pear and plum trees. Squash vines are blooming across a freshly landscaped garden; he’s hoping he’ll have enough to give apple customers a free squash with every purchase.
If Fritz is around when a potential customer pulls up, he’s evangelizing among the apples, discussing the importance of thanking God for one’s blessings.
If he’s away at a farmers’ market, a prominently placed sign offers the same reminder:
“Thank God for all the mountains and the seas, for all the apples on the trees, for giving life to you and me, wherever you may be, thank God.”
Promoting devotion to the Blessed Mother is his ultimate goal, and Fritz hopes drivers passing the shrine will be inspired, if only for a moment.
He said he always feels the wealth of God’s gifts.

We stopped in and we did not see anyone, we were not greeted by anyone. We took a few photos and walked along the flowers, apple trees and pear trees.

During my research of wanting to find out more about the wayside. 
I learned that David F. Fritz passed in May of 2019. 

David. F. Fritz, age 65, of Superior, WI passed away suddenly on May 9th. Dave was known for selling apples in front of his shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary on Highway 13. He is survived by Char and Jim Sutter, Barb and Ernie Keller, Marg Vick, Jia and Liu Fritz, Don Harens, Bob Gremore and many nieces and nephews, and cousins. Visitation is on Monday, June 3rd at 9:30-10:30 followed by mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church- 920 Holley, St. Paul Park, MN.

Many boxes of statues, flyers and more where all scattered about.
 I wonder what will become of the Wayside?
We will be traveling that way again this summer of 2020. I will take a peek and see if anyone takes over David's vision of making a special Wayside along Highway 13.

 Thank you for coming along with me On the Road Friday to a unique Wayside.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Funny on Monday

Wisconsin Winter Forecast

It is true.. if planning on visiting expect anything.. 
pack your long underwear in the summer, hat and gloves too. 
You just never know what Wisconsin weather will bring.

Happy Monday

Friday, January 10, 2020

On the Road Friday ~ A 12/12 Birthday in Green Bay, Wisconsin

For my birthday this year my sister and mom treated me to a trip to Green Bay, Wisconsin.
 It was quick trip because the weather turned ugly and we needed to venture home before things got worse. We traveled to Green Bay on my birthday 12/12. We visited the Atrium at Lambeau Field. We had a lovely dinner at 1919 and ended the evening with a concert.

 Even if you are not a football fan, you will find the Lambeau Field Atrium unique and a fun experience. There are three different tour options.
Your destination for everything Packers!

Experience the Hall of Fame
Take a Stadium Tour
Dine at 1919 Kitchen and Tap
Shop at the Packers Pro Shop

 Everything is decorated in Green and Gold even the Christmas trees.

 My mom and sister.. I am looking down from the big football.

 I loved this truck in the gift shop.

 Hey.. It is me on the field.
You are able to take fun photos in front of the mural.

 Off to dinner we go to 1919. Many of you know blogger Nana Diana.. she happens to have a 12/12 birthday too and she lives in Green Bay. Before heading on my trip I asked her advice for fun places to eat in Green Bay. One of the many she suggested was 1919.

1919 is decorated with rustic wooden tables and shares notable moments from Packers history, including retired jersey numbers, unforgettable plays and historic firsts.
Gleaming copper pipes lead to 80 taps, serving nearly 40 varieties of beer. An open - concept kitchen invites glimpses of sizzling sears and saute's.

 My birthday dessert. Yum!

It is off to the concert. We attended Swing for the Holidays .. Featuring Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite at the Weidner Center.
It was the Nutcracker Jazz style.
Featured Vocalist Courtney Sherman was amazing. It was a special 12/12 birthday event for me.

Thank you for coming along with me to Green Bay, Wisconsin!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Keeping Fish .. part 2

 If you have been following the story about my keeping fish.. it all started this summer when I made a whiskey barrel water feature in our garden.

Well come late October, I knew I needed to bring the fish inside or they would freeze in our Wisconsin winter. I brought them inside and all was well. Until, I over fed them and one died.

 I learned to be more careful on my feeding of the fish. They all are happy swimming in their fish bowl, with my pond plant happily growing. Do you see in the very top photo how lovey that pond plant is, so lush and green, did I mention so lush. 
Do you see it now, not so lush.
My .14 cent fish have eaten my pond plant. And yes, the pond plant cost more then the fish.
Oh well, the fish are happy.. and Spring is only a good five months away. Here in Wisconsin Spring does not come to stay until the last week of May. And I am not kidding.
Will the three fish make it back to the whiskey barrel for another fun summer in the sun?
To Be Continued...
Poor pond plant.. it was so lush and green.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Joy List Monday

Joy List Monday
 ♥ a weekly reminder ♥
a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties and graces 
that make life magical and to set aside
 time for gratitude each day 
Wisconsin Winter showing off.. look at that sky!
 ♥ playing scrabble with my boys

 ♥ sitting by the fire reading a book

 ♥ candlelight dinner with my husband just for fun

 ♥  re - reading all the Christmas greetings, letters and photos

♥ snow and mild winter temperatures

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Make a Wish

Make a Wish

As the sun sets on 2019 and we welcome 2020 we have...
12 new chapters
366 new pages

I am making a new kind of New Year List ..
it is called a memory to make together:

Name:  Sam  ~ A memory to make together: eating sushi   
Name: Atticus ~ A memory to make together:  going ice fishing
Name: Kris and Cliff ~ A memory to make together: taking an adventure to the ice caves in your neck of the woods
Name: Mom and Dad ~ A memory to make together: putting together a puzzle 
Name: Ron and Sharon ~ A memory to make together: going to a baseball game
Name: Jeremy ~ A memory to make together: canoe a new lake 
Name: Kris ~ A memory to make together: taking a stroll in your garden
Name: Judy ~ A memory to make together: taking a moon walk along the Wisconsin River

And the list goes on....

Happy New Year 
Wishing you a great year of making memories!



Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

 A peek at our outdoor decorations this 2019 Christmas season.
The front deck.

Mr. Slim the snowman is ready to greet those who come to the backdoor.

 Finding the perfect Christmas tree.

O Christmas Tree!
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches

Wishing you a lovely Christmas my friends.
Thank you for all the support and reading The River. 
  I will be taking a short break to celebrate this special season with family and friends.
Praying that you all have a special holiday.
  I spotted Santa in a wee bit of trouble in Madison, Wisconsin.

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 13, 2019

On the Road Friday ~ to the Wisconsin Executive Residence ~

Last week Thursday my husband, I and our son Atticus headed South to Madison. Our destination was the Executive Residence.

Governor Tony Evers and First Lady Kathy Evers announced that they will continue the  tradition of remembering Wisconsin's deployed service members and veterans with a "Tribute to our Troops." holiday tree in the Executive Residence.

The governor and first lady invite family members of Wisconsin's service members - past and present, in Wisconsin and abroad - to send a holiday ornament dedicated to their loved one. The ornaments will be displayed on one of the large evergreen trees on display at the Executive Residence during its holiday tours.

We created the following ornaments.

My Grandpa Sam .. WWII Veteran

 Our son Sam.. currently Wisconsin National Guard

The invitation is open to families of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guard members. Ornaments can be plain, fancy or personalized to honor our fallen service members, those who are deployed overseas this holiday season, and all who wear the uniforms of our nation's armed forces.

" I am pleased to be able to offer families an opportunity, especially during the holiday season, to recognize the brave folks who serve in our armed forces." Governor Evers said. " I think it is as important for family members as it is for the service members being honored in this way."
Governor Evers
 We met the First Lady Kathy Evers. She was interested in our family story and where in Wisconsin we lived. She had to chuckle at how far North we live from Madison.
We got to hang our ornaments on the Tribute to our Troops tree.

 It was a special day for us. 
Thank you for coming along with me today, On the Road Friday, to Madison, Wisconsin to see a very special tree at the Executive Residence.


Monday, December 9, 2019

Gingerbread House 2019

While having lunch with my son one day in November he shared with me he wanted to build a gingerbread house this year as part of our Christmas decorating.
When my boys were younger we had a gingerbread house making party with some of our dear friends. All being boys, it was great fun to see what designs they came up with and  how much frosting, candy and more they could eat while creating.

When I mentioned the idea to my husband we thought we would try one of the kits we see at the local markets. My husband picked out the Reindeer Barn. 

 Everything you need comes with the kit.
 You have to cut the fondant to the way you want to create the house.
 Atticus is busy starting to create the red barn.
 Using a gumdrop and red frosting I created the wreath.
 Working to make the barn look just like he wanted.
 Starting to put on the finishing touches.
 The icing sets up fast. You do have to work quickly.
 We placed the barn on a tray and made some more icing to create our snow yard for the reindeer.

We had so much fun creating this gingerbread house, that we plan to make this a new family tradition.
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