Writing in my Big Chiefs

IMG_1160I grew up loving Big Chief tablets. I still buy them wherever I can find them with the old ones becoming scarce and even expensive. Relics of the past. The new ones, if you can find them, retain some of the old characteristics; the paper is similar in texture, but sadly, the covers are brighter and the image of the Chief has been updated. My best find was an old dime store going out of business, where I bought all they had – a stack with their original yellowed price tags on the back so the covers looked pristine.

Now that I’m blogging, I’m grateful to have the old Chiefs. The smooth newsprint pages with lines just right contain a myriad of ideas,  incomplete sentences with words crossed out and replaced, memories. hopes and dreams – plus all the oddities that fill my head in a day.

If you’re interested,I’ve already written a post About Me in my blog, Chuckysueslastdance – so here I’ll just tell you some of my favorite things in no particular order:

Growing up in the ’50s with parents who loved me, being close to two sisters, a man I adored who gave me two sons and a daughter, 5 happy grandkids and a daughterinlaw I love, friendships I cherish, Labradors under my feet, a knotty pine cabin upnorth on a beautiful lake, fine next door neighbors here and up there, pretty ribbons, books and more books to  read, coffee, wine and chocolate and now – happily growing older.

The thought of being able to put into words all the things I feel, believe and know, inspires me to do more than write in my Big Chiefs- which is the reason Chuckysue looks forward to creating posts she would feel honored to have you read…


Just Who Is Chucky Lou and Why The Last Dance ?

I’m always curious to know how other writers  come up with their blog names. Some are simple and direct, clearly defining the focus of interest. Others, like mine, are more ambiguous and the origin requires a bit of history to make any sense, so I introduce you – to Chucky Lou:

If I drive North on Hwy 51 from my cabin for about a half hour, I reach a favorite destination I visit often every summer. Built in 1909, Voss Resort is a landmark on Spider Lake in Manitowish Waters – and just off the highway on a corner of the grounds is Old Settler’s Inn. The old building is home to a quaint coffee shop that serves homemade everything, and a dimly lit bar that’s straight out of Dillinger days and Prohibition. Just inside the front door and to the left, is Chucky Lou’s Last Dance – a small shop filled with antiques, vintage northwoods whimsy, and a lot of fine eclectic stuff. It’s named after Chucky Lou, who is actually a mounted woodchuck dressed in a grass hula skirt with a garland on her head.

I’ve never thought to ask, “Why the Last Dance?” but that too, is meaningful to me – so much so, that I borrowed it for my blog name. I have a framed piece of me and my sisters, Jud and Duff, dressed up as gypsies and dancing. It has this caption by an unknown author:

                                          Sharing a life together is sharing steps in time.

                                                     The music is different for each of us,

                                                          But how beautiful the dance.



And that’s it.  Chuckysueslastdance –  chosen with the belief that my last dance will be just as  beautiful as my first.

* Next time I’ll tell you about buying hyacinths…..




About me:

Surely it can’t be I tell myself, but it’s a fact – I’m 75 !- three quarters of a century, and last summer I stopped coloring my hair. It’s fifty shades of gray now,  and most days I rather like it. I always expected to grow old with the love of my life, but he died sixteen years ago this April on a Good Friday. He was handsome, virile and invincible, or so I thought, until cancer turned everything inside out. Though I truly live in the present, my mind often wanders to the past which I want to write about for my family, so they can know where they came from, the characters that made a difference in my life, and what I feel and believe at this age – though age is irrelevant when it comes to what matters. For six months of the year I reside in my 127 year old Queen Anne Victorian, where we’ve lived for 47 years. I now share it with two younger generations and 3 Labs from November ’til June – and then  Josie, my 15 year old Lab, and I retreat to a small knotty pine cabin on a beautiful lake Up north until it’s too cold to stay there. Kids, relatives and friends come and go, and the sound of slamming screen doors is music to my ears. So is intermittent peace and quiet. Living in the pines is a refuge, and no matter what, it’s my absolute favorite place in the world to be. Following my UW-Madison education and in this order:  I was a Marshall Field sales girl in Chicago, a wife, a mother, an English teacher, a  partner in a small business, an interior designer – and then back to high school working with at-risk kids, where I was fortunate to be able to teach more about living than learning from books. Now retired for ten years, one of my many blessings is watching my five grandkids (ages 21 to 6 ) begin their life journeys – and in all these years, I have but one regret – that they and my Bill didn’t have time to know and love one another. I’ve always been a diary keeper and a closet writer – and I still have a lot I want to say. I hope you’ll find my blog at least interesting, if not fun, to read. And just so you know, I’m Susie; never been Sue – and soon I’ll explain the name of my blog and everything else. If you you choose to follow, please tell me about yourself so I’ll know you too…