In 2008, after twelve years as a resident of New Auburn, Wisconsin, I wound up moving to a new place with my little family. We were headed to a farm in some beautiful country, but as I wrote on my old website at the time, it wasn’t easy to leave that old house on Main Street:
A couple of bittersweet days. We’ve been moving the last of our things out of the house in New Auburn. It’s been for sale since we moved to the farm, and the nice news is, a young family is about to move in. I like to think of those rooms giving someone else a whole new set of stories. But I’ll miss the place, too. So much changed for me when I moved there. I was privileged to serve a dozen years with the New Auburn Area Fire Department – easily the most important and meaningful “job” I’ve ever held. I sat in a little bedroom overlooking Main Street and wrote this book. I wore a path across my backyard that led to the fire hall one way and the Post Office the other. I dug in the garden with the little girl who would become my daughter. On and on, more than I can say. When the last room was empty and swept, I took one last walk through, listening to the walls. But I didn’t stay too long because I’m working on this idea that to the extent it serves honor and reflection, elegy is essential — but if the elegy exceeds a certain length it serves only to cheat the possibility of the present.
One warm evening in June shortly before moving day, my friends Billy, Chuck, John and Justin (and my brother John) (all past or present members of the Long Beds) came over to help me bottle some of the spirit I felt within those beloved walls. I’ve just come across some photos we took that day.
Click on the photos for the story.
Listen to one of the songs we recorded that day: 01-sweet-edge-of-time-new-auburn-fa1
Want to be the first to know when Mike has a new book, or is coming to your area? Please sign up for the email list.