They Say You Can’t Go Home, But You Certainly Can Visit

There’s a old saying that says you can’t come home again. But even if that’s true you certainly can come back and visit your old homes. Over the last couple weeks along with visiting many friends and family, I’ve been able to go back to many of my old homes I lived in over the years. I was born and raised in Wisconsin. I lived basically in three different communities over the 63 years that I lived here, until I went on the road. By doing that I got the know most of the whole state over the years. I was born in West Bend, Wisconsin and spent the first 20 some years living there. When I was a kid my parents had a nice home right along the Milwaukee River. The house sat on a large lot about a acre in size, right along the river. It was nice because it was like living in the country but you had all the benefits of being right in town. The house is no longer there and the property is actually become part of the River-walk Park system in town. Here’s a photo of where the house once sat.20170814_172806We always had beautiful views of the river out the back windows.20170814_171643We always had an old row boat and would explore the mill pond paddle across to this old railroad trestle across the way. The railroad tracks are gone now and it’s now part of a bike and hiking path. Here’s a close-up of the old railroad bridge.20170814_171656When I was in grade school I went to St. Mary’s Catholic school which was within walking distance of my parents’ house. The church and school are still there and hasn’t changed much.20170814_171230It’s interesting coming back to my childhood hometown and driving around and seeing how much things have changed but a lot is still the same. Here’s a picture of the old courthouse still sitting high on the hill.20170814_170432I also went by and took a couple photos of the very first house Sonia and I had bought shortly after we were married 42 years ago.20170814_165606

The two large trees out in front I planet when we first got the house. They were only about 6 feet tall and you could wrap your hand around their trunks. But look at them now it would take about three people to get their arms around them and their very tall (maybe 50 feet).20170814_165417We only had this house about a year and then we bought the grocery store in Green Lake that we own for about 13 years. We lived close to 20 years in the community of Green Lake and I would say that it was probably the most trying and also the most precious time in our life. This is the community where both our daughters were born and were raised, till they were in grade school. And we got to know a lot of good friends and have great memories of this time frame. Here are some photos of the Green Lake area. Here’s a picture of the building that housed our grocery store. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter several years of operating the grocery business, we remodeled the upstairs. It had sat empty for many years and was just used for storage. When it was all done we had a very large beautiful apartment there. Before remodeling the apartment we had lived in a couple different places in the Green Lake area. Across the street from the store was the courthouse a grand old building.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey built a new courthouse building a few years back and now there are shops and exercise studios in the old building. The town hasn’t changed much there still a lot of small shops up and down the business streets. Here’s a picture of the downtown area.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd here’s a couple photos down by the mill pond and city park right downtown Green Lake.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe nice thing about the city of Green Lake is its actually right on the beautiful Lake. Here’s a photo of the marina area, which is half a block away from where our grocery store was located.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe boat launch was within walking distance of the store so I could launch my boat take the trailer back up to the house. Then walked back to the boat, not having to worry about finding a parking spot. Then go spend time on the lake, which I did many times over the years.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter selling off the business we kept the building, and rented it out to a tenant for three years. The lease had an option to buy in it, and at end of the three-year lease, our tenant decided to buy the building. So then we had to find a new place to live, so “what next”. Get a new place in Green Lake or maybe build on the property that already owned, just outside of Oxford, Wisconsin. We had bought the 30 acres several years earlier as a weekend getaway property. The intention always was to build a log home and retire there someday. We considered all the options and decided to do it at that time. We moved the girls to Oxford to finish their junior high and high school years there. I’m glad we did because that way Sonia got the experience our dream retirement home.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you know I sold it a little over a year ago and am now living full-time in my RV and enjoying my travels. I did stop by the log home in Oxford and said hi to the new owners. They seem very happy and glad that they purchased it and I’m glad for them. Also over the last week I got to go on a boat ride that my friends Steve and Patty had arranged. Steve had done some work building some benches on this boat and so part of the exchange was to go out on a ride with a bunch of friends. It’s a large tour boat use to give rides out at the American Baptist Assembly and is actually an old Navy Transport.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile we were waiting for everyone to arrive, we were treated to the local hot air balloon getting ready for an evening tour. This hot air balloon company has been around the area for many decades and takes guests up year-round weather permitting. They pick areas all around the lake to launch to give the guests the opportunity to see the lake and the neighboring countryside. Here they are starting too inflated with fans and blowers.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs it starts to fill up they will add heat with the burners and get it stable.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd then when it’s fully inflated up up and away they go.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile we were loading the boat to head out for our ride it lifted off and flew overhead.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd then we are off ourselves for evening ride. Here’s a view as we leave the dock.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen looking back at the bay as we pull away.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGreen Lake is a beautiful seven mile long by two mile wide Lake. It is over 237 feet deep in its deepest spot. It is the deepest natural inland lake in Wisconsin, it has an average depth of 100 feet. The lake covers 7346 acres and has 29.3 miles of shoreline. Here’s a photo looking down towards the east across the lake.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd here’s one just around the corner looking west, down the lake to give you an idea how big it is.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s a photo of the large old hotel located in the American Baptist Assembly it is used as a conference center for all kinds of different church groups and other meetings.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe lake has a lot of seasonal and year-round residents. A lot of the seasonal places are owned by wealthy people out of the Chicago area. They built beautiful large elegant homes. Here’s a bunch of photos of some of those homes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOver the years I spent many hours fishing on and enjoying this beautiful Lake. It’s been fun coming back here and spending time and being able to get out and enjoy it again. Well that’s a few highlights of what has been going on over the last couple weeks. And as my time grows to an end here, I find myself already starting to miss this beautiful area of Wisconsin. But the nice thing is I can come back and visit anytime I want. Well that’s it for this post best wishes to all and safe travels, Rick




  1. Oh I loved that you showed us pictures of the houses you lived in. That was so nice, plus the grocery store!!! Thanks for sharing that and what a great idea. I am going to try and do that the next time I get back to Columbus

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