An artifical cave, an Italian garage sale or from Paris to Dickyville...

This weekend our traveling took up through Dickeyville, Wisconsin and we stopped at the Grotto at The Holy Ghost Catholic Church. I like folk art, found objects and kitsch so of course I like a good grotto. This was created by Fr. Matthais Wernerus who was the pastor of the church from 1918 to 1931. He built this from 1925-1930. The shrine was made out of glass, gems, antique things, pottery, stalagmites, stalactites, shells, fossils, corals, amber glass, quartz, iron, copper, lead, fool's gold, crystals, onyx, amethyst, coal, petrified wood and moss. Oh yes and those round balls found on the top of stickshifts in old cars.

In case you didn't know a grotto is an artifical cave.

And many, many years ago we went through Dickyville with regularity on our trips from Cedar Rapids to Madison to see the boys. Ryan was little and we were taking him home. Going through Dickyville I wondered if Ryan knew what a grotto was. Without missing a beat he suggested that it was an Italian garage sale.