a little history

A & I just got back from visiting my (little) Grandma & great aunt Joyce for the weekend in upstate New York. The weather was insane, bouts of sunshine followed by blizzards, and then more sun again. And it was COLD; 5 degrees, but with the windchill it was even colder. It was a really, really nice weekend though. A good deviation from the rigors of every day life. We spent all of our time reading by the fire, playing with the cats (I discovered that Alex has a secret affinity and magneticism for cats, they adore him meanwhile they won't even look my direction), and going on driving tours of family history. We saw the farm my grandma lived on until she was a teenager, my grandfather's elementary school, the church my aunt & uncle were married at, and much, much more. We got our fair share of stories of days past from both little ladies, and ate well enough that we probably gained a good five pounds each. It was a quiet weekend, but one that I'll treasure for a long time. There's a lot to be said for knowing your history, and remembering the stories of your grandparents. They won't be there forever - something we all know and yet all act like we forget - and I'm thankful that I got the chance to spend a weekend at least with them, soaking up all of their stories. I hope I'll retain the good ones to tell to my own kids one day.

The town is small and run down in places, but parts of it are just really beautiful. I love this old building, which is not an elementary school anymore, but it's where my grandfather went to elementary school in the 1920's. I wish they still made 'em like this.

The farm where my grandma & her sister grew up:

Hunt country, where my grandfather hunted for the better part (and happiest) of his life. This is near the spot where his ashes are scattered.

(I'm not referring to hunting as in hicks with shotguns, I'm referring to the traditional hunts with hounds and horses and red jackets).

The house my grandma & great aunt live in now is in part a product of my aunt (a designer in her own right) and a fraction of the clutter that these two old ladies' have collected during their lifetimes. I really, really love it. My experiences in upstate New York, from now back as far as I can remember, are probably mostly to blame for me wanting to live in an old farmhouse. How can you not love things that have aged so beautifully? I'd take the scars in the wood over a blank slate any day. I love thinking about all the people that have been there before, have laughed and cried and watched their children grow in these houses.

Here is where my grandmother & great aunt live now:

The cat that makes me want a cat:

And, finally, maybe my favorite photo of the trip. (the trip in its entirely is here: http://flickr.com/photos/clairevb/sets/72157603894726502/)

love, love.

No comments: