I left Thursday morning as soon as the children got on the school bus and drove leisurely to my parents’ house. I stopped several times for coffee, gas, the mall, and an antique store where I found a handful of old photos and letters for my scrapbook.
Mom was at work but Dad and the dog greeted me and we went for a walk up the road so he could show me the wood he’s been cutting.
We passed the house my mom and her siblings grew up in which now belongs to someone else.
I played on this yard as a child, too.
Springtime Daffodils were peeking through old grasses from last year, in a tire that my Grandma planted flowers in years ago.
Dad stood by his woodpile in the woods across from Andrew’s and the pond.
I admired the beautiful scenery as we walked back down the road to home. I’m forever thankful to have grown up in such a beautiful area.
Soon it was time to pick up my cousin Erika so we could go to school and sing. But first, I was delighted to see her fiestaware collection. This is a photo of just some of what she and her husband have found.
Aunt Colleen says Jillian (Erika’s daughter) is the avocado whisperer because she’s the only one who can get the pits to grow. This is an avocado plant in her bedroom! She planted it from a grocery store avocado, using the pit after they ate the rest of it.
This is a school yearbook photo of my friend Nicole, my brother, myself, Carmine, Dana (my HS bestie) and Aaron, all friends from my childhood who were in chorus with me years and years ago.
My beloved chorus Director is retiring this year so those of us who could attend went back to school to sing one last time………
The beginning of the concert…..
My friend Tracy took this photo of me and the rest of the alto section. Oh it was such fun!! I was just a little bit rusty and couldn’t sustain a note quite as long because I’m out of practice. But still, so fun. I loved seeing familiar faces and places; the whole weekend was full of nostalgia and memories. I hadn’t been inside the school in over 10 years.
My sweet cousin and me after the concert with our red folders. 🙂
Looking pretty good for a pair of 40ish year olds! My friend Tracy and myself (same graduating class of 1994). We had fun walking around seeing the school and how it has changed since we attended there (seems like just a year or so ago…….)
Me and Mrs. Westover at the reception after the concert.
The old gym that we graduated in. Ah, memories!!!!
I stopped by the restaurant in town that morning where Erika is the baker and she gave me some slices of her homemade pie to take home! Thank you Erika! The pie was delicious when we ate it that evening for dessert. Mom and Dad had raspberry and I had chocolate peanut butter (split with brother Dave).
I drove to meet mom for lunch. She was able to take a special four- hour-long -one just for me.
(isn’t the floor of her office beautiful?)
Someone glued lots of old McDonald’s toys to a mirror. It would be fun in a child’s bedroom.
My cute mom.
A frame/art shop with a window full of cats.
LUNCH at a thai place
COFFEE time! (with our Vera purses of the same pattern but slightly different fabrics)
After I left mom back at work, I drove the back way home and passed the house my family lived in until I was in 2nd grade. Dave and I have many vivid memories of childhood here. It was a Sears Roebuck house kit built by my paternal grandparents. My dad grew up here and then he and Mom bought the house and lived in it for a while, too. It used to be yellow but the shrubbery is the same (not green now bc it’s still early spring here). Mom said even the driveway was the same and hasn’t been repaved since they sold it. 🙂 The second story window was my bedroom.
And this house next door was my Paternal Great-Grandparents’ house. The families stayed close to each other and Dad has lots of photos of gatherings on the different yards for cook outs and picnics when he was a youngster.
And then I drove by the old church we attended and my Dad was baptized in. I remember Sundays with lots of family and friends. We went to this church until I was about Sarah’s age but I remember things . . . . .children soak everything in. . . . it’s a good reminder for me to be gentle with my own children.
I went to the small country cemetery where my grandparents, great aunt and uncle, and Great-Grandparents (all on my dad’s side of the family) are buried and then to the school and country store.
Then, home again to my parents’ house and a visit with my brother Dave.
I love this photo of Dave and my dad and the family pets. 🙂
“up on the hill”
I went walking in the woods with mom and Dave — they stopped to look at everything, Mom said, “I want to see something new!” They make rock “people” stacks everywhere, and look for gold in the creek (it MIGHT happen!) or arrowheads. Maybe!
Standing under a giant purple tree mushroom. Something new we saw!
Then Mom (she’s very observant) saw a black animal over in the field so Dave and I walked over to check things out. It was two black cats, maybe from Uncle Brian’s house? We didn’t know them and they didn’t know us. They ran off to hide in the old barn.
Mom and I did some garden clean-up with Dad and then got ready for more adventuring. We asked Dad to take our photo but first he took this one:
We invited him to come along but he graciously declined.
Mom found a vintage white coverlet and I found a vintage fiesta ivory gravy boat.
~loveliness in a beautifully arranged shop.
~Seating area in a deli where we ate lunch.
Fred, more than 50 years old.
As we left I took a plant!
~Beautiful vintage fiestaware (I didn’t buy it).
I LOVE my mom’s eye for things. She really liked this old oven and opened up everything to figure it out and imagine using it.
Oh how wonderful it was to have a day with my mom! I’m so thankful and so blessed.
We shopped until we dropped and then we went home and she made a pork chop dinner!
It was delicious.
She has sewing and crocheting projects going. This is a quilt piece she’s working on, inspired by the photo next to it.
Photo of Uncle Bob and my Dad Greg next to that same shrubbery.
Sunday was a DELIGHT. I went to the church I attended all the way up until Rich and I moved away as a young married couple……..and I got there at the same time as my father in law! He was alone (Leslie was home with Charles) so we sat together. I cannot even tell you the gratitude I felt as we shared a Bible and enjoyed a church service together, and singing. I am blessed to be married and born into the most wonderful families. I could look just across the way at Aunt Colleen sitting with her girls taking notes, and Erika sitting behind them with her husband and sister Elisha. My cousin Heidi was there with her two young sons, too.
After church I went home with Dad so I could visit with dear Leslie and Charles. Leslie was just coming inside from caring for her hens. She was wearing a pink jacket and had an egg from the coop. She put the tea kettle on and we sat right at the table and had a nice long visit, just the four of us. Dad gave me a box full of his maple syrup to bring home for the grandchildren’s pancakes and french toast. Leslie gave me a bar of her homemade soap tied with a ribbon. And guess what? It was snowing outside. Yep, snow at the end of April. In fact, Grace just texted me to let us know it’s snowing in Pennsylvania right this very minute.
My father in law built their house. They just finished the back addition and it looks beautiful. I love the wide plank floors and all the windows.
After goodbye hugs, I drove to Colleen’s house and we went out for lunch together, just the two of us. The food was delicious and we had a nice long visit as we ate.
Then, we headed back to her house for another hour or so and made homemade snickerdoodle cookies just like when we were little.
~African Violets in bloom on her kitchen windowsill.
~A picture she painted of the view outside her childhood bedroom window.
She had a batch of Uncle Brian’s green salad in the fridge and even though we weren’t hungry we just had to have a spoon of it. Tastes like our childhood!
Meghan giving the dogs a treat.
After we got our cookies baked, I had to leave to go back home to Connecticut. I drove the back roads for a while and then got on the highway. I drove through some snow, some rain, and the most gorgeous end of the day clouds. I listened to podcasts on the way home and arrived back to my husband and children at 8pm.
Heart-full and Joy-full. It’s good to be home.