Thursday, June 7, 2012

where we go when we're not here

Well, that's a bit misleading as it seems we go all kinds of places these days.  But there is one special place that we return to several times a year. 

There is a little house way up in the hills of western Massachussetts where the stories of my husband's families fill the space along with the carefully selected antiques and children's books left behind in the 1920's.  Here the family has come for the last 98 years to get away from the busyness of life, pick blueberries, go for hikes and always, always meet on the porch at 5pm sharp for cocktails.

Time moves more slowly where generations of children have walked the streams, made fires and played croquet barefoot in the always-just-too-long grass.  After breakfast in the morning and a glance at the weather, the hardest decisions to make are whether it's a day to go swimming, visiting the neighboring farm, or perhaps hike a nearby trail.

There is no internet access here, nor cellphone towers.  The phone is on a party line.  There is no television or radio.

But there are pigs, goats, chickens and cows to visit at the neighbors, raspberries to be picked and cooked into jam, pies to be baked and shared after dinner, and fires to be made on the stone steps that once led into a barn, and of course marshmallows to be roasted in them.  There are fireflies to be caught, starry skies to be admired and sojourns made to the nearby country store that carries locally brewed beer and homemade ice cream.

My husband's grandmother has been coming here all her life; the property was purchased the year she was born.  His mother and her brother have also spent many childhood summers here as have my husband and his sister, and now our children and their cousins.  And in every one of these fine folk there is a deep love for this place and all the memories of playing cards, cooking communal meals, and doing puzzles.  There is a small plaque commemorating the grandfather who passed a few years ago and who wanted his ashes brought here.  There are stories of the "walled garden" within the foundations of an old barn, where sixty foot trees now shade ferns and hostas.  If there is a place where the soul of my husband's family resides, it is here, among the furniture brought in over many years, in the walls stuffed with horsehair and newspapers, among the quilts lovingly selected long ago.

So when we need a rest from our busy lives, we go here with the children, spend hours sitting on the porch, reading, talking and renewing.  How very blessed we are to be able to come to this place.

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