Monday, March 14, 2005

Musings

We are returned from a long trip to Virginia. We went down to plan and attend my husband's grandmother's funeral and to start the long process of settling her affairs. Grandma and Grandpa both had been living here in Ohio with us for the last four or five years due to illness and age. Grandpa passed away in 2002 and Grandma went, almost three years to the day later, on March 5th. She was very ill for a long time and her passing was a rest and a reward that she truly needed and deserved. The sadness is acute, but we know that her struggle is ended and she is happily at home with her God and her loved ones.

The trip was actually a replenishing one for our family, despite the sadness. The family farm is very isolated in the western mountains of Virginia, and the slower pace of life, away from TV and computers and schedules, did us a lot of good. We spent time together, and with our parents and our daughter, that we really hadn't taken the time for in a while. And the chance to go through old memories was great!

The farm has been in the family for nearly two hundred years, and Grandma was of the Depression era, so she never threw anything away. There are so many boxes and trunks and attics to go through, that I am ecstatic. It's like going to a really great museum where the exhibits are all hands-on and they have special meaning. To go through all of the pictures and old clothes was such a treat for a history buff like me.

The house that stands there now was built totally by Grandpa over a number of years. The foundation was dug with a horse-drawn scoop and there was no indoor plumbing until the late 1960's, (and yes, the old outhouse is still there and in working order). But just because the farm is almost two centuries old, doesn't mean it's a grand place (don't think "Scarlett O'Hara plantation" think "Walton's Mountain"), it is the most peacefully homey place that I have ever visited on this planet. My husband and I hope to live there some day. (if you look in the collage below, it is the white house up on the hill, in the picture on the bottom-most left)

Also, I know it is cliche, but the people down South truly are nicer. From the neighbors to the grocery clerks, everyone we run into down there is friendly and well-meaning. The church that Grandma and Grandpa attended welcomed us and ministered to our needs on a daily basis. There was not one single day that went by without a visit from one or another of the neighbors or church members (and down there they are one in the same, being such a small community) bringing us homemade food and love from their own kitchens and families. I truly felt blessed to be there.

Well, enough musings. I have two garbage bags of laundry that we brought home with us and I am determined to stay up untill they are finished.

3 comments:

Kristen said...

As a Southerner, I will take that as a compliment. :) I love the South.

You'll have to fill us in on the treasures you find in Grandma's things. My grandmother lived through the Depression, too. I miss her so much.

Big ((HUG)) to you guys.

impromptu-mom said...

Thank you, Kristen!

Where in the south are you from?

I've been toying with the idea of posting an ongoing list of things that we find, that I think are interesting. We'll see. :)

My favorite so far has been a cedar chest full of handkerchiefs that were Christmas presents from Grandma and Grandpa's Sunday school students (they taught for years). Most of them are still in the boxes with the nametags still attached. I think there is about 70 or 80 handkerchiefs there. I might make them into a quilt for my Mother-in-law.

Kristen said...

Oh, what a wonderful idea about the handkerchiefs!

I am from a town south of Atlanta, GA. My family is from Georgia on both sides. :)