Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Far Far Away

I was flying off into the distance (and yes that is a propeller!) this past week to a place I hold dear sitting deep in the mountains of Pennsylvania.  Family business called and so I went for the first time in over a decade to join with all my cousins.  I had never seen the new lodge that has replaced the family cabin that burned down.  It was a fast and furious weekend filled with the weight and pressures of many issues, one of which was wondering how adjustments from passing years would have changed us all.  Well, we all have gotten older, so that was a gentle impression all around. 

Old lady aches and pains paid me a visit and so I was not up to rambling to places I wanted to visit, but I did manage to take some small walks and do just a little foraging, and I took lots of photos to share.  As I walked the creek, I was hoping to find a small piece of driftwood.  For years I had one that I used as a shawl pin.  It slipped out on a trip to the grocery store about a year ago, and I do miss it.  Sorry to say I did not find one.

There are always flowers for filling vases, whether they be day lilies, Queen Anne's lace, bee-balm, daisies, forget-me-nots, yarrow, and many others.  I did not have time this visit to forage for wild herbs, but on other visits I always did.  The woods and fields are abundant with natural remedies, but they didn't help a young girl named Mary who died of rheumatic fever nearly one hundred years ago.  This sad "ghost" story never ceases to intrigue the generations and there is always someone who wants to see her grave.  Rest in peace Mary.

So many memories of so many good and nurturing times.  Some things are just so simple, like waking down the old road and feeling the powdered dust of the clay ooze between my toes.  Now however, the road is covered by a layer of small gravel and bare-footing there would be just a little too uncomfortable.  Such is life, enjoying what we have when it is within our reach and then letting go once it is gone.  Changes are inevitable and we must make adjustments continually.

Just like this new "old" stove which has its place next to a modern electric one and the microwave heating my cup of tea, above it, transitions ought to be subtle.  I loved the real old stove we had there and used it whenever I visited.  There is absolutely nothing like "cabin toast" made from homemade bread and toasted over the dieing coals, spread with real butter and homemade jellies.  Add to that crispy fried scrapple, sunny-side up eggs, sausage and bacon, and sometimes flapjacks if Uncle Jim was cooking.  In the Fall, night temps went down to the forties, and I would wake at four something in the morning and rush downstairs to start a fire in the stove.  Getting back up at seven, the cabin was warm and cozy with the stove hot to cook on.  Oh, those really were the good old days!