Sunday, October 12, 2014

In The Valley of the Connecticut

Memorial to the men of the Great War
It never ceases to amaze me, the memories which come surging forth every time I set a course for the land of my birth. This weekend The Missus Herself and I went up to New Hampshire to see my Mom for her birthday. (Which is still a couple of days away, but the weekend prior to that day worked for us and my brother The Musician. The Olde Vermonter? Not so much, he was working. There's a lot of projects he and his crew need to complete before the winter sweeps in. It ain't that far off ya know!)

We drove up on Friday after lunch, yes I did take the afternoon off, thank you for asking. Had good weather, noted that the fall foliage was sketchy at best. There are spots where the leaves are all gone, some trees are a riot of color, while others still sport their summer green. Sometimes all within a few hundred yards of each other. Still and all, it was a lovely day for a drive up to the homeland.

Now there's a restaurant we went to on Saturday. Right across the road is that war memorial you see in the opening photo. On one of those stones is engraved the name of my grandfather, Louis. The memories are everywhere.

Just up the hill is where my Father lies.


It's a lovely spot, but my heart is always heavy when I visit there.

For I remember a cold day in March. Myself, my two brothers, my son, my nephew and my parents' dear friend Mike carried Dad's casket from the hearse to the grave. I was offered the lead, I declined. I always followed my Dad's lead, I learned at his feet, I would carry Dad to his final rest, in trail, at his feet.

I have no remembrance of what the minister said by the graveside. While the sun was shining, the snow lay deep on the ground and the wind was bitter cold. I remember coming to attention and raising my hand in salute as taps was played. I jumped a bit at the first volley of the honor guard, but quickly settled in as the rifle shots echoed in the crisp cold air. Everything glittered. I claimed it was the wind causing my eyes to tear, everyone knew that was not the case. There were many wet eyes that day.

Mom took us to the Senior Center near where she lives. There is a memorial garden with benches and a fountain. The benches have plaques, with names. One of the names on those benches there is that of my grandmother, my Mom's Mom.

Entrance to the garden.


Often these trips home are somewhat bittersweet. But with the shadows there is also light. My Mother is still doing well at 84 and has the joie de vivre of a woman half her age. Dinner on Saturday was fun, the time at the Elks Club afterwards even more so.

Oh, once again we also went to the Apple Festival in the home town. Remember last year, I bought a new USAF hat (yeah, yeah, I know, be still my heart, too much excitement) so in order to establish a new tradition, I did the same this year.


Take note Buck, it is an Air Force hat. Pretty fancy I thought. Only ten bucks!

Anyhoo...

I'm back in Little Rhody and woefully behind in my perusings of other people's blogs.

Also, I am much appreciative of Tuna for his superb post on Saturday. My lads Tuna and Juvat always seem to have my back.

It's back to work tomorrow. Yes, I know it's Columbus Day, that's one of the holidays we don't take off. We get it back between Christmas and New Year's when the whole place shuts down. I'll take it. Ten days (or so) off at Christmas beats the odd Monday here and there.


So, I'm off then.

8 comments:

  1. "Ten days (or so) off at Christmas beats the odd Monday here and there."

    Yep! Every time.


    Thanks for the tour and the sharing of memories.


    ReplyDelete
  2. Ten days (or so) off at Christmas beats the odd Monday here and there."

    Yeah, I get the same. One of the advantages of working at a college.

    I'm surprised you don't have great fall colors by now. I've always heard that New England has the best fall colors in the nation.
    Glad to hear that your Mom is still enjoying life. It sounds like she has a great family to keep her going!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's spots where the foliage looks nice. A lot of what we see for color in the fall depends on the weather.

      Thanks Russ.

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    2. We're heading out midweek to northern Indiana to visit our son and his family. I'm hoping we'll see some great fall foliage but due to the warm fall, I'm not really expecting much.

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  3. Nice hat, great pics, superb narrative. What more could I ask for?

    ReplyDelete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)