Along the Natchez Trace

Friday, May 25, 2012

Gonna Take a Sentimental Journey...

Gonna Set My Heart at Ease...
Gonna Make a Sentimental Journey
To Renew Old Memories...

Just like that old Ella Fitzgerald song, we're on a sentimental journey.

For us, this means visiting family and our former home.  Before we became full-time RVers over 11 years ago, we lived on a small farm in SE Ohio and family that didn't live close often visited us.
Here's our place as it is today.  It's rented now and has been since we left.  The house is also part barn...  the lowest level opens to the back.  We raised dairy goats and their stalls were in the bottom level (lower left).  Now Bill's tractor and some other equipment is stored there. The next level, ground level in the front (upper left) shows the "garage" door and also shows steps leading up to our living area.  This floor now is our storage area for all those material things we have kept.  It used to be Bill's workshop, feed and hay storage and general utility area.  We lived on the top floor...  24'X39'.....  936 square feet.  Probably doesn't sound like a lot of space to most people, but our kids were grown and gone when we built this house and we had plenty of room.  The deck wrapped around 3 sides...  the view from the ceiling to floor windows was fabulous.  Now the gardens are gone...  the renters don't hang bird feeders....  all the fencing for the goats is gone.  When we decided to rent the place we took out the wood-burning stoves and replaced them with a "real" heat-pump type furnace (it even has air conditioning!)...  and replaced our compost toilet with a flush toilet. 

Sometimes I'm asked if I miss the place...  I guess the answer to that is kind of complicated....

The Farmer's Market
No visit back home is complete without going to the Farmer's Market.  This market has been written up in many periodicals and tourist books.  It's without a doubt one of the best in the nation.  Started over 30 years ago it has very strict regulations concerning what a vendor can sell.  All produce must be grown locally...  you'll never see bananas or mangoes here...  but you'll see all varieties of cheeses, meats (including bison and sometimes ostrich), flowers, vegetables and fruits as well as bakeries, specialty foods and just on and on and on.  No crafts are permitted, but one Saturday a month, another huge section is opened up for local arts and crafts.  You'll see (and hear) various people playing music or doing other "sidewalk" entertainment.

We sold goat cheese, veggies, flowers and various jams, jellies and other gourmet foods at the market for 18 years.  Bill was president of the market for about 6 years, stepping down when we left the area.  When we walk through the market now we often run into old friends....  it's always good to see them again.  That, in itself is a Sentimental Journey.

Bill was born and raised in New Mexico...  came to Ohio for a job after getting out of college.  He'd already been in the Air Force for 4 years; was married with 2 daughters.  His sister still lives in NM.

I was born and raised in Ohio...  got married; had a son and a daughter.  Neither of our first marriages worked out.  We met when we were 40 years old and our kids were nearly grown.  We've been together over 30 years now...  our kids have grown kids...  in fact, 2 of our daughters are now grandmothers.  My brother and sister live in my old hometown...

My brother, Daniel Wallace and me...
My sister, Cynthia Love...  looking for a geocache
(yes, she found it!)

The Three of Us
We're all Septuagenarians now...
Guess we've made it a long way down memory lane....

My son also lives in Ohio...
 Here we are....  me and my favorite son, Danny Cain
Danny recently bought this old Miata to fix up....  that's Bill in the background...  along with some of Danny's other toys.

Too quickly we left Ohio.  This journey we traveled pretty much in the fast lane...  in Ohio less than a week, then on to Michigan...
Our grandson, Matthew, wife Mandy and our great-grandson, Caleb.  

Caleb just turned 1 year old a few days before we visited.  He's such a happy baby and a real delight.  We never know when our next visit will be so every minute is special.

From Michigan it's back into Ohio...  northern Ohio...  up near Cleveland...  our granddaughter, Heather lives there.
 That's me, Heather holding our great-granddaughter Evie, and Bill.  Evie was 8 months old the day before we arrived.  Weighing in at just under 20 pounds, she's a wriggly handful!  She'd just cut another tooth, but even at that, she was such a joy to hold.
Grandpa Bill and Evangeline

All too soon we headed east again... to Pennsylvania.  To a suburb of Pittsburgh to daughter Michelle's house.  Richard, her husband, was in Omaha this week.  His job takes him away frequently.
Our grandson Jared, Bill and daughter Michelle.
Michelle is Matthew's mom....  they make frequent trips to Michigan to see Caleb.  Jared just turned 21....  was disappointed that he didn't get carded when he bought his first beer.  Funny thing is, he doesn't even like beer...  just wanted to prove he is old enough.  Oh...  to be that young again!

Our last stop on this journey...  our daughter Donna lives about 90 miles north of NYC in the Hudson Valley.  As I write this, I can see the Hudson River flowing past less than a mile below us.

Glenn, Donna's husband, is retired from the Army, but now works at his old job at West Point as a civilian.  He had to work yesterday, so couldn't go with us down to the city to visit our granddaughter, Megan.
Megan teaches a learning disabilities class in Spanish Harlem.  Here she, and her mom Donna  (our daughter) are checking out a pair of running shoes Megan just bought.  Donna is also the mom of Heather and grandmother to Evie.
Megan, and her guy Jeff, live in an apartment really close to Central Park in NYC.  Jeff took this picture of us as we were walking through the park.

We left our daughter Celeste and granddaughter Natalie in Glen Rose, TX not quite 2 weeks ago, on May 12.  Since then we've visited with all the kids, grandkids and great-grandkids.  Even visited with my siblings.  What a great journey we've been on!

The last verse of that song goes like this....

Never thought my heart would be so yearny,
Why did I decide to roam?
Gotta take that Sentimental Journey,
Sentimental Journey Home.

After Memorial Day weekend, Bill & I will leave NY and head on to Maine, where we'll volunteer at Aroostook NWR for the summer. We have been "roaming" for over a decade now, but are fortunate that our journeys often bring us back to family, friends and familiar faces. 

That's All For Today....


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  2. That was a sentimental journey! Post often please while you are in Maine!

  3. great sentimental journey you have been on...nice to visit all the family!..enjoy your memorial day weekend!!

  4. Loved reading about your past life. I bet you really enjoyed the farm. We also had milk goats many years ago. But only a few at a time. We sold the milk. Never made cheese. Also heated with wood. Remember the day distinctly when we put the furnace in and all I had to do was go to the wall and turn that little dial to get heat! Amazing!

  5. What a beautiful family you have and how lucky you are to get to see them all in one journey. That is the part of full-timing that will be the hardest for me...leavig my family behind.

    Do you plan to return to the picturesque house in SE Ohio when you no longer full time? Where is that market you show? I live in NE Ohio and would love to check it out. Maybe some day our paths will cross here in Ohio.

  6. What a lovely extended family you have. It must have been a wonderful trip to see them all!

  7. I was also born in southeastern Ohio, but I think we may have had this conversation before? I was hatched in Scioto county.

  8. What a lovely life story Sharon!
    It's true, there's no place like home.
    How many years will this be that y'all have gone to Aroostook NWR?
    Hope you have a wonderful, cool, summer.

  9. What a great excursion. You need to RV, to roll around and see all those fine people in your family. Maine for the summer...wonderful, as you know!

  10. That is what's great about RVing, the ability to go and see your family no matter where they are. I have always wanted to buy a large barn and make an apartment in it. I dragged my husband all over looking at old farms for sale in the Midwest. I didn't want an old drafty, farmhouse that may have been on the property, I only wanted the barn. I still may at some point in my life, but I have so much traveling to do and do not know where I may want to have a homebase.

  11. What a lovely bunch of kids and grandkids. Yup, those sentimental journeys always bring such poignant memories.

  12. Great to walk down memory lane. When ever I come to my place of birth I need to visit a few places where I roamed around as boy. Good to see family too.
    I see you are heading our way to the border area Maine/New Brunswick. Maybe we will meet this summer?
    If you should plan a trip down along the border, please don't hesitate to come over to see us on Campobello Island. You gonna love the place! And I promise I will take you on a sightseeing tour!!
    Now, have safe travels. By-the-way we came through Houlton yesterday!

  13. Nice to have a beautiful family, and one that likes geocaching! Have fun!