the side yard after a snow--in OCTOBER! LOL!
We lived in a big, old farmhouse comprised of 3 sections and a barn. The main house is spanned by a deep-set front porch that was originally covered, but my dad tore that overhead down and made just an arch over the doorway. As you enter the house, there is a foyer with a door on either side and stairs straight ahead. To the left, the length of the house is the living room where a marble mantlepiece once sat in the center of the exterior wall. It is now brick and has a woodstove. The room attaches at the rear to another hallway outside a bathroom where my dad added an exterior door. That then leads into the kitchen at the rear of the house and the dining room at the front of the house. Up the stairs are 5 bedrooms, a bathroom with a clawfoot tub and a closet that my dad turned into a shower. My dad is a master carpenter and this house has been his passion since we bought it so many years ago.
Forest Lake House - October 2009
We all had our own bedrooms and my mother wallpapered each of them beautifully. The bedroom at the top of the stairs was Megan's. Her wallpaper was crazy 70s yellow flowers. The room next to hers to the right at the back of the house as well was mine...papered in the most beautiful pink and white floral patterns. I loved this room. Across the hall from my room would be Kate's room once she was born in 1980 which was toward the end of our living in that house rather than visiting from time to time. To the left of Meg's room at the back of the house was Josh's room. He had primary colors that were striped and my dad later put up pics of vintage Mercedes Benz cars. That led me to my love of old cars. Across the hall from Josh's room at the front of the house was my parent's bedroom. Their room had this lovely grey-blue, paisley and flowered wallpaper and a brass bed. It all seemed so elegant from this child's eyes. Plus, they had the biggest closet that you could have a picnic on the floor of if you wanted to!
While I have amazingly happy and delightful memories of my time at this house, in the White Mountains and all over the area, that isn't that case for my mom. The thing of it is, all I can remember of her in these times was being the most amazing mom there ever was. My mom was still a stay at home mom during this part of our growing up life as she had been before this time. I truly believe that my mom was born to be a stay at home mom--she was awesome at it! She was all about living simply even though she did love elegant and lovely things such as the wallpaper and manners and proper grammar.
My mom would be in our kitchen complete with it's bright orange countertops and making homemade yogurt in these little cups that could then be refrigerated. We'd go picking blueberries and strawberries as a family. Eating probably as many as we put in the basket at times. It was joyful! She would make those berries into preserves which we would then mix in with our yogurt. I have to admit we were probably eating pretty clean before clean eating was the thing to do! She also had a donut maker and would make these lovely cake donuts. I don't remember having them often, but when we did, they were warm, crusty on the outside and moist on the inside. Which then reminds me of the smell of fresh-baked bread in the house. And I can also remember her chasing our pig, Ernie--named after the Sesame Street character thanks to my brother, out of the kitchen smacking him on the backside with a wooden spoon. Oh, the laughter that filled our home!
My mom read us stories and made up stories that she'd tell us. We loved to hear the familiar cadence of her reading voice as she read us Dr. Seuss books, Eloise, and Winnie the Pooh. She told us stories of the Strawberry Girl and the Blueberry boy...the same stories she now reads and tells to my own children who I am blessed enough to share the raising of with my mother (and their dad of course). Now, she gets to be the stay at home mom she always wanted to be and I get to have the benefit of her gifts in this area developing and molding my little ones. My kids always ask, "Mom, do you remember when you did..." and I just laugh thinking about how blessed I am to share such an amazing history with my children through my mother. I hope they will have joyful stories of running around the dining table eating apple peels together as they listen to Christopher Cross' Sailing or some other such memory to ground them back to the good times of this childhood they are reveling in now.
(l to r) Kylie, Matthew (mine), Noah (center-mine) and Joey on the NH house porch - 2001
One Christmas, Megan, Josh and I dressed up in all these mittens and scarves and hats and put on a little show. I remember how silly we looked and all the laughing we did. When I did a search of the Strawberry Girl and Blueberry Boy, I found this video below and it reminded me of that memory since they are wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. It made me smile thinking about the wonderful memories and the stories their parents may tell their children of this time in their lives. I hope you enjoy it as I did! Be blessed!