Minggu, 05 Juli 2009

The Woods 40

Last weekend, my family gathered at "The Woods 40," a chunk of land in Oceana County that was once my great-grandfather's. My great-grandpa cut wood there, taking along his dog and, often, my grandma. She loved it. It was a couple of miles from their farm -- close enough to visit with some frequency, but just far enough from daily life that it must, always, have felt special to be there. She missed it when she went away to college, and as much as she loved the farm she created with my grandpa, I think she needed the Woods 40, and Oceana County, in her life. We camped there every summer when I was a girl, in a meadow by the edge of the woods, up the hill from a creek where we waded, swam, and collected clay. They were wonderful trips, full of cousins and aunts and uncles, and, always, my grandma and grandpa. We returned there last weekend, without my grandma or grandpa. We missed their physical presence, but it was easy to feel near them, easy to believe they knew we were there. We had such fun bushwacking and bird watching and wading and exploring. It makes me happy to think how satisfied my grandma would be to know we were there together, watching bats and fireflies, cooking pie irons in the camp fire, and looking for wild flowers.

Here is the result of a mud fight.

Here is the meadow.

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