It’s a lonely road, full of tired men*

by chuckofish

Last weekend I drove down to Claremont, New Hampshire to attend a memorial service for our uncle, Donald K. Ellsworth. At 87, he had led a full life. He and our aunt were married for sixty-one years! The service was lovely; we sang “The Old Rugged Cross” and “How Great Thou Art”, which always make me tear-up. Later, we had dinner at the Common Man Inn, where I also happened to be staying. It’s a converted 19th century (?) mill overlooking the Connecticut River.

I hadn’t seen some of my cousins in years and years, so that part of the trip was particularly nice.

Cousin Steve, his wife Lori, and cousin Mary

I was the only one taking pictures, so I didn’t take many.  On my way out of town, I drove by the old family farm on Wheeler-Rand Rd., although the sun was in the wrong place to take pictures and I didn’t want to act like a weirdo lurker. I mention the farm because my cousin, Steve, passed on to me some things that used to live there: this lovely fruit compote;

a jug, snuff jars and an iron;

as well as a leather box, a match box (?) and a drafting set.

He also gave me a whole box full of buttons, ribbons, and other treasures,

including a tiny pair of leather gloves, two fans, and some lace sleeves.

I am so pleased that he shared these things with me and I plan on bringing a few of the items to my dual personality and our brother when we meet in St. Louis this summer. Old things like this keep us connected to the people who came before us — in this case, those hard-working men and women who settled the Connecticut Valley back before the Revolutionary War. As I drove home through the Adirondacks, I thought of all of them — working, fighting, dying, and just living so that we would have a better future.

Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks

I also thought about how we are carrying on! In fact, I’m off in about twenty minutes to drive to Vermont for son #3’s senior recital (hence, the rushed post). I’ll tell you all about it next week.

In the meantime, have a great weekend and take some time to remember your ancestors. Get out that old box of odds and ends, look at some pictures, and remember — just remember.

*The Lumineers, “The Gale Song” — I think I’ve used this as a title before, but I like it, so why not use it again?  Also, sorry for the late Saturday post. Evidently, I didn’t hit the button this morning…