My sister is deeply drawn to our family roots. Not much has been formally recorded about our family history before now, and so she has taken it upon herself to reach back in time and uncover our story, little by little. She has been diligently working at it for many years now, tracking down details and dates, preserving photographs, making sure that those who come after us will know from where and from whom we come.
Every so often, my sister feels the need to touch base with our ancestry again. And sometimes she takes me along for the ride. Today was one of those days … a beautiful, golden fall day, perfect for traipsing around the old family stomping grounds just about an hour east in Wisconsin.
We stopped to see my mom’s childhood home…
… and we swung by the place where Grandma and Grandpa lived a few years later. The house looks so different from the one in my childhood mind. There were people out in the yard, so we went a little further down the road and stood on the bridge that crosses over the Willow River just where Grandma and Grandpa’s yard came down to meet it.
Aunt Elaine still lives in the area. I asked Cori to swing by. I hadn’t been to Aunt Elaine’s house in years. When we found her place, it looked like someone was home. So we knocked on the door. Aunt Elaine was surprised to see us, and we apologized for popping in unannounced. She said we should feel free to do so anytime we liked. In fact, she’d prefer we come unannounced and then she wouldn’t feel obligated to clean house before we come! We talked a while and she told us about all the deer that come to her back yard and eat the apples that have fallen from the tree. She told us about the pheasants and their babies that wander through and the feral cats that come sit on her railing each morning and meow at the window, calling her to come feed them. We stayed a little while and then hugged goodbye and went on our way again.
Next, we wandered around, looking for a good spot to capture the fall colors. Small town Wisconsin offers beautiful scenery, but the rural highways don’t provide a lot of options for pulling over and snapping photos. But then… I saw a sign for a local lake with a picnic area. There had to be a place to park and wander around there, right?
Fall days like this are such a treat. As we headed back home again, my sis and I talked about the fact that we’d captured the window for beautiful fall days. First they tend to be too warm and too soon, they become to chilly. Today was just perfect!