Trees and Roots and Colors

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…

Deer Park, Wisconsin

… 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.

Aunt Elaine’s barn in the distance…

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?

There was!

Helloooo, Mr. Grass Hoppa!



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!

20 thoughts on “Trees and Roots and Colors

  1. My grandfather was our family historian. I love that I know our history back 35 generations. Good for you sister recording your family’s story.

    The fall foliage is so beautiful.


  2. I was SO hoping you would share some fall pics with us! Your colors are much more intense than ours are – perhaps we’ll catch up soon!
    What a great way to spend the day! After the week you had, you deserved it!
    (The grass hoppa has a look similar to Bella’s after she was caught on the couch…)


  3. What a great road trip. I remember you doing a similar trip with your sister a few years back and it nice to see you out with your camera again. Your pictures are beautiful as usual.


  4. I love those perfect, in-between days–not too hot, not too cold. Your sister sounds a lot like me with the need to connect to family roots. Glad you all had a good day–and visit with your aunt.


  5. Lovely Fall photos, Terri! You’re blessed to have family close by so you can drop in on them. I especially love your shots with the water framed by the trees!


  6. Beauty pix, Terri! Wow! Now I don’t even want to look at mine! What a fun day – so glad we could share it! Can we do that everyday????? lol! (and thanks for making my crazy obsession sound so wonderful – it nearly brought tears to my eyes, really.) You’re the bestest!


  7. what a lovely day to go memory hunting with your sister. Loved the photos and peek at your history. BTW I had a great-aunt Elaine myself, and I can imagine her saying the same thing to me about popping by if she was still with us!!


  8. You know this is right up my alley. I absolutely love the photos – you captured your whole day – What an inspirational day – so calming, peaceful, quiet, serene, relaxing, moment of simple pleasures, a day without a hurry and no where to go, just one place at a time. Special bonding and thinking moments with those you love. I’ll bet you are thinking of this day for days to come. Thanks for sharing~


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