alskuefhaih
asoiefh

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Acorn season

-
-

Nineteen of us, including babies, headed to the family cottage for the fall clean-up Saturday. We took out screens on the porch and washed the storm windows before putting them up. We cleaned behind the stove and fridge. We raked leaves. We raked and raked and raked. We piled leaves on tarps and dragged them into the woods.


There's a lot to rake, all the way around, down the hill to the lake, and down the driveway.


Our cottage sits on a hill, the highest point on the lake, except for the state-owned woods next door, which we don't have to rake, thankfully. If you know about feng shui, our cottage has a pretty good feng shui position with its hill at the back and side, and facing water.


This is the view of the place from the lake.



It takes a big investment of energy and funds from our individual selves to maintain this place and keep it in the family, now that Mom and Dad are gone. Sometimes Don and I think of the vacations we could take somewhere every year with our share if we didn't have this place to keep up.

And then we gather with our family at one of the spring or fall work days, or the 4th of July, or New Year's, and we realize again that we have something very special. We have a home where our tribe can go, and keep our love alive.

I wasn't even going to post about the cottage clean-up this year, and then when I viewed my pictures I had to show you the acorn harvest and what I learned.

For hours, the kids picked cleaned up acorns. (Their work was important.) There was a bumper crop this year! I asked Audrey if she thought they could pick them ALL up. She said with complete assurance: Yes. Of course it became a competition between the girls and the boys. But when I asked Audrey if they were going to count them all, and she said, No, I said, well how will you know who wins? That stumped her. She and Lydia stored theirs in the playhouse oven. Eli and Johnny stored theirs in the plastic dock owl. I don't know who won. I don't even know if they know who won. I do know that not all the acorns got picked up, but don't tell them.

The icing on the acorn cake was when Casey (in the next to the last photo, below) decided she was going to make acorn cakes. (You can see the ball of acorn dough in her right hand in that photo; that's a lot of acorns.) I asked her if acorns are edible, she just shrugged her shoulders and smiled big with her gorgeous white teeth just released from their cages (braces). I told her I was not about to sample her acorn cake until I knew they were not poisonous (where was my sick-at-home husband when I needed him?). Someone googled it on their iPhone and we decided we were safe. You know what? Acorn cakes are not bad. She just added flour and water. I could survive with Casey if we were stranded near oak trees.

Of course when I got home and asked the sick [smarty-pants] husband about eating acorns, he coughed and sneezed out a fine lecture on the Native Americans, especially those in California, who made breads and mush with nutritious acorns, soaking them first in water to remove the tannins. They used the tannin water to tan animal hides. Read this beautiful history in our National Archives of the California Indian Acorn Culture. You know what I just remembered? I think Casey's mom has Native American heritage. Casey was not taught this by a relative though. It was in her somewhere, waiting for acorn season when the acorns called.
















In the photo above, you can see a number of things: The original structure, on the right, built in the 1920s with its tin roof that is wonderful to fall asleep under in our beds at night when there is a rainfall lullaby (but alarming under acornfall!) and badly needs replacing; at the left, the addition my father built in the 1960s (after my grandpa bought the place for my mom) to accommodate the ten of us, and eventually many, many more; and most importantly for this post, notice the little green sandbox lid at the bottom left behind the woodshed where Casey and Sydney stashed their acorn collection, which ended up in the acorn cake, below. (Oh! Casey and Sydney won!) In the first picture, Gary (visiting from Guatemala, next to Rachel from Brazil), is smelling the acorn dough.





-


-

70 comments:

ellen abbott said...

It's a big year for acorns here too. Off year for pecans but big one for acorns.

Our family had a similar place on the west end of Galveston Island that my dad had built when I was 12. Us three kids took it over when our parents finances failed and we kept it up til our folks eventually moved in. After they passed, my older sister moved in and she and her husband lived there for about 7 or 8 years. the upkeep and taxes were getting totally out of control so we three siblings finally decided to sell it about 8 years ago.

Ruth said...

Ellen, I slept under a pecan tree in Texas once . . .

Wow, Galveston Island. I wonder if it was ever flooded? We go 'round and 'round about keeping this place, with feelings at all points of the spectrum about it. It holds a great deal of family meaning and history, and we keep holding on to it for our kids, and their kids, and on down the line.

ellen abbott said...

It was on stilts so we never got water in the house, though there were several times when the island flooded. It made it through several hurricanes, one really terrible one when the eye passed right over. It devastated the little community. Only 10% of the houses had minimal or no damage. Ours fell into that 10% but still needed a new roof.

Ruth said...

Ellen, thank you for your answer. How very fortunate you were.

We always ask ourselves, If we let the cottage go, will the family stop being close? We have Farm Day here every August, and that is a nice reunion. I wonder how other families manage their ongoing life together, or apart. Social networks like blogs and Facebook are wonderful for keeping up with siblings and nieces and nephews.

Ruth said...

. . . but obviously not the same as face to face, hug to hug . . .

Susan said...

Uh, if you ever decide to sell that wonderful cottage, you had better put me on the first refusal list! I would give my right arm in exchange for it. Well, come to think of it, my right arm really wouldn't be worth anything to anyone but me. teehee

That last picture of the leaves on the car...crazy good!

veri word: tosight

Ruth said...

Susie, you and David would be the first to know, and refuse, or not. It would be nice, actually, if we ever do sell, to have it owned by someone we know.

Thank you, I think I took at least 10 photos of that car hood. The leaf and sky colors on the shiny black paint were photogenic.

tosight . . . that reminds me of The Princess Bride, when Miracle Max says "to blathe . . . " or whatever he says to his sidekick Valerie when they are trying to decipher what Westley has just uttered after the torture scene . . .

I know, random!

Lorenzo said...

It sounds like you all won the great acorn contest. Make that we all won, including your readers. The reflection on Casey's Native American heritage sets off a hum of many thoughts, doesn't it? How are these things passed on? Blood, culture, earth, oak trees? Is there a difference?

Ginnie said...

One of my biggest sadnesses, Ruth, is that I miss these workdays every year! I know they are medicine for the family soul, so thank God for them. Maybe one day we will have the chance to be there. That would be nice. I love that this particular time the mighty acorn was so much at the center of things! What a great post for my spirit today...though it leaves me with longing....

rauf said...

complete ignorance Ruth, never heard of acorn, i don't know what it is called here, if it is found here in India.

Presence of children is a motivating factor. Such lovely pictures telling the whole story.

if you have a caretaker, the cottage can be rented out for weekends. This would meet the maintenance cost Ruth. You don't need to advertise. Such a lovely place needs no advertising.

Margaret Bednar said...

We know someone in Petoskey who rents out just a few times a year to the same people (we are one of them now) and that really helps with taxes. John & I long to have a cozy, rambling, "able to fit the extended family in", type of cottage someday. Maybe in inexpensive Asheville (ha!) or Petoksey (ha). Hang on for all it is worth - those memories are priceless. I bet you play board games and laugh and TALK... Sounds like heaven to me. If you sell the cottage, the family will not get together all at one time - I've heard all about it from friends who let their cottages go. And I also LOVE the last shot - but how did you escape the bird droppings!!

Oliag said...

I would never be able to sell a family cabin like that...and can only wish that we had one. We have on occaision thought of buying some land in Maine to use as a family spot...but have never been able to do it. Your photos show a lovely place with joyful children.

As for acorns...we have had an unusual abundance of them this year too. An old wives tale claims this means a cold harsh winter but I looked it up on line and have found several reasons that make more sense...this is one I like...
"...no it simply means the summer has been hotter than usual. Winter may or may not be harsh – it probably will be given recent trends of greater extremes. The truth is that an early spring and rapid warming after a harsh winter will cause greater oak flowering and setting of acorns and this is what you’re seeing, ie a showing of the past conditions rather than future ones."

I have to say I am glad I don't have an oak tree in my yard:)

Bonnie said...

what a wonderful testament to the value of love, shared commitments, shared work, and a home base for all members of a family!

heart-warming Ruth.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Ruth, it is so wonderful to see how your family enjoys this cottage/home...
Now that is a TREASURE!!!

take care....

Ruth said...

Lorenzo, you're right. We all won. The hum is buzzing in my ear too. There is something here in this story too of the instincts we have . . . for competition, for survival, for being human in the context of Nature. We are the only species that cooks (I think), or cultivates the earth for crops. But yes, indeed, what calls to us and connects with our inner being, from all of this thing called Life? It's a beautiful buzz . . .

Ruth said...

Boots, I know you miss it. I can see you, like Nancy, with a rake, and the wind in your hair. Or maybe stripping that last shelf on the porch and staining and Sparring it. You make your contributions in other ways, of course, but it would fill my soul to have you and Astrid there, partly just because I know it would fill you up too.

Why is it that often what fills our soul also leaves us with longing . . .

Ruth said...

rauf, I looked up Do ak trees grow in India? at answers.com, and it says:

I had not seen them in India but found this article that says they do grow Silver Oak. Not sure if Silver Oak is a true Oak, as the Australian Silver Oak is not a true oak suspect this is similar.

http://www.vspca.org/plants.php

I might give my Indian friend some acorns from the Common Oak and see if they grow ok, I let you know the results.


While snooping around for that I also found out that acorns in large amounts are poisonous to cattle, horses, sheep, and goats! So I wasn't too dumb to wonder, I guess. But the National Archives article says that an average person in the California Acorn Indian Culture ate a TON of acorns in a year!

Actually, you are astute to think of renting the cottage. We have been doing it for a few years now, just two or three weeks a year. It does help a great deal with the costs. And yes, word of mouth has brought people. Part of the problem is that it's difficult to rent the cottage outside the peak seasonal weeks in summer, which is when family wants to use it.

I agree that when our grandkids arrive on the scene, we will want to use the place even more.

Ruth said...

Margaret, please see my response to rauf about renting. This has been a BIG discussion topic at our annual business meetings on the 4th of July weekend.

This may be the time for you to purchase property at one of those places. I don't know how Petoskey is, but of course it's been a buyer's market in Michigan for a while now, with houses selling for a fraction of their previous value. My in-laws' place on a lake has sat for two years without a single viewer/potential buyer. There are just so many properties for sale, many in foreclosure.

You nailed it. In the summer everyone spreads out hither and yon. In the winter, we sled during the day and play games at night. We usually have a jigsaw puzzle going. My favorite, which would work perfectly for you and Will, are the spontaneous musical roundups on the big porch, when Peter and his cousins pull out guitars, and the rest of us sing oldies. There are not too many things in life that I love more than that.

Ruth said...

Oliag, even as I wrote this post, I recognized that for some who take vacations at different places, it sounds heavenly to have one place to go to again and again, where the whole family can gather. Doing both would be ideal, I guess. :)

I do like that explanation about the heavy acorn fall. I actually intuited that . . . aren't I proud! It makes sense that the same year there were more pears on the tree than ever before, there would also be more acorns, and that it was the year of extra heat and lots of rain.

Ruth said...

Bonnie, it's good that it is wonderful, because otherwise I wouldn't want to keep going up there and doing all that work! The benefits far outweigh the muscle aches and gross dead mice behind the stove . . .

I hope your wrist is doing much, much better. That was a pretty long comment for you these days! :)

Ruth said...

Gwen, thank you. I think it is good to share how we live, each of us, in whatever ways feel comfortable. I know I never, ever get enough of a certain recycled dream house on the Bay of Fundy.

The older I get, the more fun I have with the young ones. I'm getting my girl back!

Shari Sunday said...

I always wanted a place like that and a family that did things like that. I have the family now but we have never had a vacation place. Instead I have adopted several vacation places in my mind. One is a place where my aunt and uncle had a piece of land in Oklahoma. The cottages had names like "Bird's Nest" and the big lake in the middle was the site of picnics and fireworks. Another place is my friend's cabin in Kentucky which I am able to actually visit now and then. Recently, the house in Virginia where my son got married is added to the list. If you don't mind I think I will add your family cabin to my mental list. But I have a question. Why do people rake leaves??? I think they look so pretty on the ground and they just come back again. Just wondering :-)

Ruth said...

Hi, Shari. I feel honored that you would add our family cottage to your list of vacation getaways! Feel free to talk with me about renting if that's ever an option . . .

You bring up the question I was just waiting for someone to ask: Why rake?

Um . . .

Let me think . . .

Let's see . . . .

If we don't, the grass will go to pot?

That's a terrible answer. But really, given the number of trees, if we didn't rake, eventually the house would be swallowed up, I think. But I wonder . . .

Maybe I'll bring it up next October. :)

♥ Kathy said...

We have TONS of acorns too Ruth.. they hurt your feet when you walk around barefoot like our granddaughter Lexi & I do. The squirrels (of which there are many also) can't keep up with this years crop! I love the vacation place..it's just beautiful! I could really relax there :)

Julie said...

Hi, Ruth. What a beautiful place! Trees and water...oh, yes. Two of my favorite things.

I can feel the peace rising up in these pictures. The tin roof is awesome. I don't blame you for wanting to keep it in the family. It's a special place where past, present, and future can gather in love.

Your family is beautiful, too. I got a kick out of reading about the acorn competition between the girls and the boys. I love kids with a passion. They bring so much joy to life, don't they? It sounds like everybody won.

I'm glad you decided to share the cottage cleanup pictures this year. I wasn't around last year, and I enjoyed it very much.

Shari Sunday said...

Ruth, Thank you for answering my question. The pictures are awesome by the way. I have another question from a previous post that has really had me stumped. What do you do with a couple of 200 lb. pumpkins???

lakeviewer said...

What beautiful family times, at a family cottage overlooking the lake. Just sweet and lovely to think about the stories each of the children will have for years and years.

Babs-beetle said...

What an idyllic life you have, in many ways.

photowannabe said...

Where do I begin? Your lake reflection picture is an absolute prize winner as is the leaves on the hood of the car.
Your times with family are so precious. Work but still fun. How fortunate you are to have such a wonderful place to gather. I'm a tad jealous.

J.G. said...

What a treasure you have there! Raked or unraked (I, too, wondered why that was necessary).

Far more important are the family memories and sense of place you are giving the next generation(s). That seems like a powerful "pro" when you are weighing the pros and cons.

Ruth said...

♥ Kathy, It sounds to me like a lot more people in the country need to start making acorn cakes. :) Thanks, it is a nourishing place where I feel at peace.

Terresa said...

The play oven full of acorns, loved that, it is something my girls would do, too.

And the fallen leaves on the car windsheild speaks volumes.

We don't rake here as much as we weed from our rockscapes, and fall is something we read about in books, something elsewhere (where you are, for instance), something intangible that begs to be touched...something not quite here yet but coming. (Our a/c is running as we speak, cooling us off slowly in degrees.)

Ruth said...

Hi, Julie. Thank you for picking up on the lovelies of our place. There is a spiritual energy there that lives in those trees, and it just seems to get better as the kids grow and get older and add their personalities to the mix. I really appreciate your kind thoughts.

Ruth said...

Shari -- :D

The answer to What do you do with a couple of 200 lbs pumpkins: Whatever they want.

:)

I think a certain farm chap I live with wanted to see how big he could get them. He bought the seeds from the guy who holds the record for the biggest pumpkin, which is almost 1200 lbs. Apparently, size matters . . . :)

Ruth said...

Lakeviewer, thank you for coming and joining our cleanup day.

What I would have given to have had a cousin to play with like these kids do! I just gaped at them all day, in envy and delight.

Ruth said...

Babs, I feel incredibly fortunate to have the farm, and the cottage. I have to tell you though, as wonderful as the cottage and lake are, I rarely want to leave the farm . . .

Ruth said...

Hi, Sue! Long time no see. Thank you. The reflection shot was from four years ago, I cheated. I was out on the lake in my daughter's kayak for two hours one October morning, one of my best memories ever.

I'm glad you enjoyed the setting, and our family gathering.

Ruth said...

J.G., the more I think about your question about raking, the less equipped I am to answer it. I think just the little side yard, where we play lawn games, needs raking. The rest could just go wild, or just be mowed.

What you said about preserving a place for family is always what brings us back to center, and keeping the place.

Ruth said...

Terresa, I can hardly believe you are still in such heat in Nevada, so different from what I know. Something about that heat must be right, or else it's just you, because I am reeling from your poem Universal Gravitation, and I'm not sure when I'll recover. And you just jotted it out between meals . . .

Not fair!

:) Thank you for your kind comment.

willow said...

What a wonderful family treasure! Love the acorns. I'm intrigued with California Indian Acorn Culture. Gotta go find out more...

Char said...

i love acorns and the giant oak tree that showers them on us. however, the squirrels and i struggle on who can get to them first.

Gwei Mui said...

WOW what a brilliant collction of pictures and account of the generations. Such a beautiful place you have.

I really do miss the countryside, watching the leaves turn picking sweet chestnuts, or catching the last of the autumn fruits. Watching the squirrels go mad chaing each other and collecting acorns

Ruth said...

willow, I like thinking of you going after that California Indian Acorn Culture. I was terribly impressed by their lifestyle.

Ruth said...

Char, there really is something special about oak trees. I don't think I have encountered them much anywhere besides our cottage.

I think there are going to be many, many fat squirrels this winter around the country, although winter in Alabama isn't quite like winter in Michigan, and they don't have to store them up in their fat cheeks quite the same there.

Ruth said...

Gwei Mui, thank you so much. Well London is beautiful in certain spots, I love Regents Park for instance. But that's nothing like the countryside. We don't have many squirrels here at the farm, or at the cottage now that I think of it! With all those acorns, where are the squirrels? We did have a very strange scurry of pine squirrels in one tree here at the farm, and the brand new babies kept falling out of the tree to the gravel driveway! We were sure they must have died as they plopped down. But no, up they would scramble and climb up the tree again. Was this some sort of rite of passage . . . ?

Loring Wirbel said...

We don't see many acorns in Colorado, so it was fun walking the river trail in Grand Ledge, picking up acorns and tossing them. Not ambitious enough to make cakes, though!

dutchbaby said...

The idea of an annual family work day appeals to me on so many levels. The lesson of shared responsibility, and that many hands make small work (well, not all that small), but most of all, that a family bond is forever, no matter what.

I've always been fascinated with acorns and can't help but pick them up to add to my collection. I put a number of them in a letterbox last fall as part of my floristry class mid-term project. You may remember my blog post about it.

My favorite photo is the one of the breathtaking view from your cottage. Fantastic!

I toyed with the idea of buying a beach house after I sold my first house. Thank goodness my husband talked me out of the notion. He convinced me by saying that we could have the world's best travel budget if we didn't buy a beach house. That was all I needed to hear. Galapagos Islands and Africa followed soon thereafter. Because of this great advice, I'm livin' the dream.

Deborah said...

Well, Ruth, I haven't got a big family like yours or a cottage in a wonderful place like you do, but I feel like I was invited for the weekend. But without the backbreaking raking!

If I were the jealous type, I would be. You know how lucky you are to have a gathering place for the family - indeed, how lucky everyone is that they want to gather together. It's perfectly lovely and made more so by your words and pictures.

Jeanie said...

Where ARE you? It looks absolutely wonderful! I loved this year's acorns, though I suppose living under them is a little more challenging!

What wonderful photos, experiences and family times. Aren't they the best? I can see all the love in those photos. And by the way, the photos of the water/lake, etc. -- stunning.

Margaret Bednar said...

I got out of my car today and slipped upon a tiny acorn. Looking more closely, I was amazed that under the little cap the "meat" of the acorn was orange. How beautiful - I had no idea. I took a photo and then googled "tiny acorn" figuring there has to be a poem out there somewhere. I got permission to post a MOST sentimental poem on my photo/poetry blog and I thought I would direct you to it - it just seemed timely. margaretbednar365.blogspot.com You can get to it from my Art Happens blog as well. Hope you enjoy it. ;)

Robyn said...

Hello... this is my first time here and I like it very much.

This is a very beautiful post and it is lovely to read that you know how lucky you are to have this family holiday home to share.

Keep on making beautiful memories.

best wishes for lifelong fun
Robyn

Ruth said...

Loring, I need to get back on the river walk again soon, it's been too many years. It would have been fun to walk it with you and Carol while you were here. And play chicken on the train trestle . . . . maybe not.

Ruth said...

Dear Dutchbaby, you are so right. Both Audrey and Lydia have been helping Wilma and me wash the windows since they were old enough to wield a squeegie or a towel. And as soon as the kids can toddle, they pick up a rake. It's pretty cool that they think working is fun.

Of course! Acorns and floristry. Sticks and leaves too make attractive arrangements.

I remember your story about searching for a beach house. Your adventures are magnificent, and as you know, your Africa stay in a real bed in a real tent is one of those nostalgic daydreams that just blew me away. I wonder what's next?

Ruth said...

Deborah, I'm so glad you felt at home! It would be so grand to sit on the porch with you and drink coffee and chat. We have a very open family, and there are always visitors coming and going. Thank you for enjoying, especially when you have France. :)

Ruth said...

Hi, Jeanie, Horseshoe Lake, close to Six Lakes.

Yes, we weren't there when the acorns fell, but we have been before, and it's a little frightening, I must say, sitting on the deck . . .

Thank you, my friend, I'm glad you enjoyed the time here with family and the lake.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Margaret, the poem is poignant and really slows me down this morning, in a good way. Poems touch places that other word combinations can't.

Ruth said...

Hello and welcome, Robyn, I'm glad you like my blog and this post. Thank you for your lifelong wishes, and I hope you'll find more here to like, as I have through your lovely fragments too.

Meri said...

What wonderful memories you're creating, acorn by acorn. (I want my own playhouse). The view from the lake photo is stunning.

Vagabonde said...

This is truly a lovely place and it is great since you have a large family. With our family of 4 people, now only 2, I could never have taken care of something like that. I like diversity and go to different places all the time. We do rent cabins in the woods or mountains once in a while. I can see though that this is different for you since it is a family place. My father had bought a small house in Normandie when I was growing up, near Dieppe, and we used to go there quite often, but mostly my mother and I only. My mother would call a local lady before we came and she would clean it up but it was a small place only had 3 bedrooms. The view from your cottage is so serene; it must be so much fun to assemble there.

Friko said...

I don't know much about acorns except that pigs eat them, as, obviously, humans can and do; what I do know is that this is an idyll I envy you badly.
I have no idea what it feels like to be part of a tribe; My life has been solitary and always will be.

Sometimes I am glad but sometimes, like now, there is a pain in my heart, a great big empty space, where there is enough room for a tribe like yours.

Even a cynical, self-mocking creature like me has a soft side. You have just reminded me of it.

Ruth said...

Meri, these times together really are like that, acorn by acorn. I love when the very little ones start to remember me and feel more comfortable, and then even seem happy to see me! :)

When I went into the playhouse this time, with some additions of furniture since last I saw it, I wanted to stay and play, ahem, I mean clean up acorns. But I had other work to do . . .

Maybe on the 4th of July!

Ruth said...

Vagabonde, I am always drawn to trees and cabins in the woods. I'm a Northern girl. It's nice if you can go back to the same place again and again. There's something about the memories that starts to bind you together as a family.

Ruth said...

Friko, oh, I didn't know pigs eat acorns.

I appreciate how you described your need for solitude. I need it too. But I really appreciate you showing me that soft side in response to this post. I hope it isn't painful for you, but only a longing. I wish you could come and visit.

But let me say, when we've welcome new members into the family (think spouses), it can be an overwhelming experience in person, in one setting like this. Sometimes they just have to sit in a corner and watch and try not to be driven to madness. :)

George said...

Hello, my friend. You haven't heard from me lately because I have been on the road, tending to a few of life's demands. In any event, I want you to know how reassuring it is to return and and witness the manifest happiness of your tribe at the lake cottage. You are fortunate to have such a wonderful family, such wonderful memories, and such a beautiful place to continue your family traditions. The photo of the cottage from the lake is sensational. Happy acorn-gathering.

Ruth said...

Hello, George! Welcome back from the road. I suspected something like that, since you are always so faithful and prompt in your visits, which I appreciate so much. Thank you for your comment "embrace" of our family and its central place of congregation. I feel that you, and the others here, have blessed it with your presence.

Marcie said...

This cottage looks absolutely idyllic. I can see why you and your family put so much energy and love into keeping it. Love the images..especially those of the chestnuts!!!

Sidney said...

Glad to hear that as a family you decided to keep this beautiful home... looks like paradise to me...

Although I wouldn't clean up all the leaves ;-)

cathyswatercolors said...

Ruth, this is heaven! What a wonderful time you must have had. Michigan in the fall is beautiful. You are lucky to have a place on the lake to share with family.
The thought of sleeping under a metal roof in the rain is intoxicating.
The kids are,of course, beautiful. I like the idea about Casey having the inner knowledge of acornology.

My son's wedding is over, bliss is filling our lives. We are happy for them and blessed with wonderful family and friends.

Smiles all around.
oh almost forgot,my favorite picture is the photo of the leaves on the hood of car.Great abstract.

Sandy said...

Fun post to read and see the photos. Just got back and had time to come again and catch up.

Claudia said...

Please don't ever give up this precious family place!

We used to have somewhere special like this, it was by the seaside and it required a lot of maintenance by the whole family but it was so worth it. My happiest and most carefree childhood moments took place there, with a whole bunch of aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents, cousins and friends all around, a great big, happy family in a great big, happy house in the beach.

Thirty years ago, in a moment of financial difficulty, my aunt decided to give it up (in spite of offers of financial help by the rest of the family) and we all regretted it ever since. We mourned and ached for it as if it was a beloved family member taken away from us. I wish my kids had somewhere special like that.

Your grandkids will be so happy there!!! What a fantastic place! And what a fantastic, happy crowd you all are! :-)

I've been gathering acorns for the past few weeks and laying some around the house. Supposedly they scare away the spiders. We have a huge spider problem here in rural England: they come inside the house during September and October and sometimes they're absolutely HUGE. I'm petrified by them, have to get Michel to deal with the great big hairy creatures and when he's away it requires all my strength and cold blood to get the vacuum and suck them into oblivion. Then I'm totally KO for a couple of minutes. Nuts, I know.

Sorry for the long comment. Have been missing visiting your beautiful blog.