JWG (jwg) wrote,

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Trip to "ancestral" home

On Tuesday and Wednesday, rsc, BobP, and I went to Western Mass and the Hudson valley to tour some places for a new location for our Gender Role Free Dance Camps. We need to find a new place after the camp this fall. We looked at 4 conventional summer camps that rent their sites in September and May, the Ashokan Field campus of SUNY-New Paltz and Circle Lodge. Circle Lodge is the best place of these and a likely first choice for us although there are some problems with availability. But this entry isn't about that.

Circle lodge is located about 6 miles from what was my parent's summer house in Stormville, NY. We owned it from 1950 - 1964; my Mother sold it after my Father died. We had 145 acres, mostly wooded, much overgrown and hilly, some fields including two with ~1700 Blueberry bushes planted by the previous owner. Our house was a 2- story 3 bedroom house with 2-story living room and there was another old house on the property, a garage with a shed attached and old 12x12 chicken house. It was named Hidden Brook farm, the brook was quite hidden since it was dry during the summer. My mother had an extensive rock garden with woodland plants in the shady sections and sun-appropriate stuff in the sunny section. It was a beautiful place - we went there most weekends and stayed all summer (I was at summer camp for much of it). For the last few years while my Father was alive, my parents stayed there from April to November.

One of these days I will scan some of the old pictures, but like many such tasks the only part I've done is to buy a slide scanner.

So went there yesterday on the way home. RSC and I had visited there once before about 15 years ago. You get to the place where our old gravel road went the ~1/4 mile to our house and there was a paved road called Blueberry Lane. We drove up it to the end and there are several other roads branching off with a total of about 50 houses! Coming back down we found the gravel road off Blueberry lane and went up to the old house.

No-one was home, but we looked around a bit and took a few pictures. The garage had been converted into a studio and the house was the same size although some details were changed. I looked inside and what was the kitchen wasn't it anymore. The view in front of the house was pretty different because there had huge retaining wall to create the front lawn and below that had been almost impenetrable brambles so I had hardly every been there. Now it was cleared, there was a small pond where the hidden brook was and you could see the neighbor's farm. It used be that we could hear the cows, but could see nothing. The gardens were differently arranged, the trees were different ( I forgot to look for the huge old Tulip Tree) and the view of our old fields was gone, but you couldn't see the new houses.


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