Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Visit to Pondside

Coming home from my first book signing on Saturday, I stopped at the home of Bruce and Robyn who bought Pondside Farm almost four years ago. Robyn loves to read, and I wanted them to have a copy of the book that tells of the 1960s happenings in their home.

Although they had kindly invited me over any time to see our former home, I hesitated. It has been very difficult for me to look at old photographs of Christmas at Pondside (although I love viewing the Christmas pictures we have taken since here at Woodsong). I remembered only too well being invited by Mrs. Sullivan (who took care of my mother) to see the house her grandson and wife and twins bought after Mother's death. Mrs. Sullivan was being kind, and I was interested in seeing Mother's former home with pretty new carpeting and so forth. But being in those familiar rooms was very unsettling to me and I had to fight tears. I was not sure I could bear going back "home" to Pondside.

When I stopped, Robyn insisted I come in, and again I hesitated. I had not really intended to go in. But I did, and interestingly, the changes there were so extensive (and lovely) that I had no feeling of being in our former home. Carpets were replaced with hardwood floors, and there was a fireplace added in the corner of the living room. The wall and pantry between the kitchen and dining room had been removed, and the result was spacious and in no way resembling the former kitchen/dining rooms. New cabinets made the kitchen shine. The laundry/utility room was now divided into a smaller laundry room and a sewing room. The family room was the same size--but with hardwood floors and a big pool table in the middle, I had no sense of being where I used to live. I loved the way they had made the house look inside, and I went away happily without tears or any kind of sadness. I can go back "home" in memory, but I no longer have to fear being overcome by emotion by returning to the house there.

It was fun meeting the little granddaughter, who had been born shortly after they moved in. Her mother had been the only one in their deer hunting party who got a deer that season, and the baby girl was born a few days later. I wanted to get the baby a little camouflage sleeper like I got for Samuel when he was born, and I went to every place in town I could think of to acquire one. People would say such and such a store had them--and they would be out when I got there. Finally, I gave up when the child was a year old and I had not yet found the camouflage sleeper. Now I finally got to meet her, and since her parents are living next door to Bruce and Robyn now, she is a member of our former neighborhood.

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