Saturday, August 21, 2010

New 'ancestors'...

When you live in an old house, it is very easy to adopt it's history as your own history. Especially when you have met, in various ways, those who have lived there before you. Today, a woman from the historical society came by and gave me this fantastic photo of the woman who lived here for 50 years (above). The photo was taken before she was married and lived here. Her husband was a prominent physician, one who was instrumental in establishing the hospital here. The story is that he met her working in the dime-store, and that he then, wanting a more sophisticated mate, sent her to finishing school, then married her. They lived together in the house we now occupy for 50 years. We also have a photo of her husband, from the 'hallway of history' at the hospital.

This photo is of the daughter of the woman above. It is of her wedding day, coming down our stairway, before leaving on their wedding trip. Both photos will be enlarged and hung with our 'family pictures.' Isn't it funny how you can adopt people based on such shared experiences? I think of these women often; as I sweep up dog hair or dust the never-ending woodwork. They did the same things I now do, in the same places I do them. I recently rehung a clothesline, on the pole where theirs had hung. Hanging out sheets and towels, I think of them doing the same. I believe our connections to those who came before us, whether related by blood or proximity, keep us more aware of our place in the world.

Our connections give us continuity; help us see that we also have a place coming before, as well as after, others. It makes me want to leave 'clues' behind. Photos are good clues. I will so enjoy these two photos! When we moved to this house, I left some Honduran coins tucked into a closet, between the wall and the shelf of the house we left behind. I hoped someone would find them someday, and be curious enough to discover that a good man had lived there, who went frequently to help poor people in another country.

I know that, without trying, we do leave traces of who we are and were behind us. These photos ending up in my hands, with their stories attached, proves that. So I think its a Good Thing to be aware of that, and make our stories ones that will bless those who discover them, whenever and however that may be.

1 comment:

Julia Kelly said...

I totally agree, I can always feel those who came before in old house or places.