Wednesday, February 24, 2016

o.k., so the doggie in the picture below is cute (hi dillion), but look beyond him for a sec~
see the river? thats the mn. river.

and.... my uncle stan and aunt phil live here. 
right here!
right on the banks of this river and it's a little slice of heaven.

when i took a few days off and headed west to visit sister and some other
family in jan. she and i spent an afternoon here with stan and phil.
it's been way too long since i'd been there and it's such a lovely place.

we grew up just a few miles from them and we saw each other at least a couple
times a week. stan and phil lived on a different farm and milked cows in the 60's,
but then there was a tragic fire and they lost the barn and their cows and it changed the
course of their life.
it seemed devastating at the time, but then the opportunity to buy this 
beautiful sanctuary- right on the river came up and they've been there 
ever since. i remember how happy my gram and gramps were when
their son was able to buy this farm place and move his family there.
(believe it or not they didn't even have an indoor bathroom most of the
years they lived at the old place).

our family spent lots of time hanging out here, canoeing, fishing and eating
warm chocolate chip cookies. 
(aunt phil and her daughter darci make the world's best cc cookies).

this is my uncle stan. he has one of the best laughs in the world. if i close my eyes and
think about it, i can hear it like he's sitting right here by me.  : ) 
he's also missing a thumb and that always intrigued me as a kid. it got cut off in a 
farming accident when he was young. i can't imagine how i'd feel if one of
my boys lost a finger...but as was her way, my gram was very matter of fact about it.
 life happened, you went on.

now when i think of that i just have to give you a few examples of my gram's fortitude:

*she lost her mother when she was very young, her father married two other women who were both "wicked stepmothers", she was pregnant by the time she was 16, her oldest son was sent off to war, another lost a finger, a daughter and another son pushed through a store's front window by an out of control car, daughter nearly dies from those injuries, same daughter has a brain tumor and does die, now she's got 2 more kids to raise (me!) after the 7 she'd already shoved from the nest. there was also a grandson who died at 2 days, a granddaughter who needed open heart surgery as a baby, & oh the list just goes on, & i'm not even going to start with the next generation~ but here's the best part~ : )

my gram loved life. she always said she felt like she was in heaven here on earth because 
she had such a wonderful family and so many blessings.
i've written this before and i'll say it again. she rarely complained. she really did
just get up everyday and work hard.
she whistled while she tended her huge gardens and she went to church, she watched her 1 soap opera and smoked her cigarettes. she sewed and baked and knit and refinished furniture.
she had a lot of friends and she was never bored.

when i think of all she experienced and lived through in her 72 years it's pretty amazing...
but now, wow~  how did i get on that subject?? oh yeah the missing thumb.  haha

phil made a delicious dessert for us and stan had smoked a pork tenderloin that 
we sat and munched on (along with other goodies) as we got caught up on each other's lives.
this cozy corner with the big windows looks out at the river,
(see it through the window?) and they have a bird feeding station that was fun to watch while
we had our coffee. stan warned me not to make eye contact with dillion or he wouldn't 
leave me alone. i held out for quite a while, but then he was standing by me,
and he looked so darned cute and i couldn't help myself. i petted him for a bit and
he was so
 happy and he started bumping my arm if i'd quit. that is until stan noticed and
said "dillion" and motioned down with his hand and that's all it took. 
big black doggie promptly laid down and took another nap.
(they've always had well trained dogs).
: )

just as we decided we'd better get going, aunt phil mentioned that
maybe she should show us her granary. 
granary we asked?
she giggled and said, "yes, it's full of all my old stuff".
of course we wanted to see it, so we laced up our boots and
headed outside.

this old outhouse sits right next to the granary.
don't you love the cupalos?

this is not that big of a building, but look how cute she's made it!
by herself she's taken down walls, put up shelves, built cabinets and 
arranged all her favorite things.
it is like a playhouse, for grownups!
how    great    is     that??

really love her old water cans and grain scoops~

it was all so interesting and great, and i had no idea she had this 
wonderful place to display and enjoy her collection of 
vintage goods.

here's another view of phil's grown up play house. i wish i would have asked
her what vine she grows on that trellis you can see.

each of my 6 aunts and uncles homes hold very special memories for me 
and spending time at this one on a cold thursday afternoon, warmed my heart.
thanks for a really great afternoon stan and phil~

xox, beth 

these purdy eggs are straight from sister's 10 chickens.

her granddaughter recently decided that the eggs come from the chickens
"butt" and she's no longer having any part of them.
so... i gladly took her share home with me. : )

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