Summer brings back memories of family gatherings at Boon Lake with parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, and stories of those who weren’t with us. After a day of playing and swimming we would all gather on the patio or in the cottage for a meal. My great-aunts would tell these stories with great wit and humor. I remember sitting at their feet while they shelled painted beans and rocked in the rockers with sun streaming onto the porch and their laps where the beans rested in their pods, waiting to be shelled.
We were known for our storytelling wit. They made out of what otherwise might be tragedies. Stories were about the great-great uncle who was left behind in Nova Scotia with his grand-father to tend the family farm and apple orchard while his parents and siblings came to Boston to make their fortune; the great-uncle who left for Seattle after the Carpenter’s Panic of 1900 when he and his brother lost their cabinet making business to cheaper factory made furniture; the great-aunt who married an Adams and lived all over the world, courtesy of the US Army; and how they all survived the depression by moving in together to save money.
In my house are the photos and letters that support these stories. I inherited much of this from my grandmother. I miss the family gatherings of my youth but treasure the memories of these times. As my 83 year-old father keeps reminding me, I need to write these stories down before they are lost forever.