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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A wedding and a discovery

Did I mention that there had been a wedding at the Adirondack house? Only the second in the history of the house, the first being daughter G's, in 1993. The bride this time is not a family member, but the daughter of the man who has helped maintain the property (plumbing, lawn, general repairs and upkeep) for years. Jim knows more about the house than all the rest of us put together. He knew, of course, that we still had the wooden arbor from G's wedding in the garage. (It's been borrowed for at least one local high school prom, as well. )

Some of us mingled with the invited guests; others (e.g. grandson L and I) decided to stay inside and view the proceedings from this unusual perspective:

A slightly different view from the library window. If we step back a few feet we would be able to see those old magazines, and the newspaper. But what 's that on the windowsill? In the tray. A little set of leatherbound nature and wildlife guides. They've been there pretty much forever, I imagine, but I've never noticed them before.

I pick one up:

And look inside. This was my mother's book! The inscription, in my grandmother's familiar handwriting, reads: "Catharine Justine Sinclaire. Oct 2, 1920. Gloversville, with her own money (received for taking castor oil.)" Notice that the book cost $1.00. I guess that was the going rate for castor-oil-taking in 1920. Seems like a lot!

Mom would have been almost seven then. And the family would be occupying the house for the very first season. Just two days later, baby Clothilde, the youngest daughter, would be born. In the house, of course. The only birth to ever take place on the premises, even now.
I did bring the little book home with me, after double-checking with a few sixty-something cousins. Kind of an unwritten rule, but we don't just TAKE stuff - even now. Maybe especially now. But I'm having second thoughts. Maybe I ought to take it back. What if somebody needs to look up a wildflower?


Blogger sukipoet said...

Wonderful story and wonderful find. How lovely no one takes things out of this fabulous house. Such a temptation.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Oh, I thought I already commented here. I thought it so sweet that you thought to return the book for someone wanting to look up a flower.
I love all the family history you have there in that old house.
And in those sweaters...books, magazines, papers, etc.

11:20 PM  

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