When I saw Alan’s Sepia Saturday post, I knew exactly where to go to find this shot – no searching through albums for me this week. And this morning, when I opened up the green photo box, there it was – right on the top of the pile!
I was so certain it was a photo of me in bib overalls; imagine my surprise when I noticed I’m wearing suspenders and dungarees! It’s close enough, though, so I’m posting it anyway.
I’m about four years old. It’s the back gate to the laundry yard at my grandparents’ summer house in
Jaffrey, New Hampshire – up the hill from Thorndike Pond and below the absolute majesty of (I climbed that mountain every year of my childhood, I think; my last successful climb to the summit was the year I turned fifty...). The dog is Ferdie, a black-and-white cocker spaniel who was one of my Best Friends (my other was a teddy bear); I’ve got my dungarees on, my Red Ball Jet sneakers, my suspenders – I’m all set for summer. Mt. Monadnock
I don’t remember the laundry yard fence being made from saplings, but I do remember clearly the later one made from vertical boards; there were intentional gaps to allow the breeze to come through. I remember there was one laundry line that was reserved for the bathing suits and towels that we kids used after long mornings in the lake. We’d come up from the water, slip inside the gate and strip our suits off (my grandmother got tired of drip marks throughout the house); dash buck-naked in the back door, through the kitchen and up the stairs to our rooms for our clothes!
In Jaffrey, we were free to roam, explore the woods nearby. We built houses for the Little People; we picked blueberries and raspberries for my grandmother’s pies; had picnics and marshmallow roasts; on rainy days we played endless rounds of Monopoly, Hearts, Canasta. On sunny days, we played tennis and fooled around in boats; we fished in the lake and listened to the seminarians sing evensong.
And at the end of the day, when it was time to go home, Nana would ring the bell – a heavy, cast bell with a wooden handle and a particularly resonant tone that tumbled down through the woods to the lake; we’d lift our heads at the sound of it.
“Coming!” we’d yell, scrambling out of the water, grabbing our towels. “Coming!!!!”
And walk barefoot through that softening light, walk back up the hill to Nana, to supper.
NOTE: Be sure to visit http://sepiasaturday.blogspot.com to see what themes others have followed this week!