Saturday, August 15, 2009

Surreal Surroundings

What if you had the chance to jump into your favorite book. To see all the things and places that the author of the book wrote about. Well that happened to me, this is the incredibly,exciting adventure that happened while we were on vacation.

My most favorite author is Gladys Hasty Carroll, 1904-1999. She wrote beautiful stories about her life growing up on a farm in S. Berwick Maine. She has the most intriguing way of writing. I fell in love with her life and with Maine and mostly her family and the home she was raised in. The home that her Grandfather George built in the 1800's. Her home and family were always most important to her.

Well, we were in New Hampshire and Maine was just a hop, skip and a jump away. On our way home we drove to S. Berwick to try to find her home and hopefully get to take a picture. We were able to get directions from the postmaster. It's a small town and we were only about 10 minutes away. I was so excited!

We followed the directions, and then I saw it!! Just like in the book! I couldn't believe it! Her !house, her actual house!

We parked in front and I saw cars in the driveway.Oh No, I didn't think anyone lived here anymore. There goes the photo ! I can't take a picture of someones home. Shoot!!! I was so disappointed.

Then, I heard a man ask if we needed any help. Oh great now we're trespassing! Before I could say anything to him, Peter takes my book, gets out of the car and asks the man if this was the home of GHC. He says, "Yes and my wife is her grand-daughter. I'll get her for you".

WHAT! I'm going to meet her grand- daughter! Oh my goodness!!

OK, my disappointment was gone and my giddy excitement had returned. Caroline(grand-daughter) came over to us along with her son,( whose name I cannot remember to save my life), but she is smiling and welcoming. We talk a bit about her grandmother and her books, the house, everything. Then Peter asks if we can see where she is buried. "Sure" she said, her son will take us on a tour of the grounds. Can this get any better?

Walking to the family cemetery. We were warned that it was overgrown. Ya think!

OH YEAH!! It can get better!!!!

When we got back from seeing the graves of the family I've been reading about we got a tour of the house and barn! What a moment that was for me to be invited into this house, actually this home. I know this house like the back of my hand. I've read and re-read her books to the point of knowing all the little details. I walked into the book, what a feeling. The house has been kept exactly as it was when GHC lived in it. All the original furniture, the same furniture in the book. Caroline took her time , she showed us GHC's doll and school books, the very bell used to call the children into school(I know that bell). GHC's Aunt was the school teacher. The organ they used to sing around.

She took us out to the barn. I saw the special stall for Bess their horse. She even showed me the place in the barn that GHC had turned into a room for her to do her writing. Outside I saw and even had a drink from the well GHC's grandfather dug himself. I remember a part in one of her books, when every one's wells were going dry. GHC's grandfather dug that well 10 feet deeper.He said his well would never go dry and they would always have water. Over 100 years later I'm drinking from it. Amazing.

I will remember this forever. It was so much more than I ever expected. Caroline and her families generous hospitality have left a great impression on me. Not only did we get our own private tour( this is their home it is not open to the public) but Caroline gave the kids popsicles and to me... books!!!!!!! Books I cannot find anywhere, special, so special are these books to me. Books written by my favorite author, handed to me by her grand-daughter, while standing in her house! If that's not surreal than nothing is. I will never get over this one.NEVER!

I absolutely have to say thanks to Peter who insisted that we go to Maine. I had second thoughts about it. Maine will still be there next year, right? "No way were going now", he said. I am so glad we did. Maybe I should listen to him more often.

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