One of the joys of being in Ohio is spending plenty of time with “the older generation” – my parents! I ask people sometimes when they feel “old” and they tell me it starts with becoming the oldest generation of their family still living. Tom has been the older generation for 15 years now!
On Wednesday we went on a field trip with my parents to the area of Ohio where my dad grew up in Hancock County. His parents were farmers near Cory Rawson and Benton Ridge. My Aunt Joan, my dad’s sister, lives in Bluffton. Since Tom and I have been working on the family genealogy, we thought it would be good to get some pictures. First we went by the Flick Cemetery and took a couple of pictures of headstones.
Then we went to the farm where Dad grew up. The family that lives there now is taking beautiful care of the farm. The farmhouse has been renovated and the barn has new siding, a new roof, and a new door. But the basic shape was the same as I remembered from lots of time spent there with my grandma. There was still a swingset in the yard and a swing on the front porch.
After spending a little time on memory lane, we went to visit Aunt Joan. Aunts and Uncles are people who remember you on your birthday and always say how big you’ve grown. Aunt Joan sends me a birthday card and calls me on my birthday every year. And when we went to see her this week she mentioned how big I’ve grown. I think it is a perspective thing – she seems much smaller!
Aunt Joan has always been very interested in genealogy and she had a couple of books of family history that we had not seen. She let us borrow one on the Dietz family – Grandma Clymer’s family – that has filled in some family gaps for us. We enjoyed the time we spent with her catching up and telling some old stories again. It is always interesting to me how your perspective changes in a family depending on your birth order. So Aunt Joan remembers some people that Dad doesn’t, or remembers them differently.
I love spending time with “the older generation.” I love listening to the stories and asking them questions about what they remember from their childhoods. It helps to fill in the gaps and makes me feel more connected to my roots. It reminds me of the gifts they have given me of roots and wings.