Friday, April 4, 2014

Stratton Sojourn

Last Friday, I took a little trip.  I drove up to Stratton, a tiny village in Eustis, to see my mother and my step-father.  They live in a little house that was built by my grandfather (literally) probably about 1950.  It just occurs to me that I don't know really what year, Mum would know.  I'll have to ask.
It's a 3-hour drive from where I live on the coast.  And it's a 1,148 ft. "climb" from sea level.  My ears pop once in the first hour of driving, and several times in the 3rd hour where the drive is the steepest.
Being in the mountains, they aren't insulated by the ocean like I am, and so, fall comes 3-4 weeks earlier and spring about 3-4 weeks later.  I took the picture above on April 1.
This cyclamen will have to do for Spring color, for now.

The windows on the back of the house look out onto the end of the Bigelow Mountain range.
 The mountains are obscured by cloud cover here.  I took this picture looking out the back door, over the deck railing.  That blue thing is a cooler.  We often use "Mother Nature's Icebox" when the indoor freezer is packed to the gills.  Very handy during holidays and when you have stocked up for having guests.  The little trail has been worn by one of the dogs.  See the azalea?  Won't be in bloom any time soon.
This view is the same as above, just shifted slightly to the left.  Isn't the birch gorgeous? The deciduous tree on the right is a cherry tree.  My grandfather planted it over 50 years ago.  There is kind of a family story associated with that tree. When it was still quite small, my grandfather looked out one fall (or maybe early spring? I just know the tree wasn't all leafy) day, and saw a partridge (hereafter, referred to as "pa'tridge", in deference to local dialect) roosting in it.  It looked quite disproportionate, where a partridge is a larger kind of bird and the cherry tree being young was quite small, so he got his camera and got a picture.  For some reason, there are multiple copies of the "pa'tridge in a cherry tree", and one always seem to show up randomly in any collection of pictures my grandmother had.  She even had taken a picture of my grandfather taking a picture of the pa'tridge in the cherry tree.  I never look at that tree without thinking of the pa'tridge story.
My stepfather, Jim, is an avid outdoorsman, and has always kept bird-hunting dogs.  Lil is an elderly Brittany Spaniel, and very sweet and gentle.  She was quite a birder in her day.  May is a younger dog, a French Brittany, which are just a bit smaller, a little more of a delicate build.  She has a personality like a firecracker, or a Jack Russell terrier.  She is as smart as a whip, and very strong-willed.  She has been very difficult to train, but also knows how to win you over, when you're about to give up on her in exasperation.  We had a standoff when she slinked off with a slipper I had kicked off, and so I picked up her Nylabone.  There we were, staring at each other, finally she dropped the slipper and came for the bone.  It was really quite entertaining.  She and I became good friends!
It doesn't take her long to get up in the warm recliner when Jim gets up for a minute!  And being very nosy, she's always making sure she doesn't miss anything.
I think I miss her a little.

Edited 4/5 to add:

If you haven't been over to Mary Jane's Tearoom, I gently suggest you get over there, as there is quite a premium giveaway going, which you can enter through April 17th.  .  See all the Cath Kidston pretties, and the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.  If you enter as a result of seeing this little mention, let me know.    Happy Saturday!


Lynda Naranjo | Simple Things said...

That's such a lot of snow still! But it's really pretty - not like the messy dirty stuff we're surrounded with. :)

Lorrie said...

So much snow yet! How lovely to have a family home like that, with stories and history behind it. Sounds like you had a good time with your mom and stepdad.

Shybiker said...

What a beautiful view. And doggies are man's best friend.

Cheryl M. said...

Yes, that is a lot of snow! Beautiful! And I just entered that lovely giveaway - thanks! :)