Friday, August 01, 2014

You Can't Go Home Again...or if you do, it's changed

August 1, 2014, Day 15 of my Road Trip, over 3,000 miles. Resting with my friend, David Carris, and his kids in Montpelier, VT. Nice to have friends with whom I can stay as long as I want, and hopefully leave them wanting more. I'll be staying for 8 days...because I can, and because this is a key place for much of my and my family's history.

I get to stay in Ruby's room when she's not home

One of the many gorgeous Victorians I've seen in my travels, and I get to stay on the third floor. Lots of activity around the house, Theo and Oliver playing a video game, Ella in and out, Ruby home tomorrow, the painter working outside. 

We're going to walk downtown for dinner and the gallery walk tonight. I may see more old friends around town. Dinner with the entire Bickford Clan on Tuesday, and to Glover Sunday, where my mother grew up.

Lake Canandaigua, Finger Lakes of NY

Wednesday night I stayed in Vincent, NY, after driving through blinding thunder storms in Canada. More thunder and lightning shaking the motel during the night and nickel-sized brown frogs leaping in the puddles in the morning. After taking a little time to catch up to myself and messages, I headed east again, on secondary roads, to Canandaigua, NY.

Lake Canandaigua, considerably classier than when I lived there

We moved at least every year after my first 3 in Burlington, VT, because Dad got his medical training through the VA. This was the first place we lived for more than a year, when I was in 4-6 grades, and the two oldest of my brothers remember much change, though, in 50 years. More later, got to go to lunch...tough life!

Later the same day: Amazing Thai lunch outside and locally-made gellato in downtown Montpelier, 8,000 people, about the size of Sequim and capitol of VT...Art walk later. I even saw someone I know on the street! I do like small towns the best!

Anyway, back to my story: Downtown Canandaigua is very cute in a 1890's with overlay of tourism sort of vibe...some gorgeous old houses. The only thing I kind of remembered was the Woolworths...shows where my attention was based in grade school. The other thing I remembered was the Sonnenberg Estate where the VA hospital is based. We lived in a quonset hut (half a curve) on the grounds, the nurses were housed in the manor house, and we were sometimes allowed to play on the Buddha statue and run through the Italian collonaide...the State of New York and lots of volunteers are gradually turning the estate house and grounds into an attraction, complete with moonlight walks and concerts. They've teamed up with a winery to help raise money. I recommend a visit to anyone in Western NY

Teaming with a winery has helped to raise funds for restoration

The estate was established in the early 1900's

When I lived on the grounds, this housed nurses, and I was told it was a great party house

I vaguely remembered the dogs on each side of the front steps

A fountain on the back plaza

Volunteers are putting a lot of work into restoring the inside

I do remember the columned walk way

The Roman Bath has not yet been restored

I remembered climbing on the Buddha...Solid Bronze, I was told...heavy, heavy, heavy

Inside the glass pavilion, so Victorian!

The magical good that this is being saved!

This estate was self-contained, with greenhouses and gardens, a cannery, sewing room, and housing for staff, I assume...It was said in the information posted that there was a place for workers to rest from the the white canopies I saw at the edges of fields in Michigan and NY...Are Corporations our new feudal Barons? I hope they will realize that they have to share enough of their profits to keep us from revolting. Sorry but endless Walmarts don't do that for me...oh, dear, politics creeping in again. As I age, I Know that nothing is as simple as it seemed when I was in my twenties...Anyway, beautiful place and repository of memories. 

I know that we change from moment to moment and are never the same, but can help imagining shadows of my former self imposed on these landscapes...layered art images coming, coming...Stay Tuned!


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