Our clan has quite a lot of history in this town. Two lines of my great-great grandparents settled here over a hundred years ago. Since my niece, her husband, and their son live within 25 miles, that almost qualifies us as having been here for seven generations. 40 years ago, that same niece (a baby then) was in two separate five-generation portraits.
My grandfather was in the first graduating class at the newly-built high school (1928, I think). My mother graduated there, as did I, along with four cousins. It was my birthday. The front three rows in the bleachers were relations, and when I got my diploma they roared, “Happy Birthday, Laurie!” [Yes, my name is Laura.] But it gave me a chill this year—when they tore that high school building down.
My mother was born in a dirt-floor farmhouse about two miles from where I live right now. That farm was on the piece of land that now contains one of the new high schools that has replaced the old.
My grandfather was a logger, and a hunter; in those days he didn’t have to drive far from home for either one. His father was a farmer, and their predecessors settled here not long after the town began to be built. My maternal great-grandfather worked at the original hardware store; his wife worked at the cannery.
The only hiccup was a segment of Mom’s life where she resided in California (technically my home state). But the clan remained, and I myself have lived here over two thirds of my life, and counting.
Mom’s rural lifestyle never left her. She still works in the yard, wears T-shirts, and gets up at Oh-Dark 30.
Huh. The acorn doesn’t fall too far from the tree.