We left Cook Forest, PA the other morning, heading north, making a few stops on the way.
One of our stops was in the small town of Dushore, PA, south of Towanda, South West of Wyalusing. Anyhow, my dad’s side of the family emigrated in this area in the mid 1800’s and when my grandparents were in their mid 90’s they began to sell off the 160 acres of land that had been in my family for many years.
I wanted to pay a visit, but not knowing how to get out to the old farm homestead, we made a stop in the center of town (which was built up from my last visit in 1969 when my great grandmother passed away). We stopped in a local eatery and asked if anyone knew of the old Bahl farm and just as I got the words out, in walked an older gentlemen, around 80, who said he knew where it was.
He ordered a hotdog and asked me to take a seat where he filled me in on his friendship with my great-grandmother and he knew my grandmother, my great aunts, my great uncle Joe, etc. and gave me directions to the farm.
I was elated to say the least as my favorite place to be in the summers was down on the farm. No electricity, only a well for water, an outhouse and nothing to do but walk the forests, streams and swim at World’s End Park, surrounded by rock and rattlesnakes.
We drove down the roads, still dirt, to get to my family’s old homestead and I stopped at the Lambert’s, who bought the land, introduced myself and she took us down as people are now living there.
I was able to walk the dirt driveway, take pictures, walk up into the old gassy fields and remember all the good times there.
I felt immense gratitude, welling up with tears of joy, to have been able to find this most favorite homeland again and to walk the same land I did hand in hand with my grandma picking blackberries.
My grandpa used to take us out to the fields at dusk with his binoculars to view the deer coming out to eat. So many fond and good times spent here with extended family.
Thanking God for this rare opportunity and priveledge to walk the land I so love once again…..
These old Shag Bark Hickory Trees lined the front yard, looming as the guardians of the ole homestead, firmly planted in the ground.
Spending long dark nights on this long open front porch, where we all gathered to view the millions of stars, along with the thousands of flitting fireflies, miles from any street lights, other houses and away from the busyness of life, were moments to long for.
We all would sit in quiet conversation or silence, being wrapped in the solitude of another closing day in the company of bonded family. I can still smell my grandfather’s cherry tobacco from his pipe, see us all just being with one another, no where to go, nothing to do, but simply being in one another’s presence as family; my parents, my siblings, my grandparents, my great-grandmother and my great uncle Joe.
When finished she said I could stop in and see Mary, who was 92, who owned the Lambert farm and now my family’s land, and had a wonderful visit. She was a cracker and told me many things about my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and stories I never knew.
I was able to touch the ones I loved once again through her sharing of fond memories as a trusted neighbor to my Rose, my great-grandmother, who had lost her husband young in life and was left to run the farm as a widow with a handful of children.
Mary told me her mother also lost her husband early in life and Rose and her helped one another in the raising of their children, along with keeping their two farms running. I cannot imagine this and all the hard work and effort in those days with little conveniences we take for granted now.
She said we must come again and we exchanged phone numbers. She gave directions to my grandmother’s one room school house and the Catholic church we went to on Sundays.
I was able to take more pictures of the one room school house, still red, along with the gravesite of my family. My grandmother had to walk over the hills 6 miles one way (this after doing morning farm chores) to get to this school and in the winter she arrived wet, taking off her snow pants and hanging them up to dry with the small wood stove that stood in the center of this building, the only source of warmth.
This was a day to remember and I am so grateful. If it had not been for Gary Rouse, who had stopped in that store, I would have never found the farm, nor visited with Mary Lambert.
The woman at the store told my husband Gary hardly ever goes into that store and she thought it all was strange.
Well, when you know God, you come to expect the unexpected every day.
THANKING GOD FOR MIRACLES!!!