My aunt and uncle, Jean and Leo
The happy couple, late 60's early '70's. A couple of hipsters looking fine. That's the first pass. I could go on and on about the two of them, they figure quite prominently in my life, but I won't. (At least not this post)
The thing that struck me about the picture was how much their son looks like Leo. Leo always had a beard, so I had forgotten how much Adam looks like his father.
Moving beyond the people, I know where the picture was taken, my grandparents front yard, Jean's family home. The site of many tag, Kick the Can and British Bulldog (Red Rover with a bit more force) games with my cousins, neighbourhood kids and youngest aunts and uncles. They usually ended with Sherry or Wayne with a bloody nose.(we were rough and tumble kids) Wendy usually couldn't play, her mom didn't want her to get dirty.(or bloody, or grass stained or her clothing torn)
From where they are in the yard they must be almost in front of the front door. For whatever reason, every farmhouse has an unused front door. This one had a stained glass window above, a great big old iron doorknob and a huge skeleton key to open it.
Directly behind them is that broken maple tree that was always there, may still be there for all I know. It stood sentinel at the top of the lane way my entire childhood.
To the left, through the gate was one of my grandmother's gardens. We spent summers pulling weeds and picking potato bugs. Carrots and potatoes right out of the earth, eating them after brushing off most of the dirt. Peas and beans directly from the vines.
In the distance you can see "the cedars". A small stand of trees where we played cowboys and Indians, built split rail forts, played tag on our ponies and ran after cattle. It led down to the "beaver flats" and the creek that ran through it. In the summer we picked wild strawberries for pies. Every winter it froze over, our very own skating rink. Bush league hockey games, more blood and if I remember correctly a couple of missing teeth. (I told you we were rough and tumble kids)
This was the view from the kitchen window. The one at the end of that enormous harvest table we gathered around for so many meals together. From that vantage point, you could see every person coming up the lane and my grandmother or grandfather was always there to greet them. My grandmother always liked you to wave and honk the horn on your way out. She'd be at that window waving back.
I realized I never set foot on that farm again after my grandparents retired to the new house in "the maples". My cousins Chrystal, Sarah and Wesley grew up in that same house and their memories will be completely different from mine.
I could go on and on. A large part of my childhood memories stirred up because of a single photograph. One, connecting to the next, connecting to the next.