Monday, March 30, 2009

You Can Go Home Again . . .

Sort of. (See the title of today's post above.) Over the weekend, as my husband and I traveled to yet another nephew's wedding, we decided to take the road less traveled and jaunt up to a tiny town called Roberts, Idaho, on our way to Menan, Idaho.

I had recently learned that a friend of mine has roots in this little village. As such I took the following picture, just for her:

If memory serves, I believe my friend worked in the office of this granary a few years ago, as a teen. I remember coming here years earlier as a child with my parents as we picked up interesting things like chicken feed. I wasn't sure this edifice would still be standing, but it is. So I took its picture, preserving a fond memory of the past that won't always exist.

On we drove to the east, to the 200+ acreage my paternal grandparents owned and attempted to farm many years ago. The old stucco house my grandfather built is gone, replaced by several large modern homes, part of the housing development this place has become:

The only portion of grandpa's land that looks the same is the east side of the property where you can still see the famed Menan Buttes (dead volcanoes, and the source of the lava rock that was used in numerous pioneer buildings in the area). The willows in the distance mark where the Snake River flows, something that cut through the property owned by my grandparents at one time.

We traveled across the river that separates Roberts from Menan and paused by the house my parents designed and had built on the 13 acres they were given by my grandfather. It was a beautiful buff brick home that my mother loved dearly. The past few times that we've driven by, a large semi truck has been parked directly in front by the current owners, which has caused us all dismay. Some things change forever, eh?

From the back, you can see the walk-out basement that my siblings and I thought was really neat. That door opened into the backyard which was planted into grass, and surrounded by lilacs and elm trees, the back planted in Russian Olives trees to provide a windbreak. Every one of those trees and shrubs survived, in part because of how my mother babied each one in this arid\alkaline soil.

West of our former home, across the road, lies the Snake River. As children, we were forbidden to cross that road by ourselves or go near the river. I was obedient to this edict most of the time, but there were moments when the river seemed to call to me. I would sit on a large rock and simply watch the water flow past. I found it calming, and to this day I find that I'm often in need of "water moments."

South of our former home, about a block away, lies an impressive-sized gravel pit. This is where I first learned how to ice skate, the December we all received ice skates as part of our Christmas. This gravel pit consists of several joined ponds of water, sub from the nearby Snake River. It was a great place to play in the water and on the ice during my formative years.

On we went with this journey down memory lane. We drove through the farms that make up most of the west side of Menan, then headed into nearby Lewisville, the place where my dad's maternal grandparents settled in the late 1800's. I attended first grade and a portion of second grade in Lewisville in the same black lava rock building that my grandmother once attended. (My first grade year was around 1967.) Here is a picture of all that is left of that school:

Those huge trees were great to play in. We often pretended they were houses during recess, allowing our imaginations to run wild.

Here is a shot of the house my great-grandfather, Thomas Clement, built for his family in the late 1800's in Lewisville. It is still standing and belongs to one of my distant cousins.

During my second grade year, we were moved into a brand new school called Midway Elementary. The old black rock building in Lewisville was torn down, because it was falling down around its ears. But Midway Elementary is still in existence and it seems to be in great shape:

Here is the LDS church my family attended during the time we lived in Menan:

And next door to this church house is the old lava rock building where I attended kindergarten:

All in all, it was a fun, but brief jaunt through a portion of my past. I took several pictures because I don't often get the chance to pass through this area. Every year, we journey to Lewisville to place flowers on my father's grave, but we're usually in such a hurry to make the annual loop into Wyoming, that I haven't taken much in the way of pictures of this location. I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to do just that this past weekend. And you'll be happy to know that we did make it in time for the wedding. Here is a picture of the happy couple:

We can't always go home again, and I have learned that home is where my family currently resides, wherever that may be. But it is fun sometimes to take a glimpse of the past and remember the good times that are a part of who we are.


Michele Ashman Bell said...

How fun to see these pictures and take that journey to your past with you. Having a husband from Preston, I feel as though I was in familiar territory. What wonderful memories.

Doran & Jody said...

Oh how fun is that. It makes me want to drive up to grandma's old farm in Alton. It is between Montpelier and Border. On the way there was an old car that was wrecked on the 'old road' down below the new one. We use to think the car was neat. Because it was an old one. I don't know when they removed it but I still look for it. I LOVED it up there!!! Oh Memories. Sometimes that's all we have, before that leaves us too.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Thanks for your comments, Michele, and Jody. =)Sometimes memories are the best.