Monday, August 14, 2017

Virginia Visit: Stanley Side

Both my Granny and Papa were from this part of Virginia. So, after visiting the Alderman side, we went to see some Stanley kin. Everywhere we drove, my parents pointed out things my Papa had built. So many of them were churches; it really touched me.

We drove to see my Papa's baby brother. He was 18 years younger and claims my Papa was like a second father to him. He looked so very much like my Papa. I can't tell you how much it meant to me to see him and to see his wife Bitsy. I was 4 when my Papa went to heaven. How I can still remember sitting in his lap and tractor rides, I don't know. But I do.

He took us to see my great aunt Iva. She was precious, and bragged to all the gals in the nursing home, "Isn't this my lucky day?" No, it was our lucky day.

Uncle Lowell is the epitome of a Southern gentleman. A terrible accident involving a jack under a fire truck giving way and crushing his lung, then a crippling reaction to a vaccination would set most folks back. He insisted on opening the doors for all of us ladies. Sharp, witty, and handsome. That's what he is.

My papa built his barn, which still stands.

And then we got to see my great Grandpa and Grandma Stanley's house, built in the early 1900's. My great-grandparents outlived their son, and I spent many vacation days running in and out of this little house. It's funny, but many times when I am reading a book and the story evokes a small country house image, I put the characters in this house. Even this year, the family in the book Jacob, Have I Loved lived in this house in my mind. It's had some fire damage, but I was happy to see it again.

And the spring house. Always cool. Always with a tin cup to get some water. Always full of Grandma Stanley's canning. Always wondering if it might have a snake.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A builder like your brother!!! I love this. I know you are documenting your family visit but I enjoy seeing these posts. My last trip to my mother's family and all around was before digital cameras but I also took plenty of pictures of people and places.

I love the old country houses. I, too, imagine stories and things that happened there.

What a beautiful setting the Blue Ridge Mountains are. I can just imagine how you must have played and how well loved you were. I also remember my great grandfather and sleeping with him when I was just five. He would tell me scary stories and then doze off to sleep while I laid there scared to move. Haha He also taught me how to roll a cigarette . . . uh, hum. :) My mother's family had a big sense of humor and visits to them were always the best. Like you, I always knew how loved I was.


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