My husband and I recently spent a delightful fall day with my sister and brother-in-law being together, long overdue, doing the things that make fall in New England a unique and special time of year. The day began with a Mass in memory of my parents. While attending a church service is not unique to New England, it’s setting certainly made it so: a tiny chapel set on a quintessential New England landscape. Soft rolling hills and farmland surround the site. The more unique feature was that the Mass was said in Latin. It’s been several years since I experienced that. It was a throwback to my youth and available so close to home. Who knew?
After the early morning Mass, we were off to the General Store for coffee and breakfast treats, energy for the activities the day would bring. Next up, apple picking. The local orchard offered rows and rows of favorite varieties, Macoun, Gala, and McIntosh among them to fill a bag, snack on, and use as a backdrop for a few selfies. And of course, what apple-picking adventure would be complete without enjoying an apple cider donut? Not this one, for sure.
Our next stop was a visit to Fruitlands Museum. It’s not just a museum as its name implies. Rather, it’s a collection of museums and exhibits set on over 200 acres of meadows and woods. One most interesting Natural Historical Landmark on the site is the original farmhouse that served as home to the Fruitlands experiment of 1843. It may better be known as the childhood home of Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women. As one of my favorite childhood books, it was fascinating to tour the rooms and learn how much of an impact this farmhouse, the family relationships and her father’s failed utopian experiment had on her as a young girl.
How often have I seen the museum sign as I drove down the highway? The beauty and the history of the land and its people is all right here for the taking. Who knew? It reminded me of a story my dad used to tell. When he arrived in America as a child, he settled with family in Charlestown, MA, home to the Bunker Hill Monument. It wasn’t until he was married with children of his own that he made a visit to the monument. It was just a few miles, and yet, a world away.
A craft fair was being held on the grounds of Fruitlands on the day we visited. It was complete with many characteristic artisans offering jams and jellies, hand-crafted jewelry, and photographic artwork. One vendor, BeezbyScranton who turns books into handbags, caught my eye. The vintage book purses are works of art and give beloved books new life while protecting their integrity and the memories that go with them. So often I see that books are precious commodities to clients. They represent so much in a person’s life and are one of the most difficult possessions to let go when decluttering. If it weren’t for my fall day in New England, I may have missed out on this unique and special way to preserve a cherished memory and share with others.
Explore your world. You never know what you might find.