A Haven for Vee

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Honoring the Days

 Last Friday, I decided that the world was beckoning so I struck off looking for foliage and two mums. 

I had no sooner left my driveway when I saw this poor, struggling tree right on my neighbor's lawn. It was putting its all into perhaps its last autumn season.

I can sit right on my deck and see it from my own backyard. 

I was going to prove it, but the tree has already faded in just three short days. Plus, it has rained and taken a lot of leaves.

Just before peak and heading out of the neighborhood...

Looking for mums and I found them! This was not as easy as it had been last week when every single farmstand from here to there had mums. Not any more!

I placed my selections on the hood of the car so I didn't have to drip them through the store to the counter and back. It pleased me to find them because my sister, brother-in-law, and I were traveling the next day to my grandparents' hometown well north of Bangor.

A good chauffeur

Pleased to honor our grandparents once again...

Just to the right was a graveside service. My step-uncle passed away in Florida at the age of 92. He was the last one standing of his generation on my mother's side of the family. He lived a wonderful life and enjoyed many travels and work assignments with the railroad all around the world. My sister and I wanted to honor him and to see his sons once again. It has been such a long time. They live from California to Georgia to Ontario, Canada. You may remember that we are one of those families that spans both sides of the Canada~US border.


It was very surprising to me that the youngest son from Ontario was even allowed to attend his father's service in this time of you know. He, like my sister, is a dual citizen. He said that that was the only thing that got him in. On return, he must quarantine for two weeks. He jokingly said that he'd be living in a tent on his back lawn.

I have happy memories of my uncle and aunt. He was the uncle spoken of *here* where we discussed genealogy. He was the one who got me most interested in the search.

As we stood there, a beautiful September day with temps in the high 70s, we were listening to the bagpipes and drums behind us when we heard the familiar chug of a train engine. How perfect. Few trains rumble by these days. It was all so symbolic.

We wished that we had been able to join them for a family supper at a restaurant in Bangor, but Steve and Kim were leaving early the next morning for Iowa. As I type this, they are in the process of driving back to Maine with a U-haul. They are bringing Steve's mother home to live with them.

We said goodbye to this small town in middle Maine. The railroad left a decade or so ago taking all the jobs with it. Even the grocery store is gone.  My grandparents' home sits empty and looking so sad. The garage is falling down and the home will be soon at this rate...the windows gone. I refused to even take a photo preferring to remember better days. My cousins said that they had driven around and were equally dismayed. 

Saying goodbye to Brownville Junction... Hope to see it again one day.

Thanks for reading...





  1. This was lovely Vee...I'm so glad you shared this day and all the memories that came with it. It so reminded me of my father's funeral...it was a chilly October day and my sister and I had come home from Texas and from Florida....as we stood at his graveside...there was a train blowing his whistle traveling through in the distance....my father was a model train enthusiast, so it was quite appropriate...I always feel these are signs sent from heaven....it's so good to be in the moment....

  2. What a beautiful post, Vee. Maine is still calling me, lol. I am so sorry for your loss...keeping your family in prayer.

    On the bright side, friend, leaves here are turning and what glorious color, my friend. Have a beautiful day. smiles

  3. I'm sorry for your family's loss. I'm glad you and Kim were able to go to the funeral. What a beautiful day you had to lay his body to rest. Your telling of it all is very poignant.

  4. How wonderful that there could be a service and that you could attend. So good to hear how the weather and all worked together for a special reunion of sorts with the nice touch of the train blowing by. Glad you could honor a special uncle. Beautiful fall color in your corner of the world.

  5. What a touching and beautiful story. So very sorry for your loss, but am so glad you were able to attend the service to honor your loved one and see family once again. We need to treasure these opportunities and participate as often as we can...we never know when it will be the last time we will see a loved one. So glad you could see some beautiful fall foliage in the process, and to hear that train whistle...how wonderful! One of God's special little "God winks" from heaven. I am sorry about your grandparents' home. It's never the same once the family is gone. I won't go by my parents' home, even though I hear it still looks good, but they aren't home anymore, and I can't bear the thought of driving by and them not coming out to greet me there, so I don't go. I will see them again in their heavenly home some day, forever! Thank you for sharing this special little trip with us. (((hugs)))

  6. I am very sorry for your loss as well. It seems like we are losing so many from that generation and it makes me sad. It brings back so many memories. You saw some beautiful trees and scenes. I'm glad you got to go. Sweet hugs, Diane

  7. Beautiful post, Vee. I enjoyed every word of it.

    That train rumbling by ... how perfect. I'm very sorry for your family's loss and so thankful that so many of you could be together to remember your uncle.

  8. Beautiful Vee - such a lovely way to honour a dear uncle. Sorry for your loss. Glad the "Canadian" got to attend too. It all seems so harsh to have to isolate but the Atlantic Provinces have proven the benefits! We in Ontario are not doing so well it seems. As that beautiful old tree "blooms" so cheerfully, so must we while we can!

  9. I too am so sorry for your family's loss. Nice that the train happened by.
    Such pretty fall colors.

  10. Your accounting of your day away is done so well. Just enough amount of detail to leave one wanting to know more about your cousins and uncle. Isolation is required throughout Canada if one leaves the country and returns, or comes to visit relatives here. I'm glad you were able to honour your grandparents and uncle in this way. It looked like a beautiful day for a drive. I'm sorry for the loss of your uncle.

  11. I'm glad you were able to attend this special day with your sister, Vee. Family events are very hard to manage these days. I'm sorry for your loss.
    Thank you for sharing the beautiful foliage in your corner. It's all so very lovely.

  12. The title of this post is perfect for the occasion . . . honoring your grandparents, honoring your mother's extended family . . . and your sister brother-in-law are showing honor for his mother. It all warms the heart in a melancholy way.

    I am happy that the day was so beautiful. The scenery captured by your lens is stunning!

  13. What an interesting post. And the mental picture of the bagpipes, drums, and train. Couldn't get much better. My paternal grandmother was from Canada and family reunions would always be in northern Wisconsin. The Canadian relatives would come down for it and tell us kids my how you've grown. Have a blessed day, Vee.

  14. Steph and her her husband have to be tested for COVID when they return after visiting us. They each have to pay $150 for the test. Obviously their state is trying to prevent people from crossing the border. Elisabeth is at college so she can't make it or she would be required to take the test, too, since she is eighteen. The leaves are just beginning to turn here. Each year they take my breath away. (By the way, I no longer receive the comments on the blog through email since they updated Blogger.) :(

  15. How speical to honor your Uncle. I think the mums you chose were perfect. So see a coffin covered with a flag humbles me. Such a sacrifice these dear warriors made.

  16. Hi Vee, This post is very poignant. I like the way you wrote about your neighbor's tree giving its all for maybe(?) its last autumn. Autumn is so beautiful, but always a tiny bit sad, I think. I so enjoyed your description of your uncle's graveside service. Bagpipes, drums, and the sound of a train going by. Perfect for a former railroad man. My great-grandfather was one of those, too.

    I enjoyed your pictures of the Maine foliage, such a beautiful state you call Home. Our foliage here is just beginning to turn, but the temps. are cooler now. I like the color mums you selected (my favorite color BTW). Hope you're doing well, dear Friend. Have a good week!

    Love and hugs,

    Denise at Forest Manor

  17. You have me very emotional in reading this post. I'm so sorry for your loss, but also for the melancholy feelings you have for what will never be again.

    I visited Maine on a road trip from Boston. I was so in love with the coastline and seeing fishermen and lobster crates, it is embedded my mind. I'd love to visit again.

    Sending a big hug.

    Jane ❤️

  18. I am glad that you were able to find the mums you were looking for. So good that you were able to make the trip to be with your extended family at this sad time. I am sorry for your loss. The foliage is looking particularly colorful in your area. Looks like a pretty drive.

  19. What awesome fall foliage! Ours is not that striking as yet. So sorry for your loss, but how nice that you were able to attend the graveside service. Nothing is simple this year...and arranging funerals has been quite a challenge. We are hoping to have a 'memorial service / celebration of life' for my sister and dad once the pandemic is behind us.

  20. It's sad to see Fall colors change so fast, I always wish they would slow down! I'm glad you got to go and be with your family for the memorial, and along such a pretty drive! The colors are just gorgeous. I'm so sad about the train leaving the town and such economic downturn, so very sad indeed. It really must be heartbreaking! Glad though, that you got to enjoy the day with your family. Many blessings :)

  21. What pretty mums you found in such a beautiful setting, Vee. I loved the cherubs and other statuary surrounding them. How nice to be with family for the memorial service and I’m do sorry for your loss.
    Happy October to you. Your posts keep being delivered to my spam email and I don’t know how to stop it. I move them to my email, but it doesn’t seem to work. That’s why I’m always late in reading your posts.

  22. What a lovely post Vee. Your colors look beautiful. I would love to visit Maine in the fall some day.

  23. This was a wonderful post to read, even with the nostalgia about your grandparents' home. You gave this Floridian her Leaf-Peeping Tour and I thank you so much. Even in Colorado, we did not have the array of color you get in New England. (Colorado has mostly gold Aspens, which are gorgeous, but few reds and oranges)

  24. Sending condolences to your family, Vee, and thanking him/ them for his service to our country.
    Your foliage is so beautiful, ours are only beginning to turn.
    A beautiful view of your neighborhood too, I sometimes feel as the struggling tree, holding on and trying to put forth my all, too!
    Think of you all,

    How appropriate to have the distant train move by, for some reason it brings solace, especially at times like this.
    Safe travels and as your sister's mil transitions to Maine.

  25. My condolences as well, Vee, to you and your family. It is especially hard to lose family members any time, but more so in time of you know what. Sad to read about your grandparents home and I too would have found it hard to take any photos. Looks like you had some colorful weather while in Maine.

  26. My condolences on the loss of your step-uncle. It is sad to lose a last remaining family member of our parent's generation. My mother was the youngest so she was the last of her siblings to pass. It looked like a beautiful day for the services and drive. Our autumn color faded quickly in the mountains this year--most likely due to our drought and early frost and snow in September. My are at lower elevation is just turning beautiful colors now. I ca not decorate outside with real pumpkins or mums as the wildlife here think it is a buffet for them..lol I learned that lesson the first year we moved here.

  27. What beautiful autumn colors and sweet memories. I saw an ad the other day for HGTV's giveaway house in Maine. I've never entered one of their contests, but perhaps it's time. :-)

    1. Except it's one ugly house! 🤦🏻‍♀️

  28. Very beautiful colors and I am so glad you found mums! It is hard to see homes we lived in decay and abandoned. My grandparents had the most beautiful farm, my mother and siblings and I lived with them after my mom's divorce from my father. Grandma and grandpa always kept everything so beautiful, the building painted and in good repair. My grandpa died shortly after I married and grandma went to live with my mom. The people who bought the farm never put a lick of paint on any of the buildings ever again. The place is literally falling apart and I can't even drive past there any more. I just want to remember it as it was.