Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand!
(Sir Walter Scott in The Last Lay of the Minstrel--I had to google it to see who said it)
And that is how I feel about NNY. I know it is economically depressed, I know it is in the middle of nowhere. The landscape isn't breath taking. There are drugs, problems, and some icky people. And it is currently 88 degrees with 71% humidity. But it is my home. It's my "normal"--the yardstick I measure every other place by.
Part of me feels like I need to defend my love for this place. I married a man from Colorado. We lived in Alaska for four years, one year in CO. How could I be content to settle down in a place with few mountains, little smack-you-in-the-face natural beauty and in the east for pete's sake?!?! I know I can be happy in other places. I loved Alaska. I loved Colorado. But this place fits me like a glove. Like slipping into my Teva flip flops after a long day of slightly uncomfortable, but beautiful shoes. Driving north from Syracuse last week, home songs kept coming to my mind. And John Denver's "Sometimes, this old farm, feels like a long last friend. Yes and hey, its good to be back home again." And while I don't live on the farm, it is all part of this place. It is home. It is part of me.
And so, I don't mourn Olivia's lost opportunities in not jetting off to another fascinating place. I know she will go to those other places. She will probably live in other places. But it isn't such a bad thing to be tethered here another year. At least not in my mind.
And to get back to the point here, I have pictures of this weekend. However, I was not the official photographer. For those pictures, check evanandclover.blogspot.com or livietess.blogspot.com sometime in the near future.
Friday was the kids last day of school. They just had two hours. Enough to get their report cards and go visit next years teacher, so they know who and where they are setting off to on the first day of school next fall. To celebrate summer vacation, we walked to one of the local gas stations to get the first ice cream cone of the season.
|A neighbor's peonies. That I love.|
|Ice Cream face|
|Ice Cream girls|
|Reaching for leaves.|
|The gown, ready to be donned|
|Graduates. General milling around. I remember this from my graduation. The route you take to your chair weaves hither and yon and then back again.|
|That is Livie Tess. Surrounded by black.|
|The whole lot of them|
|Pledge of Allegiance|
|Some tired little girls watching all the proceedings|
|More milling around to line up for diplomas.|
|The very moment Olivia got her diploma|
|The National Honor Society people sitting down again.|
|Olivia T. Vaughan, recent graduate|
|Tassels switched. This poor guy was having difficulties.|
|Hat throwing aftermath|
|Everyone heading out|
|The Vaughan contingent leaving|
|Orianna and Lily had fun showing their cousins their new classrooms to be|
|Livie and the decorations for her party|
|Foxglove. I love foxglove. I couldn't resist these ones.|