Audrey, in a comment recently posted wondered what Ron and I looked like in our earlier life when the world was different and we appeared to match it in our dress and hairstyles. A search produced images from early years in Baltimore.
The summer of 1976, after I got my MSW at 42, we motored to Canada, camped, and spent a week on a farm near Frederickton, New Brunswick. In the group picture are our two kids in the front. Ron's in back wearing his alltime favorite hat. Dark green felt fedora someone had abandoned in a park in Frederickton. Here he contemplates the wonders of the suny Bay of Fundy. Setting up our tent in a pouring rain the night before influenced a later decision to abandon camping on our next summer outing.
About Maplevale Farm. It was a homesteading venture by Judy (sunbonnet) and Hal (reddish beard) Hinds. She was a French major at Oberlin College where I'd graduated a few years before her. She ran a notice in the alumni magazine to invite people to visit, help with chores, learn about farming--for a fee. The instrument she's holding looks like a lyre?
Hal was a geologist, had built this sunpit to extend their very short growing season. Our son, Nick, learned to ride a two-wheeler on the dirt road leading from the Farm to the main road--where a small shed would protect the Hinds' older son as he waited for the school bus in the harsh winter. Rachel, our daughter, loved collecting eggs from the chickens. Our family was always drawn to farm life. Ron and I were realistic enough to know our limits--whatever our fantasies.
Judy Hind, always busy with butter-churning, transferring gray water from the house to water the garden, cooking, had these activities and childcare to more than fill her time. The last time we heard from her two years later, the strains of isolation and weather (huge black flies in summer) had diminished the romanticism of this life. Judy and Hal went their separate ways, having lived out dreams few of us would dare to try.
On the return home, we visited the re-created ambience of an earlier time in a logging community at King's Landing, an historical settlement in New Brunswick. Wish I had notes on this woman's knitting, our exchange. Our family loved Canada where the public parks provided chidlren's and family activites. I recall delightful silliness as all ages watched old movies and sang.
My own knitting was put aside during two intense years of graduate school. My goal was to lead groups for women; I had not a clue what was ahead. But, even with the war in Vietnam, what the Vietnamese rightfully call "the American war," many of us elders believe it was a more hopeful time than the present. Then we call ourselves up short: we have to work for a better future for younger families. They are entitled to the idealism we once had.