Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Place of Memories

    I have a special connection to central Pennsylvania, especially the northern, agricultural area around Numidia, Catawissa, Sunbury, and Bloomsburg. My parents were born and raised in the area, in fact, my entire family originated there--even me. I was born in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, a small college town where most of the houses are old Victorian beauties with well tended yards filled with flowers in the spring and summer and surrounded by soft, round-topped mountains.
    We visited this area so often when I was young to reunite with my grandparents, family members, and old friends of my parents. Sometimes my sister and I would spend summer vacation time there. It's such a beautiful place with the Susquehanna River running through those lush green mountains, valleys where the farmers create fields that look like patchwork quilts. 
    I remember the quiet, the fun running outside in our bathing suites to enjoy the rain, picking sweet, wild strawberries, and Sunday visits to my grandmother's friends most of whom lived on Mt. Carmel and Bear Mountain. They would exchange gifts of their handy work, like homemade baked goods, crocheted items, and quilts. I loved playing with all the kids. My grandmother loved to fish and she often packed a picnic and took us with her. We would spend our time playing in the water while she fished. Such great fun. We went to church bazaars, ice cream socials, and church picnics and ate delicious food and played games with other kids--and once, I actually won a peanut pushing race.
    I only remember the 8 months of actually living in Pennsylvania when I was 4 years old. We lived in Luthersburg, a small town not too far from Pittsburg. I have so many warm memories of living there and the people who were so friendly and kind to us.
    When the weather station closed in Luthersburg, we moved to Charlotte, NC where I have lived most of my life. 
    Since my parents are gone, I seldom go back to Pennsylvania. Sometimes I miss it. I have gone to Catawissa and Numidia a couple times to see to the placing of a monument on my paternal grandparents' and Uncle John's graves.
    While I stood there at The Hillside Cemetery and looked around at the rounded mountains surrounding the town, I felt a kind of homesickness for a place that held so many memories of my childhood and had now become a place where my ancestors can only whisper to me on the wind. It still tugs at my heart.