Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Last days in VT & NH

The impetus for this whole trip was Dad wanting me to see where he grew up and where my antecedents are buried. On Monday, Dad took me on a tour of family homes and graveyards. I was game for it, but wasn't expecting the many hours of driving and walking around what is actually a smallish town, St. Albans.

Things would have been a whole lot simpler if my grandparents had stayed in one place, but my grandmother in particular continuously moved Dad and my two aunts from house to house. During the three years my grandfather was serving in WWII, they moved roughly ten times. Argh.

Still, it was cool to see where my father and his parents grew up and to realize that I come from farmer stock only three generations back.

Speaking of, here's a typical small Vermont dairy farm:


The cows are on the other side of the buildings.

It was too calm to sail on Lake Champlain, but I did get to see the lake weed harvester at work.

Removing lake weed

On Tuesday morning, we got up early so we could drive North to the border before heading for the airport. I've never been to Canada and there was my chance, not 20 minutes away. My father fumbled a bit in his explanation to the Canadian authorities, who became suspicious of why a Florida resident would be taking his Texas-residing son across the border just for the hell of it. Dad tried again and we were off into Southern Quebec.

Since it was so close, we went to the church graveyard where my great-great grandparents are buried. Le cri dehors à Moise et à Delima, grands vous lève tout.

Hmm, that was supposed to say "Shout-out to Moise and Delima, big ups y'all." I think I like Google Translate's version better, "The cry outside with Moise and Delima, large picks you up all."

After a few minutes, and an amusing scene where a mother called her mullet-ed son home in French (but of course!), we headed back to the US. The border patrol on the US side was friendly and casual as he let us through. My dad nicely asked him about his almost blase manner, to which he responded, "Hey, you're US citizens. I'm border patrol, not customs." How droll.

Several hours of driving later, Dad dropped me off at the Manchester, NH airport for the return flight.

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