There is a strong tradition in my family of serving during times of conflict ... there are members of my family who have served in every war since the time of the American Revolution through the Vietnam War. They all chose to serve a cause that was greater than themselves. Beginning with John Space, Joshua Clarke, Willet Clarke and Sylvester Pendleton who fought for the cause of American independence and freedom during the American Revolution to both my paternal and maternal grandfathers, Charles Bergeron and Harley Space, veterans of WWI; my father H. John Bergeron, a veteran of the Korean War; and his three brothers: Earle C., Leland K. and Melvin F. Bergeron who were part of the WWII "Greatest Generation" to my very special veteran, my husband ...
Thank you for your service Welcome Home We have not forgotten
To all those brave men and women who willingly raised their right hand and took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and to defend their country at home and abroad ...
The presence of yarrow growing among the Black-eye Susan, Hawkweed and Daisies reminds me of Grandpa Harley. His association with the herb didn't happen because he showed me the large flat-top flower clusters. In fact, this association came several years after his death. My love of family history and all things outdoors can be traced back to summers spent at "the farm" with my maternal grandparents. Both of my grandparents enjoyed sharing their childhood memories. I credit my grandmother (and my Mom) for giving me a love of reading but it was my grandfather who gave me the gift of all things outside my front door. Making maple syrup, harvesting hazel and butternuts, how to catch toads and frogs - but the most important lesson about being out in the woods ... keep still. When I am sitting on my deer stand or stopping to sit down "just because" - I can still here his voice, "Now keep still." I'm sure that is what his father or grandfather told him when he was a young boy. One of the many letters I received from him during some of the darkest days of his life, when my grandmother was being consumed by Alzheimer's, he shared a story from his childhood. While he and his brothers were "horsing" around, he fell and broke his arm. His dad was working out in the field and couldn't take grandpa to see the doctor, a 20 mile trip, until the next morning. His mother picked a bunch of yarrow, boiled it in water and used the mixture to bath his arm. In Homer's epic tale, the Iliad, the warrior Achilles uses the herb yarrow to bathe the wounds of his fallen comrades. According to other online sources, elements in yarrow accelerate the healing of cuts and bruises.
I've often wondered how many times during his lifetime did my grandfather see a yarrow plant blooming on the side of the road and think about that time when he was "horsing around" and broke his arm. His granddaughter certainly does.
"Yarrow." Digital Image. Text and photography Copyright (c) Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski 2013
June 13, 2013, was a family anniversary that passed by relatively unnoticed. It was on a hot Friday afternoon in 1980 that our family backed a U-Haul truck into the driveway and proceeded to settle into our new home. Thirty-three years ago we were the family that moved into John and Ann's house. It wasn't long before our front lawn was littered with bikes as the boys became part of what we affectionately called The Weslan Mafia. We all made countless new friends, enjoyed neighborhood barbecues and block parties. In the blink of an eye and a few years on: bicycles on the lawn were replaced by cars and pickup trucks parked in the driveway. Soccer, football and baseball, homecoming, prom, graduation. As I walked out onto the deck earlier today I thought about that first summer - the maple tree which was a little more than a sapling, now towers over the house offering shade in the summer, showers the yard with golden leaves in the fall and a haven for creatures of all sizes. A backyard sentinel giving witness to the changes of life's seasons.
"Maple Tree." Digital Image. Copyright (c) 2013 Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski