The graveyard, as I stated on Facebook, was part of my trail as I walked to breakfast. I always thought it was so cool to be able to walk through such a historic necropolis in order to reach Life and my Calculus classes. After walking and sweating much all the while trying to take it in, I returned to my car and set off for the town. I wanted to walk, think and think some more . . . . and visit a certain bookstore.
The town holds both quiet dignity and hip urban ways, both blending well like the iced coffee I enjoyed as I walked along Main Street. My eyes went everywhere as I took it all in and I no longer felt like a stranger but rather a prodigal daughter who finally decided to return home. And Andover is one of my homes, no matter how much time I actually spent there. I found a nice place to sit and enjoy the rest of my coffee and feel the cooling breezes that caressed my face from my earlier stomp through the graveyard.
When I finished my coffee, I set my sights on the bookstore. Andover Bookstore is a great little establishment as well as the place to pick up some Andover merchandise. The wooden stairs leading upstairs, the feeling of being comforted by the books as well as the laid back staff, all of it I missed very much and soon set my sights on buying things.
The second part of my Sunday was the part that made me a bit nervous - visiting my family. The last time I had seen my father's family was when I was a teenager. Now that I was 40, I was sure they wouldn't even recognize me. How wrong I was. My father's family is large, to say the very least. Aunts and uncles, cousins galore and I was an aunt to many children whose names I had forgotten after several minutes. My reasoning was that I spent the time laughing, learning and listening in no order and all at the same time. One thing I love about my family is that they are mixed - black, white, Hispanic, Japanese and everything in between. Beautiful people with wide smiles and loving arms - the nervousness melted away.
I also learned quite a bit about the "racism" in the North and how different it is as compared to the South. Although the two areas are part of the same country, they are radically different. I also learned that, in thanks to my Aunt Linda, the family can be traced to the Revolutionary War and parts of Nova Scotia. I was asked if I wanted to have a copy of the history and I emphatically said YES. I had tried once to discover my mother's genealogy years ago and got as far back as three generations with bloodlines in Mississippi and Louisiana. However, to state that your ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War and were later transported to Nova Scotia was quite the feat. As I looked around the living room, watching everyone say their goodbyes and "see you soon"s, I knew once more that I had no reason to worry about the past.
The past is alive and well in Massachusetts, giving me more than hope for the future.