Thursday, 20 September 2007

MAINE - An Ache Not Only For Special People But Also For That Wonderful Place Called HillTop - Part III

Part III

Ok......... Since me and Sharkie have been maties, he has always talked about his families ties to New Hampshire.... which is funny really, cos I come from Hampshire here in England..... I know, I know, you doodles nicked all our names and dragged them across the sea and claimed them as ya own...... well, ya bunch of thieving gits LOL.....

So..... just over a week into our trip to Maine and to Sharkies place he says...... wanna go down to NewHampshire and stay at HillTop...... well, what you have to know is that over the months, this place, this family tie, this part of such strong rooted family history has grown into me soul like the ivy that runs wild in me back garden..... and I longed to visit this place, this place that holds such a special depth of Sharkies family history and belonging........

So of course I jumped at the chance..... so we loaded the truck thingie with Sharkie (who wouldnt let me drive - whats that about), me, my Jacob, Eva (Sharkies lads partner), and the dearest gorgeous Amina (Evas child who is Sharkies precious grandchild), oh and the dog OF COURSE :)..... who my Jacob had claimed as his LOL......

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Ok so he was tired on the trip lol

It was quite a long trip so Sharkie suggested that on the way we drive up Mt Washington..... there was me, the usual dinlo thinking that Mt Washington was some little hill and tourist spot on the way LOL...... I KNOW DIFFERENT NOW....... so a few hours into the trip we arrive at Mt Washington, what I couldnt understand was, how could someone/anyone charge money to go up a mountain?....... surely it belongs to the people...... and there was me thinking that ya drove up it and over it and down the other side and continued on ya way LOL...... I TOLD YOU I WAS A DIVVY...... but oh no, ya drive up it and then back down it the same way.......

So....... I insisted that I pay half cos it was only fair cos Sharkie wouldnt accept no dosh towards the petrol for the trip, and I so aint use to anyone paying anything for me........ BUT I COULD GET USE TO IT lol....... and we was given this sticker for the car (which I claimed to stick on my car home here, but I will have to change the wording a little) and a CD with a well smarmie blokes voice on it guiding one up the mountain and telling the history etc...... and dont tell no one, but I LOVED THE CD and so wish I had claimed that as well LOL.......

So off we set up the hill, opps lol sorry mountain........ at first it was just a slight incline, no big deal, but the further one went the steeper and more shear the sides of the road became...... I LOVED IT lol....... there is me pointing out all different bits and bobs and saying...... oh Sharkie just look at that view and look at that mountain and oh wow look at that drop and oh cripes I wonder if anyone has ever driven off the side and died....... but when I looked across as Sharkie his hands were gripping the steering wheel as if his and our lives depended on it and he would NOT look out the sides for love nor money LMFAO........

Ok, ok soooooo it was steep and it was sheer and the road was a tad narrow in places and ya had to go up in first gear........ BUT...... maybe its just me, but I have driven a little hire car into the mountains in Cyprus with sheer drops and roads so narrow that they was only meant for goats and not the little car I was driving LOL...... so to me it was not scarey :)....... I was a little mean, I think I might of called Sharkie a 'pussy' LOL..... which means over here, you scaredy cat...... lol he was NOT amused...... I know, I know, all our lives were in his hands :)...... and I did offer to drive so that he could enjoy the view, but I think you probably already know what his answer was lol........

Jebus, when we got to almost the top and parked the car and climbed out, we had to walk a little way up these steps (which was great with me gimpy knee, I can tell ya NOT)....... but..... bloody hell, when we got to the top it was like being on top of the world...... all one could see for miles was the tops of hills/mountains....... it took me breathe away...... there was quite a lot of holidaymakers there and I longed to find a quiet spot with no one around and just sit and look and look but alas there was no chance of that...... there is a little musuem place at the top which use to be some holiday B and B place in years gone by..... and there is also the weather observatory, which I think has recorded the fastest winds anywhere in the USA...... (if you google Mt Washington you can read all about it, which we did when we came home, cos I love to delve into places we have been)...

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Jacob standing on top of the world.....

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A bit dark but I still love this pic.....

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A boy and a dog........ magic.....

Eva and Amina Mt Washington Top

Eva and Amina....... I so miss them.....

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I took this from inside the little hut building...... I love this photo.....

There is this little railway that runs up the mountain for those to chicken shit to drive up...... oh and for the old and infirm (maybe I should of cadged a lift on it lol).......

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See how the boiler thingie is sloping so that when it is going up the side of the mountain it remains level LOL

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Jacob took this shot under the little trains wheels cos it looked like the train was on the edge of the world with the mountains behind....... the boy did good lol

Anyways it was the most wonderful of experiences going up AND coming down, AGAIN Sharkie refused to let me drive down the mountain......

So we continued on our way to Hilltop, and bloody hell, we hadnt gone much further when a black bear lopped out of the trees onto the side of the road just to the left of us....... so Sharkie sharply pulled over onto the hard shoulder so that we could see it..... A REAL BLOODY LIVE WILD BLACK BEAR....... but this bloody lorry came hurtling along and scared the bear back into the woods...... but we stayed there and bugger me, it came out a little further down the road........ most of the traffic stopped and Sharkie and Jacob both leapt out of the car, cameras in hand and headed towards the bloody bear, with shouts from me of 'what the hell, you will get eaten' deaf ears I tell ya...... this shot is from my position NEXT to the car LOL..... Sharkie has much better photos though...... but after all said and down it was a real bear, and at least we did get a better glimpse of it when it first came out of the woods.... I was well excited *ha...... saddo or what....... but we dont have wild creatures here, and most certainly NOT bears......

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So........ with the bear running across the motorway and into the woods we continued on our way to HillTop....... the place, the roots of this family that I so longed to see, the place that was already nitched a little into me soul, the place that I so wanted to see probably more then any other place.....

Sharkie suggested that we stop and buy provisions for dinner and breakfast and lunch the next day, as HillTop is in the middle of NOWHERE and there would be no shops around...... so we stop in this place to get some stuff...... and as we get to the checkout I says, its ok, its my shout, cos I thought Sharkie has done the petrol etc..... but Sharkie said, nope, his shout....... nope I said, MY SHOUT lol....... so I looked at Jacob...... you must understand that me and my boy are so intune with each other that he reads me mind...... as Sharkie got out his card (you doodles and ya cards), my Jacob placed his hand over the card machine.... Sharkie said, hey, I'll get these bits...... nope I repeated...... the woman at the checkout was now blank staring at us both, looking from one to the other, so I thought this calls for drastic action......... this is what I done, I can tell you, it worked a bloody treat and it was just sooooooo funny.....mean but funny.....

I turn to Sharkie and say in a soft voice....... its ok sharkie (obviously I didnt call him really sharkie, but with a name like Mavis I thought I had better not say), its ok, calm down, and I gently rub his arm and smile..... I then turn to the checkout lady and say....... its ok, please dont take any card transfer from this man, its care in the community and Im trying to teach him how to interact when out in shops with people...... she smiles sweetly...... I then turn back to Sharkie and smile (he was laffing by now) and I say..... there there its ok, put your library card back in your wallet, you cant pay for things with your library card, look, this is money, and this is how you have to buy food....... and I again rub his arm and say...... its ok, now behave and stand still or I will have to take you back to the home earlier then needed..... and I again rub his arm LOL....... A BRIGHTER SHADE OF RED I HAVE NEVER SEEN lol...... I turn back to the lady and say, fanks for being so patient.... but Im trying so hard to intergrate him back into society, and as you can see, IT AINT EASY :)....... she just gives me that knowing nod and smiles at Sharkie LMFAO HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...... ok ok you just had to be there........ but it worked a treat, I got to pay for our stuff LOL........ I had to use this method a couple of other times when out and about on our trip to Maine LOL...... heheheheh

So....... as we drove off the proper road and onto a sort of track I could feel the tension in me soul tighten, at last I was to see HillTop...... a place that already seemed to be close to me heart........ and oh my goodness, as we pulled into the drive, I felt such a sense of belonging...... its so hard to describe...... I just let everyone else get out of the truck and I sat there, cos me heart was racing and I could hardly breathe....... it was the most strange feeling ever, it was as if I was in someone elses body.... someone from long ago....... I know that sounds crazy, but its the only way I can describe the feeling that rushed though me......after a few minutes, Sharkie came back to the truck and asked if I was ok LOL....... how the hell could I describe what had just happened........ so I didnt, I just said...... yep, Im fine.....

As I walked up the 200 year old stone steps to the porch of this old house, I thought my heart was gonna burst...... the sense of Sharkies family history in this house was oozing out of the door and the windows..... I felt like I was gonna cry....... I know you wont understand any of that...... but I know what Im talking about......

The house is well over 200 years old and has been in Sharkies family all that time....... the sense of belonging and the sense of the past just hit me like a ton of bricks...... when I walked in the higgledypiggeldy house and explored the rooms, I could feel the ghosts of the past and as I touched the things in the house I could almost feel his family through the years hold and touching the same things....... it was such the strangest weird feeling EVER..... yet another antique bed awaited me...... how many people had slept in that bed...... how many people felt safe in that bed...... I hope they approved of me being there....... I sat on the bed and reach over to the little old bookcase filled with ancient books and begain flicking through them...... many of which had been written inside the front covers..... some hand dated with names and dates, some 1887 from greatgranma to granma as a child........ Sharkie explained who was who and I felt I had known all these people....... and when I found albums of old black and white family photos all taken in and around the house and the adjoining land, photos of Sharkies grandparents as children and his own father and the rest of his family....... I had shivers.... good shivers...... beautiful OLD photos adorned many of the walls, and the house had rickety old floorboards and each bedroom with old beds..... and old safe ghosts of the past.......

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View from the front porch......

I just loved that no matter where one explored or looked there was/is the history of this wonderful family all around... and with stories to be told about everyone... Sharkie could tell you who was who and who did what and who married who and who had what kids..... and inside one of the well old cupboard doors was the height history of Sharkies family, right back almost to greatgrandma...... ya know, scratched onto the door...( I have done the same for my lads on our kitchen door edging from when they was small - but not obviously old like sharkies family - but mine has to start somewhere)... like...... Sharkie 1962 3ft 5inches...... well I cant remember the exact heights..... but his father as a child etc..... it was like family history overflowing.......... and ya probably know by now my passion for family history..... the photos that lay around this house were magical...... and when I climbed into me old antique bed and snuggled under the covers and lay looking out the window..... I felt safe.....

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This side view of the house soooooo doesnt do it any justice.... it looks tiny, but is so aint.... I wonder how many of Sharkies ancesters had stood at that old kitchen stable split door and looked out as their children have played in the garden.....

In the back of the garden is what looks like a shed...... up behind the old well..... on closer inspecition, or noseyness by me, it appeared to have little tiny beds in it..... so I asked Sharkie what it was....... and he said it was the little house where as kids he and his previous family kids had slept on adventures...... and then he took out yet another old photo album and found some of the photos of kids from long ago playing around the little summer house......sighhhhhhh

The house is way longer then what I could capture in this photo..... oh and a gorgeous original rolltop bath in one of the bathrooms and a secret bedroom over the store room with its own separate stairs from the back kitchen..... and rooms over the garage.......

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Again this picture does no justice to one of the most pretty, loved filled, family oozing cottages I have even stepped into...... behind the white bushes is the most beautiful wrap round porch with a real old swing..... Jacob was swinging on the swing and we tried to imagine the generations of kids that had done the same as he was doing.....

I did take a little wander down the lane on me own, well, with the dog of course..... just to explore.....and as I walked back towards the house, it once more pulled me into its history and belonging.......

It looks tiny from the photos but it sort of rambled on forever, rooms upon rooms filled with family treasures....... not treasures in the sense of the word, but treasures to me are the life blood and history of 200 years of a family that ticks and ticks on forever.....

As I eventually settled down to sleep that night, I will admit I had a few tears lol...... how could I be so totally in love with this house...... and I aint a materialistic person, not in the least........ but it has pulled me in like this family and will be forever in my heart......

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Goodbye HillTop....... I wonder if we will ever meet again....... x

Whilst there, Sharkie also had mentioned months ago that he owned this little house way deep in the woods called Paradise...... a little 3 bed/cellared cottage just up the lane a little ways...... we went to see, I just had to see it..... and oh my goodness..... the windows had been boarded up against the bears,whilst Sharkie was doing the renovation work inside...... Jebus..... the original old stove from over 100 years and old woodburners in the little lounge..... and rickity stairs to the first floor, where Sharkie and Jacob moved some stuff and were catching snakes that had somehow climbed into the upstairs rooms....... rooms piled high with old ancient secrets, all ready for someone to unpack and give back life to....... when Paradise is finished, it will be the most gorgeous secluded secret little house EVER...... the grass in the huge overgrown garden had been squashed flat in places, and Sharkie told me that that is where the bears had passed through over the days previous...... *cough*..... they dont eat ya unless ya mean to them right? lol.......

Anyways, just a few days at HillTop and Paradise and it was alas time to head back to Maine......

I will never forget HillTop and how it made me feel, nor will I ever forget Paradise, I know you will never understand where I am coming from with this....... but it stirred my soul, my senses, and my love for this family...... I think those ghosts approved of me, I would like to think they liked me....... I signed the visitors book, and as like here, I rambled on and on...... I also read some of the entries from 50-80 years ago....... did HillTop capture anyone elses heart like it captured mine this August past....... I dont know....... but its a feeling I wanna keep a lifetime......

Fanks Sharkie for sharing these special places with me....... I felt I knew them before I arrived....... but I didnt realise the affect they would have on me.......

I hope I get to go back there one day......

Ok........ to much bleedin waffling on for a Thursday....... doubt anyone has read down this far LOL........xx

23 comments:

Melody Ann said...

I read that far down =]

I love to hear stories of your travels! I'm so scared of bears too!!! Good for me I live hundreds of miles away from the wild ones... I hope =\

Kati said...

Oooooh man, Toasty..... You tell the best tales..... I was laughing right along with you about buying the food at the grocery store. *grin* Poor Sharkie!! HillTop sounds like the loveliest of old places. And even if those pictures of the place weren't the "best", I still think they were fabulous!!!! It's the character of the home, not the design aspects. Though I DO wonder what kind of bush that is at the front corner with the lovely white flowers.

Thanks for sharing more of your vacation with us!

Interplanet Janet said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Lady. :)

Love,

Janet

toadman said...

Man! Sounds like a great time.. still..them mountains over there in the East? They're still only "hills" to us westerners...

Oh, and he wouldn't let you drive eh? Maybe he still feels the pain of the gnome. Remember the gnome? I do. Poor little guy...pity the gnome.

Also...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY YA MAD WOMAN!!

We toads and tadpoles love you dearly.

OrdinaryShark said...

Scared?! I don't think so! As you correctly pointed out, I had everyone's life in my hands, including the baby Amina and I thought it prudent to be careful. I think that about covers it. I shutter to think what would have happened if you drove; the first time a car came from the opposite direction you would have turned to the wrong side of the road and plunged off the mountain!

And the weather station has the highest recorded winds in the WORLD. Mt. Washington has extreamly severe weather conditions, not like the calm stuff found on Mt. Spokane.... ;-)

Jade said...

I think it's so beautiful how connected you feel to history. Gives me goosebumps =)

the psycho therapist said...

You called him a "pussy"?

ROTFL.

Gurl...


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the psycho therapist said...

And that bit with the cashier? Hy-fuckin-sterical.

What? It was.


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the psycho therapist said...

Last one:
Yes, this post is lovely but the way you tell a story...gets me laughing every time, every time.

What can I say? I'm passionate.


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Mom not Mum said...

Every post of your trip is more and more fantastic. The pictures are incredible and Jacob did a right fine job with the train picture.

ciara said...

((((mel and anyone's for a ride on someone's slanted train))))uhhh, you do know that it was your ancestors who came and named it New Hampshire, right??? LMAO

I would have been a 'pussy' (which here we use in the same reference..sometimes we use the variation wussy...i guess that would be the 'polite' form lol), too, cuz I HATE small and winding roads. I'd be too busy wondering if we're gonna fall of of em lol But I can see that it's very beautiful there.

Man, I wish I had been there when you were telling the lady you couldn't take Sharkie anywhere. My ass would've been rolling on the floor. lol

and sharkie, i would've taken extra care w babies and kids in the car, too...and the possibility of her driving off the side of the mountain cuz she's not used to driving on the right side of the road is VERY plausible lol and how high are the winds??

Lora said...

Enjoyable reading Mel...you are a wonderful storyteller !! I love ya dearly and will keep in touch

John said...

Glad you had such a great time, Mel.

Note for the boys braggin' their foothills-

Mt. Washington is 6,288 ft.

Mt. Ranier is 14,411 ft.

Mt. McKinley, is 20,320 ft.

Go figure.


;)

Betty said...

I love reading about all of your adventures. You keep me in stitches. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

((((((((((( M )))))))))))))
Happy, happy birthday!!!! I am so blessed to know you!!!

Paradise, eh? Maybe it's just the place you have been looking for?

I love your story telling, your pictures and just everything aboutchooooo, my dear...

Stay sweet and funny !

* gazey *

MarmiteToasty said...

~((melody ann))~ I was mega chufted as seeing a real wild bear, but Im glad we dont have them here lol........xxx

~(((kati)))~ I loved HillTop before I actually went there, but then I fell in LOVE with the place, its a very special place..... :) hehhe the grocery shop we a tad funny.....xxxx

~((((InterplanetChicken))))~ fanks you....... I dont usually celebrate it though lol.......xxxxx

~((((Toadies)))~ I loves you all to..... and oh my goodness how could I forget the gnome :) oh and the registered midget Julia sent me a card LMFAO.......xxxx

~((((((((((((Sharkie)))))))))))))~ one word 'pussy'..... and there aint nowt wrong with my driving lol - when we got home we looked up all about Mt Washington, it was well fasinating....... hugs xxxxxxxxx

~((((jade))))~ :) I really think I was born in the wrong era..... sigh.... I to get goosebumps sometimes over some history stuff and places...... shit, maybe Im reincarnated lol.......xxxxxxx

~((((((((Wendy))))))))~ I was smiling when I called Sharkie a pussy LOL.......

The checkout thing was just so funny, and it made it funnier that my Jacob was so intune with me lol........

Ya laff at me life? well thats just charming aint it LOL......xxxxxxxxxxxx

~(((MnM)))~ dont me posts drag on a bit though lol, but you know me by now, I just sit and let me fingers loose and they just type whats in me head......xxxxxx

~(((ciara anyones for a shovel of coal up her jacksy)))~ nah, you lot nicked it from us lol

if you was there I would of probably laffed and then the woman would of not taken me seriously lol..... I had to use the same ploy a couple of other times in Sharkies local shops LOL..... I would love to see the womans face when Sharkie goes back on his own LOL.....

and you to stop about me driving....... :) wheres ya trust, the pair of ya lol.....xxxxxxxx

~((((((((lora)))))))))~ I can only write about real life situations..... love you to.....xxxxxx

~(((((John-Foolie)))))~ its not the size of a blokes mountain thats important, but more the size of his boulders at base camp ;)..... and them there boulders in Maine are piled high LMFAO......xxxxx

~(((((((betty)))))))~ welcome to you :) I didnt know you lurked here, please feel free to always comment and join in :)......xxxxx

~(((((Gazey)))))~ I think the blessed to know you is from me to you :).....

Paradise truely was so very special..... ;)

I love you to.... you know that without me saying..... and me, well, I can only ever be me..... :).....xxxxxxxx

Kati said...

Hey Toasty!!! I've got some pictures to email ya, but I need your email-addy sweety!!! My dad got some pics of twin baby-moose in his front yard this afternoon. My email is katlynn _ tay @ yahoo dot com

the psycho therapist said...

LOL! Your return comments rock.

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The Fool said...

And I thought we were talking mountains. Feel free to measure any way your heart desires, Mel.

Jen said...

I feel like that about history, too. Sometimes I stand in one spot on our land and wonder who else throughout the ages has stood in that exact spot. You can almost feel the souls of all those who have been there. And old houses with pictures and books are the best!

Ol' Lady said...

Hey world traveller...you stopped by my old other blog, not the current one. Stop in if ya got the time www.sometimesstupid.blogspot.com

Catch said...

what a beautiful story Marmie, I enjoyed every minute of it, Im glad you had such a wonderful time....you tell a beautiful story girlfriend!

MarmiteToasty said...

~(((kati)))~ cripes, Im well jealous ........ its marmitetoasty@yahoo.com :) - I would LOVE to see them.... fanks...xxxxx

~((((Wendy))))~ hehehehehe...xxxxxxx

~(((Foolie))))~ I WAS :)....xxxx

~((((jen))))~ I just so love social history best, maybe its cos I dont have one of me own, I dont know.... it makes me sad when Im in a junk/antique shop and I come across old family photo albums that have found there way into these shops.... I am so drawn to them and have to flick through the pages and sometimes Ive been know to buy them and take then home LOL.... how sad that old family photos end up without a family....xxxx

~((((ol Lady))))~ I had me retard head on me finks.... I will pop over proper later today....xxxxxx

~((((catch)))~ wow you read to the end LOL.... I just sit and let me fingers type, I never plan or think what to type, it just flows out of me.... :)....xxxxxxx