Sunday, January 30, 2011

Foreign Lands by Robert Louis Stevenson

Foreign Lands

Up into the cherry tree
Who should climb but little me?
I held the trunk with both my hands
And looked abroad in foreign lands.

I saw the next door garden lie,
Adorned with flowers, before my eye,
And many pleasant places more
That I had never seen before.

I saw the dimpling river pass
And be the sky-blue looking glass;
The dusty roads go up and down
With people tramping into town.

If I could find a higher tree
Farther and farther I should see,
To where the grown-up river slips
Into the sea among the ships,

To where the roads on either hand
Lead onto into fairy land,
Where all the children dine at five,
And all the playthings come alive.

~Robert Louis Stevenson~

While looking for something else in one of our rooms where we seem to store everything in no particular order I found these old photos of our son. The room is actually my old craft room from back in the days when I used to paint wooden ornaments and sell them at local craft shows, and now 'a catch all for any item that we don't know what else to do with and don't want to throw it away just in case you might need it again one day' room, filed under complete chaos.

Thankfully I know where each item is and can put my hands on them within minutes. Gregg is always amazed. Today I forgot that other thing I was looking for because I found an old box of much treasured photographs. Short attention span? You betcha! I can't even remember what I was looking for originally but to me this was a much better find. Gregg and I have just spent an hour going through them and doing our 'remember when' thing. Tidying that room up is 'on the list'. We will get there eventually, that's what we keep telling ourselves anyhow.

In the top photo dear son was climbing a tree on the grounds of one of those lovely old country pubs we had stopped at. Gregg, Brad and I, along with my Mom and Dad, drove up to visit my sister and brother-in-law. This was before my niece came along. The three of us had flown to the UK to Heathrow Airport in the summer of 1983 and caught the train in Reading down to Devon. After a few days we piled into Dad's car and drove up to see my sister and her husband 300 miles north of us in Worcestershire. They lived in a lovely little village called Naunton Beauchamp, not too far from Worcester. It was an idyllic time and the weather was gorgeous.

The other photo was taken a couple of years earlier. On the back of the photo I had written "Brad at the NAS Baseball Picnic - San Diego, CA - June 1983", which would have made him 3 yrs and 10 months old. So strange that I don't remember much of this day but I don't feel so bad because Gregg can't remember either photo being taken. All that is really important is that we took the photos and captured a very special moment in our lives. I'm looking forward to going through the other old photos because we've found some real treasures.


  1. You sound just like me. You really make me giggle when you say you couldn't remember what you were looking for originally....thats me. Short attention span....thats me. Clean up/sort out one day........that's me.

  2. Aww Denise, I must confess, I thought the first picture was of you !
    Brad looks so much like you...
    Isn't it fun to look through old photographs, were we ever really that thin ?
    Such wonderful moments, to reminisce about, it's the one reason I still ove to take pictures with real film, and literally hold those memories between your fingers.
    Lokk forward to seeing more !

  3. Wonderful poem to go with the pictures of your boy when he was little!

    Aah, the junk room! Seems my whole house qualifies about now - except my womb. I understand all about going for something and get there in time to forget just what you were going to get!

  4. Beautiful photos, beautiful child, beautiful and fitting poetry.
    That junk room will wait.

  5. Very clever of you to match the RLS verse with your wonderful photo. Ah, such sweet memories, no matter how vague. ~karen

  6. Digital photos and flickr are nice but finding a box or album of old prints that you haven't seen in a while and remembering them is sublime.

  7. Oh, I am the same with photographs, old letters and books!
    Thank you for sharing your memories.
    Jane x

  8. Nice photos, Denise! Your son looked so cute.

  9. I would love to be in that tree. My mom used to say all i needed was a tail.I always knew where the fruit trees were.

  10. Oh what a cutie he was and still is. I'm posting something tomorrow about short attention spans. That's me, alright.

  11. Haven't heard that poem for some time and what a cutie he is !!

  12. These really are treasures. Your son was such a cute kid. I love going through old photos.

  13. What a cute little boy! Love the photos and the poem. As I have 3 grown sons of my own, you are now making me cry with nostalgia. How I miss my little boys! I have one daughter also. She will always be my little girl. I love being a mother but your poem reminds me that I also loved being a girl and climbing trees for myself! Have fun looking through those old photos. I bet you get even more choked up than me! I'm afriad to even venture a look through mine!

  14. I think we all have short term memories at times, nothing to worry about. Brad is so cute, don't you just love taking trips down memory land, I do. Things of yesterday seem so precious and only if for one second we could go back to that time in space. I liked the poem, he is one of my favorite authors. Believe it or not when I was young I use to climb up on our outhouse and spend hours pretending Have a nice week.

  15. A lovely post Denise.
    I dont't mind losing all else, but the loss of our photos pre '83 still stings. That was the record of all my life and 25 years of our marriage.

    We have a room like yours, a someday room where everything gets squirrelled away into and then things need to be piled up when we need to free a bed for a guest tee hee.