A few weeks after my first birthday my mother wrote in her diary – “Carol awake at 7:00. Had good day. Walks quite a bit saying “OBoy, OBoy.”

Carol in 1946Carol in 1946

Sixty-seven years later I say “OBoy” again because I’m excited about starting this blog. For the past year I’ve immersed myself in the history, documents, and memories of my family’s farm on Whirlwind Hill in Wallingford, Connecticut. I’ve thought, written, and made art about this place, and I’m ready to share the results with a wider audience.

I never thought I’d have a blog. And yet, here I am, venturing into a technology far removed from the people and times that are my subject. My Hall ancestors kept journals, wrote letters, sent postcards, made wills, signed deeds, and posed in their best clothes for portraits.

Lydia Jane Hart HallLydia Jane Hart Hall

They felt a need to record their lives, and I’m grateful that they did. I like to think they would welcome this modern way of passing along history. My great-grandmother, Lydia Jane Hart Hall, whose journals are a rich source of information about farm life, was often housebound and lonely in the last years of her life. A community of writers and readers would have pleased her.

Our own lives revolve around the stories we have in our heads. Some are told by others, and some we tell to ourselves. There is reality, and there is memory, and often the two are so entwined they’re hard to separate.

The Tree, Carol Crump Bryner, pencilMy family had a farm on a hill in Wallingford, Connecticut. My mind is full of what I’ve heard about my ancestors and their life there. In my physical world the detritus of their existence has taken on even more meaning now that my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles are gone.

I’ve started writing some of the memories and history down so that my children won’t have to say the sentence William Zinsser claims is one of the saddest he knows – “I wish I had asked my mother about that.”

Please join me on Mondays, Wednesdays, and occasional Fridays, here “On Whirlwind Hill.”  I’m launching this blog in April – a time of spring and beginnings. I plan to bring it to an end in April 2015, but who knows – that could change.  I welcome comments, stories, corrections, and the company of family and friends.

On Wednesday:  A Piece of the Past


17 thoughts on “OBoy!

  1. Margaret Norton Campion

    OBoy! is Right!! So exciting! Yippee! Launch Day is here. I am glad. And this is beautiful and what a way to start with that photo of little Carol, striding out into the world outside her farmhouse on Whirlwind Hill. OBoy! OBoy! Let’s go!

  2. Ellen Peters

    This is going to be wonderful!! And exciting to learn more about our rich family history in Wallingford. I am looking forward to reading these posts with my early morning coffee….a great way to start my day;) Thanks for sharing, Carol.

  3. Netzy

    Good morning Carol!!!
    What an interesting beginning, with your pictures and special words. You have made a strong point for me to share with my family memories because I don’t wish one of my kids to say, “I wish I had asked Mom.”
    Well done and am anxious to read more of your stories! Netzy

  4. Judy Rosen

    Hi Carol,

    Congratulations all over the place! Your blog looks (and reads) terrific. You’re off to a fantastic start, and I have no doubt all your future posts will be as interesting, colorful and varied. I hope you’re celebrating your accomplishment and are enjoying the process. I’m already looking forward to reading what’s next. And, as a fellow Workroom participant, I’m proud of you. Hip Hip HOORAY!

  5. nora

    Carol, I love your blog! The essence of you as the person I know and miss shines through in the photo of you a wee one, striding out to explore your new world. Love that you quoted from Out of Africa and drew the parallel to your own farm, and writings. I’m really looking forward to each post, it brings you closer. Nora (from much too far away).

    1. Carol Post author

      Thanks Nora. One of the best things about doing this blog is hearing from and keeping in touch with friends and family who are far away.

  6. Carol Kampert

    Good morning, Carol,
    What a wonderful blog! I love the your artwork and descriptions of Wallingford, and the photos are priceless (oboy!). You’re so lucky to have this treasury of family diaries, photos and other records. Thanks for taking the time to share them with all of us. It will be a treat to read them during the weeks to come. Carol K.

    1. Carol Post author

      Hi Patsy. I think the painting you’re talking about might be of the cottage, but I am going to talk about that eventually also, so you’ll get your history!

  7. Susan Appell

    Wow, this is great, Carol. So much time and effort shows. This is bringing back so many memories for me, too.

  8. Bonny

    “My family had a farm on a hill in Wallingford, Connecticut.” — reminds me of “I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills…” I am looking forward to adventure of learning about Connecticut. Thanks for doing this, Carol.

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