This trip home has been a reminder of family history. Our history grounds us and helps us understand who we are, and helps explain our values and beliefs. This trip back to Charlotte, NC, Winston Salem, NC and up through Chillicothe, Ohio has been a fascinating reflection of the past and how it shapes us.
Walking around the family farm that reflects 5 generations, I was bathed in memories of summers spent gardening with my grandmother, selling watermelons, rocking on the front porch with my grandfather, and swinging in the hammock while singing songs with my great aunt. I walked around what is left of the old barn and found pieces of rusty horse drawn plows that I watched my grandfather put to use. My great, great grandfather, Reese Blakeney left the farm and joined the Piedmont Rough Riders to protect his family’s land by defending North Carolina’s states rights in the Civil War.
Visiting my mother in Winston Salem, I walked the streets where she attended a women’s school that dates back to 1766. Salem College has a rich history that supported the education of women as valued members of society at a time when the average women was illiterate. An education was an opportunity for only the most wealthy.
Today, Mike and I will visit historic Chillicothe, the first capital city of Ohio- more his history than mine. We plan to stop at a local coffee house that has an exhibit reflecting local artist that have been contributing to the community for several generations.
Reconnecting with family and visiting familiar places has been fascinating and fun, but also a reminder that the richness of our personal history shapes our character and our values.