Category Archives: Uncategorized

Historical Exhibit

Telling and Showing the Stearns Family History in Mansfield 250 Years

I am preparing a historical exhibit for the Stearns Family’s 250 years in the town of Mansfield. What a journey as I research and sift the ages. Winnowing down this collection of dates, photos, artifacts, and mementos to what will be displayed is difficult. Space impacts some decisions and makes them easy to set aside. I have had many thoughts as I work through the materials. Come along as I think on paper about the exhibit that opens June 5, 2022, at 1:30 at Mansfield Historical Society route 195 in Storrs.

Our oldest generation in the 250-year history has left no photographs so a headstone may well be the only representation, and a poor one for a life rich in family and farm. This founder of the Mansfield lineage was interrupted and devastated by the Revolutionary war. His son Marched off to the call from Bunker Hill never to return. I need to find a way to honor that sacrifice.

The Civil War impacted the family as well. Two brothers served. Oliver came home after the battle at Cold Harbor and died of consumption (TB) thirty days later. At least he saw home again and died with his family nearby. They had the closure few Civil War-era families were afforded.

Three barn fires in a thirty-year cycle were pivotal moments in the farm and family history. 1929, 1959, and 1989 with a full loss of the barn in the first two. Those are terrible memories literally seared into the fabric of the family. In 1989 the barn was saved by the experience of the previous generation and the security of a fire system in all the buildings. We were immensely happy to get through 2019 and break the 30 year cycle!

 

The family and the farm are so intertwined. One does not depict one without the other. It is the foundation of the family and the reason so many have persevered here on this windy hilltop. Many events on the farm are memorable family occasions. The modernization to tractors and the retirement of the draft horses are startling changes. New bottling equipment, home delivery, and wholesale accounts, milking machines, and computers improve with time and succeeding generations.

The ninth generation leaves its mark on the farm and family by making a significant change. They ensure a future by securing the land in the CT Farmland Preservation program. 736 acres that can never be built on. This strategic move has laid a foundation for future generations to live and work on the same hill our ancestors have.

Stop by Mansfield Historical Society this summer to view the exhibit along with others they will showcase. https://mansfieldct-history.org/museum-opening-day-3/

 

 

Writer’s Journey

I’m on a writer’s journey and the view is fine! I walked a road with little to no recognition of the writer’s landscape. Finally, I am cresting the first hill. I have published my first book! That book was written part by hand in a notebook and finished on a laptop after I typed in… Continue Reading

Winter Homecoming

This post is dedicated to all who work outside in winter weather. I appreciate your dedication to animals, agriculture and essential services. Orange bottom clouds scud across the evening sky carrying the last bits of sun and first flakes of snow. The wind howls in the tree tops like angry sea waves. My breath is… Continue Reading

I like Walking in September

Why Do I like walking in September? Walking as a healthy habit is a good thing but I wane in interest as summer temperatures soar. High humidity and relentless sun drive me to the shady front porch and passive activity. September renews my love affair with walking. The sun is still warm, sometimes even hot… Continue Reading

Coping in Covid19 Times

Covid19 – Corona Virus Isolation My heart feels gray. Seems a strange day, gray outside and a snowy start.  There is so much anxiety, stress and drama in the world. It is real and it permeates even the healthy with a pending sense of doom. When will the other shoe drop… I am trying to… Continue Reading

What’s This NaNoWriMo?

What’s this NaNoWriMo?   I’m back! After a long hiatus from my blog I am returning to bring you interesting articles and a glimpse at my view of the world. If you are looking for storytelling, after-school, family fun, agriculture or animals they are lurking here within my posts old and new. You could get… Continue Reading

Ancestors at Sea

Did your ancestors work  the sea? What immigrant ship did your ancestors arrive on?  Tell family stories with accuracy to detail, with a visit to a nautical museum or website. Here are some places to begin your voyage of discovery, the family stories from the sea. The whale boat above, is an image from Mystic Seaport,… Continue Reading

A-MAZE-ING If You Give A Donkey an Ice Crea Cone

A-MAZE-ING If You Give A Donkey an Ice Crea Cone

How 2 donkeys helped me promote an event! Summer on Blue Hill had become sooooo boring, event the grass was short. Tobasco wished for an adventure. Tobasco told his friend Jassper about his wish and Jassper wished too! Could they have a DAYCATION? PLEASE! See how I used story to promote an event I was… Continue Reading

What is Wikipedia saying about your Storytelling Festival? NOTHING! Unless YOU change that!

Shared from the National Storytelling Network blog, co-authored by Norah Dooley and Carolyn Stearns   http://blog.storynet.org/what-is-wikipedia-saying-about-your-storytelling-festival-nothing-unless-you-change-that     What is Wikipedia saying about your Storytelling Festival? NOTHING! Unless YOU change that!. Continue Reading

Longears in Connecticut – Donkey News

Longears in Connecticut – Donkey News

Friday, May 4, 2012 The Day – Timely respect for the longears | News from southeastern Connecticut The Day – Timely respect for the longears | News from southeastern Connecticutwritten by: Suzanne Thompson The link takes you to a article in The Donkey and Mule Show Saturday at Bishop’s Orchard in Guilford, CT. I’ll be… Continue Reading

James Henry: media darling; Learning at 98

Too Old To Learn? NEVER! James Henry: media darling featured in People, on CNN – The Westerly Sun: Metertest: MYSTIC — James Arruda Henry’s rapid rise from humble lobster-boat captain to literary star has been tiring, said his granddaughter Marlisa McL… If this 98 year old lobster fisherman can learn to read and write in… Continue Reading

Lanes Stadium

Lanes Stadium

The seats are filled and the fans are spirited as the double header settles in to game two. Having gone extra innings to break a tie it will be interesting to see who has the staying power as the two teams return to the field of story with their lineup. First up to bat and… Continue Reading

MyLITV.com – The Island Long Riders cowboy mounted shooting club Long Islands Best Videos Politics and Local News

MyLITV.com – The Island Long Riders cowboy mounted shooting club Long Islands Best Videos Politics and Local News Here is a great look at what I do a lot of announcing for. There is a tiny segment where you can hear me. This is a great sport filled with great people. Will be back out… Continue Reading

March Roars In

March came roaring in like a lion last night. I lay in bed listeneing to the roar. I could hear trees crackle and barn doors creak in the fierce wind and thought about all the animals out in the barn listeneing. It must seem even louder to them. There is a certain comfort in knowing… Continue Reading