Monday, April 21, 2008


I went to Barrington this weekend.

It turns out there are quite a lot of Barringtons out there, but the one I went to is in Rhode Island, and is where my mother grew up. I kind of grew up there, too, because we visited my grandparents a lot, and also I spent eight weeks each of five summers living with them while I worked at a daycamp at the church they helped plant a long time ago. I didn't have a car at the time, so I guess Grandpa must have driven me to camp when it rained, but for some reason I can only remember the sunny days, when I would ride his ancient brown bike (which I still have but haven't ridden since that last summer at camp) to the church, and then in the afternoon take myself on leisurely bike rides around the local neighbourhoods.

Nobody I am related to currently lives in Barrington, but I have some friends there still, so I stayed with them. I thought I was going to feel all nostalgic, and I drove past the house where my grandparents had lived for decades. It is now yellow and not green, but there's a baby-swing hanging from a tree in the front yard, and the house looks cared for but lived in, so I'm going to trust that the people in it are the kind of people who should live in your grandparents' house if your grandparents can't and you can't. I did sort of wish I could park my car in the driveway and go for a walk in Haines Park and then walk back and have tea and danish puff pastry with my grandmother, but other than that I felt more happy than wistful about my memories and the fact that that's all they were.

Unable to park in the driveway, I drove to Haines Park instead, left my car in one of the many intermittent car-spots, and walked down to the water. Then I sat on a picnic bench under a tree, facing the water and the boats and the wind. I journaled until the breeze got too bracing, and then I walked back and drove to my friends' and had a nice time with them, too.

I like weekends like this.


Peggy said...

Sounds very refreshing and looks beautiful! I'm glad that you clarified it was Barrington in Rhode Island because I was wondering what country this blog was from! (I just advanced one from mine and it was you)! Enjoy your week and our return trip down memory lane or back to harrington again! So enjoy when someone personalizes...Thanks for sharing.

The Cubicle Reverend said...

I live in a Barrington, but it doesn't look like that. Where's the giant Fed Ex warehouse?

Jenn said...

Thanks for stopping by, Peggy--and for saying hi . . .

Cube Rev--um . . . I don't know. ;) (Phew. I'm glad I spent my summers in this one!)

Mary Anne said...

One of my memories of Grandpa is of taking a walk with him one evening to the grocery store and picking up some ice cream. It was when he was starting to get quiet though, when we first started realizing something was wrong. I remember I was so struck and saddened by how we couldn't really have a conversation. I think I was just blabbing along on the way to the store, trying to fill the silence, but on the way back, we were just quiet, and I realized it was ok and he was still my same sweet Grandpa who loved me, but we just enjoyed each other's company without talking now. Sad, but somehow it's a nice memory. I love Barrington, too!