During the summer of 2002, when the rest of the family left after our annual “fort” July celebration (or, was it before they got there?), my mom and I stayed at the farm together. In the morning, she would sew and weave while I studied for a french exam, a requirement for my doctorate. In the afternoon, we would drive around the area, looking for great hiking spots. While we walked and talked, she took pictures and I occasionally shot some video footage. In the evening, we would often cook a great meal together and split a bottle of wine. It was amazing.
A lot of memory work came out of that summer. Much of the footage that I’m using for the digital stories in this project, countless photos, and a scrapbook that my mom crafted for me:
Celebrating the Month of July, 2002 in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with Sara—Hiking in the Woods—Relaxing—Talking, Sharing, Examining, Eating, Reading, Enjoying!
Photos by Judy. Thank you Sara for a wonderful July, 2002!
Bewabic State Park is just one of the dozens of special places in Iron County. Fir trees are a trademark of the woods along the crystal clear water. Ferns, dragonflies, deer flies, mosquito’s buzzing. Great cloud formations, deer, bears, canoes, tall grasses, and a filmmaker’s paradise!
The George Young Recreation Area offers golf, swimming, hiking, and an opportunity to cross this bridge into a world of millions and zillions of deer flies. They helped us decide to photograph the water lilies instead of being eaten alive! I say come back in the fall!
Here I stand on the sandy shores of the Mishagamee Reservoir on an 80 degree July Day. Drat! No swimming suit and I can hear the happy voices of those in this bathtub water. Testing! Testing! Testing! Oh Scott would swim here! Think of Isabel—she’d love it. I’m liking it too…Next summer we are definitely coming back with our suits, a cooler, and ready for fun.
Here we are in the Ottawa Forest finding our way along a well-marked trail. Between the two of us we’ll find our way and not get lost. Can you imagine this area in the winter? Wow! We’re on our way stepping in time with confidence and thinking—right at this moment, this is where I want to be!
The woods are especially lush and green this summer due to abundant rain. We hike along trails still rustling with last year’s leaves reminding us of the glorious autumn to come and beckoning us to capture the moment on film and in our memory banks so that a day caught in Atlanta traffic….
What can one say with words that might capture the wild beauty of the Keeweenaw Shores of Lake Superior? Air as fresh as any on earth. Seagulls, craggy shorelines, sharp outcroppings of rocks and blue, blue sky. Blue water. Blue…chilling and crashing on rocks assuring us of its power and beauty. Soothing, rhythmically pounding.
Each 4th of July Amasa has a celebration with games, parades, food, speeches, patriotism and meeting long-time friends and relatives. You could even dress like a fireman! This was a special year because Jenny joined us, recently engaged and Sara’s friend from West Des Moines.
Happy “Fort” July from the steps of the Puotinen Farm. This is where we stare at the woodline, eat great meals, play croquet, play volleyball, build bonfires, toast marshmallows, walk in the woods and affirm each other!
Marking the Occasion
During the summer of 2002, I spent almost a month with my mom at the Farm. In the morning, after taking a walk, she would work in her sewing room while I sat at the dining room table studying French for my doctoral language exam. In the afternoon, we explored different hiking trails near the Farm. We both usually brought our cameras. She would take pictures while I shot video footage.
To commemorate that wonderful month, my mom crafted a photo book using construction paper, duct tape, card stock and many of the photographs that she had taken. She gave it to me as a thank you:
I love this book. I love how her stories about our month are written around the photos in her neat handwriting. And I love that she took the time to mark the occasion in such a creative and crafty way.
In the spring I plan to have her photo book professionally scanned and to combine it with my video footage and stories in an interactive book. For now, here’s my first effort at combining our stories:
Affirming Each Other
Here’s some interview footage from that summer.