New York and Ohio

Well, I’m finally finishing up my posts about our vacation last month. (Better late than never, right?) 🙂 On our way back from Canada, we stopped by The Farmer Boy home in Malone, New York. We don’t go up to the far North that often, so we tried to do as much as we could while we were there. If you don’t know about this famous home, then you have never met Laura Ingalls Wilder! She’s an amazing person who wrote about her life (in a somewhat fictionalized fashion) in books known as the “Little House” books. The home in New York is the home of her husband, Almanzo Wilder. She writes about his childhood in the book, Farmer Boy. I read every one of these books when I was twelve, but I had forgotten a lot of it! The tour brought back a few memories and piqued my interest – and the kids’ too – to read this book. We finished enjoying it aloud about a week ago. The stories really came alive since we had seen everything she wrote about with our own eyes. We walked down the steep stairs that led from Almanzo’s bedroom to the dining room. We stood in the parlor where he threw a blacking brush at his sister, Eliza Jane. We saw the stalls of Lucy and Starlight. And the stall where he milked Blossom. 
The home itself was the original structure, but had been refurbished using materials that were true to that time period. They matched the wall paper and rugs to Laura’s descriptions, which were based on Almanzo’s memories. Our guide told us that Almanzo drew a diagram of his house and the barn for Laura’s book. When the barn was struck by lighting in the 1950’s and burned to the ground, the construction crew in charge of the refurbishing used Almanzo’s drawing to locate the old foundation of the barn. It was just where he said it was. The amazing thing is that Almanzo was 65 years old when he drew the diagram for Laura! Laura never got to see Almanzo’s home for herself, but with Almanzo’s detailed descriptions and her own imagination, I’m sure she knew every nook and cranny. 
I wish I could have photographed the inside of the house, but it was forbidden. Inside we saw a replica whip used by Father Wilder, the kind he loaned the school teacher in the book. They had unearthed an old bottle of oven blacking, but were not sure if it was used by the Wilders. They had many other time period replicas which were quite interesting. We saw Mother Wilder’s kitchen and pantry, where she fixed up all those meals Laura described. If you enjoy history, or if you enjoy good literature, I highly recommend the Farmer Boy house as a must-see! 
 The restored home, with our tour guide, Laurie, going inside.The white door on the far right is the cellar. 
I just love the color! The tiny window in the second floor is Father’s workshop, where he let Almanzo help him shave shingles on his birthday. That is also where Almanzo and Royal shared a room, Eliza Jane and Alice had a bedroom and Mother Wilder did her weaving. It was a full house! 
Here’s our family on the front porch. Behind this door is the kitchen. To the right is an entry/storage room. It had a cot for the teacher to sleep on when it was the Wilder’s turn to board him. To the left is the dining room and then Mother and Father’s room, which was very small!

The Wilder barns. The tiny house is the pump house.

Here we are at the entry to the big barn.

The pump house, where the pump was hard to work! The little rail of wood to the left, between the fence rails, is the tiny trough that fed the water from the pump to the large trough for the animals. It leaked, by the way. Poor Almanzo! 

Terry is taking a break and Matthew is running! Probably right where Almanzo used to wrestle with those ornery cousins of his. 😉 
We enjoyed our trip through Northern New York very much. It is a lovely part of this great country of ours. But we were all eager to get back to Ohio to see Grandma and Granddad! I don’t know what was wrong with me, I hardly got any pictures in Ohio! Part of the time I was sick with a cold and the other part I was relaxing while my sweet in-laws took care of the kids! 😉 They had a bonfire with their wonderful church people one night we were there. Here are a few photos of the guys getting things ready outside.

Three generations of Basham men working together. 🙂 

Mitchell enjoyed driving the little tractor – under the watchful care of Dad and Granddad! 🙂
I suppose I should be hogtied for not snapping any photos of my dear Mother-in-law or Terry’s Great Grandma! Or of my friend, Stephanie and her kids! Shame on me. I think I need to just go back up there and get some, don’t you? 

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Canada and Niagara Falls

One month ago, my family and I were blessed with the opportunity to visit Canada! We got to see Ontario and Quebec. It was an amazing opportunity that I will cherish forever. On our way up, we were able to visit with my husband’s parents in Ohio and then stop off at Niagara Falls! We traveled 75 hours – round trip – in our van. All seven of us. It was a long, hard trip and I thank God for keeping us safe as we road 4,000 miles together. Here are a few photos of our visit in Canada and the falls. I have several photos of the falls, and I thought, “Why do I keep taking so many?” Then, I answered myself! It was because at every angle, I saw something new; a different type of beauty! I’m sorry if some appear redundant, I guess I was just shutter happy! 🙂  I hope to post about the rest of our trip at another time. Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear from you! (Read: Please leave me a comment!)  
Crossing the border at Niagara Falls, Ontario! We were very nervous to use our passport cards for the first time, but we made it! (Phew!)

The entrance to the park on the Canada side.
This is America! The large falls are called the American Falls, and that tiny spout of a waterfall is called Bridal Veil Falls. (It really does look like a bridal veil, doesn’t it?)

Meet Horseshoe Falls – the largest of the falls at Niagara. It was a bummer that the huge cloud of mist hung over the middle, preventing a good photo. It was truly amazing! I just marveled at God and His power! How can anyone deny a Creator? 

Lauren and Mitch at the Falls.

Matthew made me nervous! The rails were pretty close to the falls in some places, so we kept our eyes – and hands – on him! 

I watched these two pretty closely, too!

Lauren snapped one of me and my main man. ♥

Another of Horseshoe Falls. See that opening in the side? We all wished we’d had time to take the “Journey Behind the Falls” and see what that looked like up close! Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time or money for all of us to go. Maybe next time! 🙂

A partial view of Horseshoe Falls. 

Full view of Horseshoe Falls.

Looking away from Horseshoe Falls, you can see that building on the side of the cliff. We were told it was an old power station. It had grass growing on the roof!

The seagulls were everywhere and made lots of noise! They let us get extremely close before they flew off.

The bank down from Horseshoe Falls. 

This is how close you are to the falls on the Canadian side. I could have leaned down and put my hand in this water. And that white space on the upper left hand corner? Oh, that’s just a 175 foot drop. YIKES! My heart was pounding the entire time we were standing here! (It was so loud, too!)

Here’s a slightly different angle, right behind Horseshoe Falls. It was getting dark now, so the falls had an eerie look to them.

The whole gang at Niagra Falls! Yes, we are VERY close to the drop off here. (Sorry it’s kind of blurry.)

My camera isn’t spiffy enough (or I just don’t know how to operate it right) to get good night time pictures. This is the best one of the falls at night. It was beautiful! Huge lights from way above where we stood came on at 8:30 PM and shone on the magnificent waterfalls. They changed colors, too! At first, the Canadian falls were red and white, like their flag, and the American Falls were red, white and blue! Then they changed to orange, purple, blue, yellow, green, pink – it was gorgeous! I was in awe of God’s creation, and how man is able to subdue it! God is in everything, everywhere. He has graciously let man control His creation! There are not enough adjectives to describe how humbled and enthralled I was at this wonder of God’s handiwork.

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