Summers in Plymouth: Clearing the Land and the Burning Bush(es)

SaylingAway

Mom and Dad standing in the driveway behind the house Mom and Dad standing in the driveway behind the house

When I was growing up, my father would once or twice a month make what we called Saturday family announcements, such as “Today we’re going to clear land.” These pronouncements were made with a veiled threat of “or else” and all the imperiousness of his New England stock. If it weren’t for the fact that “the land” was about four acres, we kids might have laughed ourselves silly.

There were five terraces leading up to our house, wild and full of brambles and wild blackberries. The lowest terrace, where our house had once been, based on the foundation walls we found there, was next to the main road, and it and the next one up had ancient apple trees that bore fruit sporadically. However, you put your pants and legs at risk if you wanted to eat one. The third…

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