Documenting Days Gone By in the Rural Countryside of Galway NY

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Things change....without our permission.  Have you ever noticed that we're so busy living life that we forget that everything in life changes?  We go through life one day, then the next, often taking things for granted.  We take our circumstances for granted, the people in our lives, our surroundings, our jobs.....we just keep moving along without thinking about the possibility of change.  Until one day something happens that reminds us that our confidence, our comfort, our security wasn't secure after all.  Sometimes we get that wake-up call when someone we love is taken suddenly.  It might happen if we lose a job.  It might be when our kids grow up and move away.  Those are huge wake-up calls but sometimes things change in a more subtle way, ways we might never consider.  For example my grandparents had a beautiful two-family home in my hometown.  It was pristine with a sun porch, a flagpole encircled by a garden, a rose trellis and fenced in yard.  Their house was sold back in the early 1960's and today it's unrecognizable.  Every detail is changed....gone....luckily not forgotten.  I have photos to remind me what no longer remains.

In a day-to-day life, how often do you look at your home, or the home you grew up in and consider that one day your grandkids might not be able to visit it, drive by it, remember times in it.  I confess I'm more sentimental than most.  I love to look at old photos and reminisce and lucky for me, I come from a family of picture-takers so there's plenty of old photos to help me remember, help my future generations put images to stories they've heard.  

We recently took a drive to Galway, NY.  Even more than most of the destinations we travel to, Galway was dotted with old barns and buildings, many in various states of ruin, some more a pile of rubble.  As I was editing the many photos from that day, I wondered what these buildings might have once looked like in their prime when instead of being filled with ghosts and cobwebs, they were filled with life and someone's livelihood.  One day, for some sooner than others, pictures like the ones I took, will be all that's left of them along with their stories....stories that may have already evaporated from history.

At one time, I'm sure all of these run-down, faded buildings were pristine - just like my grandparent's home....brimming with activity and history.  Perhaps there's no one left to tell their stories, perhaps their 'better days' have been captured for future generations.  But maybe these photos are the end of the line for them, their existence and their stories dependent on people who may already be gone.
There was plenty of beauty left in Galway, plenty of pristine farms and homes filled with evidence of life and love.  I'll share those in Part II of this road trip.  Galway is certainly not a dying town but it is at least in part a reminder for us to document our lives, our homes, our existence for future generations....along with the people whose stories will be passed on.  Don't let your story crumble with time.  Illustrate it with photos and memories for those who come after you.  Your legacy doesn't need to come to an end once you're gone.   Want more?  Here's a link to Part II of this series.
Thanks for your company in Life As I See It. Don't forget to come back soon for the second installment of our road trip through Galway where I share some of the beautiful landscape and rural life of today. If you are one of the many who depend on Facebook to bring you my blog.....don't.   It's a gamble whether or not you'll see every post in your newsfeed. Consider subscribing to receive each new post in your email - free of ads or junk mail.  Click here to Subscribe!   To see more posts like this one, check out my Directory: Directory

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