The Very Best 50th Wedding Anniversary Gift of All
Sometimes we must tell our own family stories.
Back in February of 2021 after we received our first Covid-19 vaccines, we began talking about a trip to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary. I did lots of research and came up with 20 or so places we might go. They ranged from Vancouver Island, BC to Bar Harbor, Maine, as well as places in between like Glacier National Park or a return to the Tetons. I bookmarked many places and to my surprise my husband picked the same place I was thinking I would most like to go, although I didn’t tell him so; a lovely house in the woods in Swansea, MA.
I was a bit surprised, but then I thought we have lived together so long that we like the same sort of places. I was surprised because he usually likes places by the ocean or water. There was a bonus in going back to this area as we both have early roots in Rehoboth and Swansea. I even got an invitation to speak at the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society at the Carpenter Museum and I said, ” I will be back in your area in October if that would work.” I spoke on the YDNA of the Rehoboth Proprietors.
We had a lovely trip visiting Cape Cod on our first full day. I had gone back and forth about visiting the Hall Family Cemetery in North Dennis. The reason being, there are no stones for my particular ancestors but it is likely located on the lands of one of my two William ALLENs. Find a Grave had the wrong location but a friendly walker pointed the way. (Across the Street, down a driveway to a footpath in the woods.) A charming cemetery in a very lovely area of Cape Cod). Mushrooms everywhere. We had lunch on Mayflower Beach, not by plan but by happy accident.
Then we made our way out to Provincetown where the Pilgrims first landed. And to Herring Cove Beach, all under sunny skies, a mild breeze and warmer than usual autumn weather. We saw native blueberry and cranberries growing in the abundant sand dunes which to my surprise were rather wet and sometimes swampy. Lots of mosquitos.
During our trip we wandered through graveyards and I spent a couple of hours at the Carpenter Museum doing a tad bit of research. My husband has always enjoyed the gravestone hunting and we agreed it takes us to some beautiful, out of the way places. However he does not enjoy museums, libraries and such so I tried to limit my time there, remembering it was “our” anniversary! We visited the Blithewold Estate in Bristol, RI where we ate lunch while gazing across at Bristol Bay and Hog Island.
He dutifully drove me to Anawan Rock and Sabin’s Plain and to Greenwood Ave and Wheaton Ave where we scouted out Robert Wheaton’s originally land holdings. (Both of us are descended from Robert.)
On the very last day, when I had an appointment with the Town Clerk for South Kingston (Kingstown, originally Narragansett) I had the greatest gift of all. I again remarked that I was surprised that of all the places he had decided to come here and he softly said, “I did it for you. This is what brings you joy. This is what you love.” He said we can go to the other places anytime. A man I married at seventeen, knows me so well, and he kept that secret since February, is the man who still has my heart. Thank you Michael. Here’s to as many more years as Providence sees fit to give us.
Kelly Wheaton Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved.