Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Halfway Woods

The Halfway Woods were just across the street from my home. It's leafy canopy seen from my bedroom window endlessly taller than it was in fact due to the steep incline of the earth that marked the half-way point between those of us who lived at the top and those of us who lived at the bottom.

A deep ravine always dark in the coolness of the woods ran just behind the encroaching houses that was our neighborhood. It's banks packed hard from sliding backsides, it's reward a moss bottomed brook that never ran dry. It's far edge reached with the bravery that came from crossing fallen trees one foot in front of the other, the hope to not cross again before the end of the day.

To walk on the many trails that wound their way through the Halfway Woods was to encounter every stage of childhood. From boys on rope swings testing their mettle against each other and girls wanting to prove their equal worth, to teenagers awkwardly come upon, first kisses blushingly hid by turning away.

The Halfway Woods were everything to me. A Maple found with ladder rung branches to climb and a deep V to perch became my place to read for hours and imagine a particular boy one day liking me. I would sometimes glimpse him on the Halfway Path below my tree waiting at the crest for a friend. I prayed my beating heart wouldn't alert him to my presence far above his head.

The Halfway Woods called to me on days I was filled with joy and days I couldn't wait to have end. My special tree was the place that held me when required reading from school said I was no longer a girl. I cried all the tears I could and then rested deeply, a sound below interrupting my resolve.

A familiar sandy head, one long tan arm and one blue jean clad leg swinging carelessly, an open book slowly closed held on a second bent knee. A smile looking up as mine looked down. When I think about the coming of Indian Summer and the beginning of Fall, I think about my days in The Halfway Woods and the sweetness of First Love.

Pattern for personal use only.


  1. I have always loved your stories of growing up! The characters that illustrate this story, like old friends when they reappear to help us all envision that special boy...Thanks for all the imaginations you stir when you tell us tales of life in your hometown!

  2. I imagine those days to be filled with many books and dog eared pages. I found respite in similar pages many times and often outside on a swing. This sweet woodland set is darling right down to the color..smiles...Renee

  3. Thank you once again for making my heart smile and reminding me of Indian Summers past.

  4. I loved this sweet memory. I read all the time as a young girl and totally lost myself in the characters I read about. I love this little band of woodland characters and expecially the felt colors of the bunny and squirrrel.(Of course I always have a weekeness for squirrels.

  5. I really should read your posts before I go to bed.....such thoughtful writings, and darling characters to match!!


  6. You know you really should publish a book with these stories, photos and patterns. I think it would be a best seller.

  7. You are such a gifted writer, Elizabeth. We've tried to create your special halfway woods within our own backyard woods. Someday, I hope our girls' look back at their treehouse and sacred woods with such fond memories. Have a beautiful weekend.

  8. Goose bumps! ;)

    This post made me think of the song by Bread:

    "I found her diary underneath a tree
    And started read-ing about me."

    Your marshmallow characters are so darling, darling! My childhood and early motherhood was filled with camping and camp fires and of course, marshmallows!

    Thanks for posting! ♥

  9. What a sweet post! I love your stories.. We had a special woods too where I grew up where we built a "hut" from fallen branches...I ran away there once when I was about 10, but came back home as soon as I saw my grandparents pull into the driveway.. I was gone about an hour! LOL!!

    Thanks for the patterns!


  10. What a charming and sweet story! There is something about the woods that is so comforting! Your photos of all of the vintage items are so darling and beautiful!

  11. I grew up in the woods, too! One part was called "Across the Street". The other was the "Creek". Two happy and magical places to play and dream, and love nature!! To this day, I feel so peaceful when I walk in the woods!!!

  12. I agree with the blogger who said you should write books! I love your stories!

  13. Thank you so much Elizabeth!-Hugs Denise

  14. I have fallen completely in love with your lovely stories - so beautifully written - and your colorful, inspirational photos. What a treat to come here and enjoy! XO Helena

  15. What a sweet story. Thank you so much for sharing your pattern.

  16. What a beautiful memory. Funny how the seasons are the perfect spark to our senses. I think that is another reason we love crafting so much. It stirs the memories of childhood. Love your squirrels!

  17. You described the feeling of that first pure sweet love so beautifully. I loved this post...well, I love ALL your posts! You have a gift!
    Blessings, Joanne

  18. are all wonderful creations CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  19. What a beautiful blog and a wonderful story...thank you

  20. I love the pattern and your story is even better! I'm going to post this to Pinterest!

  21. I love the pattern and your story is even better! I'm going to post this to Pinterest!

  22. merci j'adore ce petit lapin

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Your kind words mean so very much to me. Thank you for your visit! Elizabeth