Through The Woods
Find yourself lost in this inspirational memoir, Through The Woods. Brought to Live with her grandparents, Margie settled into a new life at the end of a dirt road in Colby Point, Illinois. There she discovers the magic and wonder of a childhood filled with woods, wildlife and the majestic beauty of the Fox River. More
Growing up is an adventure, regardless of where you are or who you live with. For me, growing up was magical. I was lucky to be raised by my grandparents Bill and Cleo Mauer. They were, of course, from an entirely different generation, but what was good for them fifty years before, they felt was good enough for me. They worked together to help form my young mind into believing that there was mystery to life, that magic was all around me, and most importantly, that I was loved by them. My grandparents looked at raising me as a second chance of sorts. What they didn't do right with my mother, they would do better with me. When fate changed their lives in such a drastic way, requiring them to raise me, they took that change in stride, calmly and peacefully. Grandpa’s sisters, Lily, Dula, and Sylvia lived at the end of that narrow, dirt road, and Bill and Cleo followed. A handful of other family members were scattered throughout the neighborhood. Our one-story house was pink, and it had a crawlspace and an attic. The house was so small that if you took five adults and had them stand with their arms outstretched hand-to-hand, they would span the entire length of our home. But it was a palace to me, and I loved the way I felt safe and wanted in their home. I am haunted by the memories and the lessons that I experienced growing up, and I still go back there and sit at the end of the road. Somehow the house has managed to maintain the same atmosphere. The trees have grown, the house is now a different color, but if I stand really still, the spirits of Cleo and Bill are all around it. There was one way in and one way out on Colby Point Road. Most the inhabitants were summer dwellers. When Mother was young, she and my grandparents enjoyed the city, and my mother perfected her craft. She wove her way through the city and became known as a blind but beautiful, very talented, jazz pianist. Mom always had gentlemen interested in her, but one day a big, dark-haired man by the name of Jack came into the lounge where she was playing. One thing led to another, and they fell in love. After my parents were married and had me, though, the storms began and never ended. Grandpa decided that the farther away he moved his family Mother included the better, so he bought the lot across the street from his sisters and moved us as far away from Chicago that he could go. I still smile when I hear my grandfather’s words: “Margie,” he would say,“I do believe that you are turning into a human right before my eyes.” I am so glad that he told me that, because I have always felt a part of the human race. So now, I am going to take you back with me to my world as a little girl. Grandma Cleo was in a wheelchair with multiple sclerosis, and Grandpa Bill had this house built especially for her. Wide doorways, smooth floors, and a huge picture window that was low and wide so that when Grandma would wheel herself to the window, she was able to see the beauty that he tried to give to her. In our yard there were trees of all kinds and birds and deer and for us, the seasons came and went, with each season more bountiful and beautiful than the last. What happened to me in Colby Point helped keep my imagination and my faith alive. So come and sit a while. Visit my world, my home, my family and allow these stories shape the ones that you love, the hands that you hold near to you, because what would our world be without magic?