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Reminiscences: The Moss Peregrinations

House No. 7

Next we moved to Cheshire, Connecticut where Grandmother Peters and Uncle Tom lived. I think the original plan was that Pa would work with Uncle Tom on the farm. It didn't work out. It wasn't a happy time for any of us.

For a long time Pa had dreamed of going to Florida. The decision was made. He would go down and find work and the rest of us would follow. In September he went down alone and found work in a citrus grove in Naranja, Florida about twenty-five miles south of Miami. The rest of us followed in December.

The house was a one floor affair with a porch across the front and along one side. It was situated on the edge of the grove. Not far off was a stand of tall Southern pines. At a distance out in the back was an alligator hole. Sometimes we could hear the call of the alligators.

For the first time in our lives, we rode a bus to school. Dedlands Farm Life School was an attractive school, Spanish style with a red tiled roof. As I look back, I realize it was an excellent school. At lunch time we could go to a window and buy a sandwich and soup. That was a treat.

There was one place not far from our house which we children found irresistible. It was a small area, perhaps ten acres of lush tropical vegetation. One could call it a small jungle. Every chance we got we would find our way over there. It was an eerily quiet place. The trees were very high and the vegetation very thick. It was difficult getting through some places. We had to be very careful for every once in a while, we would come upon a gaping hole. We would see lovely butterflies and colorful tree snails. I don't blame Mom for not wanting to go over there but I think she sensed our fascination with the place.

Pa really liked Florida but Mom was unhappy. It was difficult to get food for us all. Fresh milk was not readily available. We used dried milk entirely. I think Mom was also unhappy because she did not like the climate. As soon as school was out, we headed north to Grandma's and Uncle Tom's farm in Cheshire.

House No. 8

In due time Pa found work in a large peach orchard in Durham. It was owned by a man he had known somewhat in the past. The house on the hill was new and even though it lacked some conveniences, it served well.

House No. 9

When Pa's work in the Orchard came to an end, he and Mom moved into an attractive new home, down across the main road. It was the first house they had owned since the Williamsburg days. There they lived their last years peacefully and happily. Pa always had a keen love for plants, trees, flowers and nature in general. There for several years he grew pansies for which he had a ready market. He also raised asparagus and Christmas trees and he had no trouble selling them. Mom was always there to help him and I think she enjoyed it. It is in that same house the Grandson Jay and his family are now keeping the home fires burning.

We have come a long way. I'll cease my chattering now. Three cheers for the Moss family!

Virginia Moss Wood

July 20, 1996

The Moss Peregrinations, page: 0102030405

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