and sheepdog trials that had us under the spell of
for hours under the blazing August sun.
(We may have been to the Border Collie rescue site once or twice since then).
Manicured gardens, highway medians and open fields are
filled with this sweetest of wildflowers,
the humble black-eyed-Susan.
The gardens are rushing at the end of the season,
ripening and showing off and
keeping us busy with the harvest basket.
Our four grown children all work at jobs that
are anchored by the academic calendar.
I do not miss the epic back to school shopping we
used to undertake, each child with their long and lanky limbs
that would challenge us in the fitting rooms.
I do not miss packing four lunches every morning.
I do not miss the scramble to find misplaced sheet music,
an umbrella or occasional project related empty shoebox.
I do miss the tumble in the back door at the end of the day,
filled with news from the playground, the newly discovered
author or groans about homework.
And the perennial question, "What's for a snack?"
So I will listen for the rumble of the school bus
here on our dirt road in Vermont and send out
some hope and good cheer to the neighbor kids...
...and to our own four,
Stewart, teaching high school sophomores in the Pacific Northwest.
Lindsey, in Boston, mentoring
"young people short on opportunity and long on potential".
Hannah, taking on an Upper School deanship,
teaching and coaching in CT.
Gretta, teaching science and helping in a school office in Brooklyn...
I send all of you strength and courage to shape the future.
And to you, dear readers, I am deeply grateful for the love and support you gifted me with on my last post. As Ram Dass has said, "We're all just walking each other home." I am so glad to be in your good company.
In the midst of having our dreams come true, a wee medical adventure began for me. It started with a tumble on our deck at the house in CT, and unfolded for months after that. There has been much testing and several specialists and no driving for six weeks and we are still not sure what's been going on...
But all the big, scary things have been eliminated and the cloud of worry has become less thick. And I am cleared to drive again.
And after all, we are in Vermont. We are working on projects and plans and we are soaking up the best that each day has to offer.
A few weeks ago, we hosted a movie night here and watched The Lunchbox, a 2013 Indian film, directed by Ritesh Batra. It was a charming film, with an ending that left us all speechless and wondering. But one of the lines in the movie has become the slogan for our summer...Sometimes the wrong train gets you to the right station.
Even with the best laid plans, hard work and intention, you can bet that we are not in control. But if we are very lucky, we may end up at the right station anyhow.
So, I am still here, safely at the right station, despite the circuitous route I have taken. And I am filled with gratitude, because "gratitude changes everything". I am so grateful to Batman for his love and support. And my cousin Kristen who wrapped me in comfort and hope and drove me many places. Anne at My Giant Strawberry has no idea how much her Joy in June helped me cope in the worst of times. (Thank you, dear Anne!) Good thoughts and prayers came from the small group who knew about my trials. And all of you, dear readers, with your sweet comments on whatever I was blogging about, helped cheer me every day.
Today we drove down to Manchester, VT to see Hildene, the summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln and his wife Mary Harlan Lincoln. To read more about it, click here. I am very sad that the public is not allowed to take pictures inside the house, because that's where some of my favorite things were...like the humble little pantry, with its rough wooden counters and cupboards, and sink with brass taps coming right out of the wall. The skinny room where the walls were lined with storage cupboards and the ironing board were set up just made perfect housekeeping sense. And Mary's sitting room equipped with a desk, books, lovely sofas and half finished handwork projects that overlooked the lovely formal gardens would have been a perfect place for a cup of restorative tea.
Yes, there were much more "proper" rooms, with heavy drapes and silver tea settings and fringed armchairs, but those were not for me. The kitchen and cutting gardens, tucked behind the Visitor's Center were much more my style than the manicured gardens out front. We took notes on the netted structure that housed the berries, grapevines and apple trees (translate "I want").
The siting of the home is spectacular, built out on a promontory with mountain views on three sides. An observatory perched on the edge of a steep drop off caught Batman's eye, and I'm pretty sure he's wondering how we might create a sliding roof here at our "bit of earth" to accommodate his telescope.
Have you been to a historical home or farm or place that has inspired you with ideas for your own life? Or just supplied you with dreams? Do tell!
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