Tuesday, September 05, 2023

On the Road Again, and Again...

The view from our timeshare at the Bethel Inn in Bethel, Maine 

Recently a good friend and neighbor here in Shrewsbury, after hearing a recital of our coming trips, asked, "Do you really love all this traveling?" Well, I had to admit that I do.  I've had itchy feet since I was born and an excess of energy. But it is true that some of the trips this summer and coming in the fall have been stressful and keep us away from what normally would be our season at home. My sister Paula's stroke and dealing with her future and finances has been and will be very difficult. Although the four weeks we're spending with our youngest son and his new family are wonderful, we do miss enjoying our home here in Vermont. 

We enjoyed a walking path along the river

Rowan generally loves his dinosaurs, but this 
was a little much!

Happiness is....

We had a lovely morning at the Bethel
Inn's Lake House.

Last week we were in Maryland, this week in Maine (with Sean, Will and Rowan) and then directly on to Montana for our second Tortugeezer Reunion (Cruisers from the Tortugal Marina in Guatemala). After a while home with several visitors, we're back to my sister's to finish cleaning out her apartment.  We'll spend Thanksgiving with our daughter and her family in Palo Alto, CA. After Christmas at home, we're heading out across the country again this coming winter. We'll leave on the first of January and plan to return the beginning of May. This year we'll stay further south and turn around in Arizona. We already have 3 weeks reserved near the National Seashore in Florida and almost a week in Big Bend National Park. On the way home we'll visit our oldest son Josh and his family in Dallas and see the total eclipse of the sun on April 8. 

Scott's brother Brent came for a visit with his wife
Wilma but this is he, their cousin Lisa and 
Scott on a hike.

But I'm determined not to face the 2 or 3 feet of snow we had to dig out of twice and the icy driveway and roads. We'll drive our RV down to Maryland, in early December, leave it there and visit Paula.  It will stay down there until we drive back January 1st.  

I can foresee however our RV cross country traveling days slowing down.  But no sense planning ahead that far now! And there will still be a road beckoning ahead for sure. 

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Summer Catchup!

Recent Photo of Rowan

Scott and Rowan

Heather singing to Rowan

Sean nursing

Will and guess who?

Zoë laughing at one of her great jokes


It's been a long time since my last post. Our new grandson Rowan is now 6 weeks old and thriving. His Dads, Sean and Will, are tired at times, like all new parents, but loving every minute (well, almost every one). And so are we! Scott and I were down helping for the first two weeks and then returned for another visit while our son James and his family came up. Our oldest son Josh and his kids flew into town to meet their new nephew/cousin and our daughter Zoë came for a week. So it's been wonderful family time. 

Playing with Kolya on the beach in Boston

Wine tasting with my appetizers at Pierce's
Store in Shrewsbury

Our friends Kristi & Roxanne 
entertain us at the wine tasting.

Spring Lake in the evening during our dinner at our friends
Lily & Eldred's cabin.

Just a few of the 20 people who came.

A corner of the Art in the Park in Rutland.

Cookie, Joshua, Heather & Scott in Sean & Will's 

Jonathan, Shira, Maya and Michal

Morgen & Kolya

James admiring his new nephew.

The bad news for us was that my only sister Paula had a fall and a stroke down in Maryland. Her cognitive ability has not been compromised but after a month in Rehab she still hasn't been able to get out of bed and stand, let along walk. Scott and I went down for a week in late July and will be there again next week. We are looking at long term health care facilities for her here in Vermont and down in Maryland. 

Everyone enjoyed the Lake and all three of the
kids made it out to the swim raft!

We bought a Corn Hole game for the yard.

Bill, Kolya, Nora, Gracie, Claire, James and 
Morgen at the Fourth of July gathering.

Leslie shows off her Flag Cake. She's been making
it every year for our gettogether.

The stream was a fun adventure for all the kids.

James and Morgen.

Doug with his Indian takeout meal.


We had a wonderful Fourth of July gathering again this year. A total of 22 people came over 5 days. Sean & Will and Dick & Debbie were the only absentees (and of course a few of the second generation). James, Morgen and Kolya came up from Washington DC with Morgen's sister Claire and her family - Bill and their two girls, Grace & Nora. Marty & Russ with daughters Jenny & Julie, David & Leslie with son Scott and his family - Laura & Calvin, Larry & Zuzia and Larry's son Luke, Doug & Pat - and Scott & I. The weather mostly cooperated with lots of swimming in the Lake and exploring our stream and woods. There was a trip to the Montshire Museum of Science and the King Arthur Flour store. But mostly we caught up on our lives and current events over lots of food and drink. Unfortunately we forgot to take a group photo this year and in fact, very few photos got taken!

My sister Paula in the hospital.

Shrewsbury, our home town, is chocked full of events. We attended concerts, a wine tasting with appetizers (I made 20 plates of antipasto), Bone Builders, and many dinners over with friends. One day we drove into Saratoga Springs to attend a Lincoln Center String Quartet concert at SPAC and afterwards walked around town and ate dinner at a sidewalk table. We also saw two performances of  Opera North over in N.H. and Fidelio at the Middlebury Opera. Another String Ensemble concert was held in Woodstock. If we'd had time, we could have done 4 times more! We enjoyed Art in the Park on the Rutland Green with craftspeople, artists, food and live music. 

Scott is busy with 2 Boards, the Rutland Farmer's Food Center and Green Mountain Neighbors. I volunteer at Pierce's Store and I'm active in the Rutland Garden Club. Scott and I designed the website for them and run it, including a blog. We both volunteer also at our library and ferry new immigrants that have recently settled in Boston from Syria around the Rutland area. 

Last shot - and it's Rowan!

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Baby News


Our youngest son Sean and his husband had their first baby on July 10th. Rowen Tyler was 8 lbs 11 oz and he's doing wonderfully. Sean's close friend from High School volunteered to carry their child. She's a wonderful person and we are all so grateful. They all spent three nights all together in the hospital. Sean and Will had a room with the baby close by. 

We had quite a difficult time getting out of Vermont that morning. As many of you have been reading, Vermont suffered a Federal Emergency qualifying storm with heavy rains over 48 hours. Highways, Towns and Homes were flooded all up and down the Green Mountain chain and over in upstate New York. The numbered highway at the end of our street was flooded in both directions. But we managed to use back roads and make over to Route 7 and down to Massachusetts before turning east. It was a long drive, but a happy ending. We're staying here helping out till the 19th before retuning to handle some chores. Then we'll be back to welcome our daughter Zoe and son Josh & his family who are flying in for a visit. 

Sean, Will and Rowan

We wore masks for the first day.

Happy Grandpa

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Busy Springtime


A birds eye view of Sean & Will's Baby Shower. Although they have a big house, being able to use the backyard was a treat as we had sixty guests.

Sean & Will earlier in the week when it was cold

Heather did most of the cooking but had the week
before to plan and prepare.

We got home on May 7th and have been on the run since. Unpacking and cleaning the house were our first priorities. A chipmunk had taken up residence in our kitchen for awhile. Luckily the fellow who checks on our house while we are gone had caught the rascal, but his mess remained. Ah well, spring cleaning is a good thing and I often postpone it. Not this time. And then there is the garden, both flowers and vegetables. That's taken us weeks: buying new plants, weeding and planting. Good exercise! 

Our next priority was Sean & Will's Baby Shower, which we hosted with their friends Casey & Joey at Sean & Will's house in Boston. I drove down early in the week for doctor appointments and Scott flew down later to join us. The weather was iffy for Sunday May 21st. but we had the best luck, that morning it cleared up and it was perfect for the shower - sunny and 73 degrees! Sean & Will had just finished the landscaping project and the backyard looks amazing. Sixty guests were a lot easier to have with the outdoors available. I made the food with Scott's help and Casey & Joey decorated, handled the invitations and paper products. It was a huge success. 

Stan & Weezie, 50 years together!

Flower child ??


The event space at the State Park was big and 
charmingly rustic - this is early in the evening.
Later it was packed with dancers.

Another fun event was the 50th wedding anniversary of our friends Weezie & Stan. Their two children planned a 70's themed dinner party at the State Park on Lake Amherst. They weren't as lucky with the weather as it drizzled and the day topped out at 58. But the party was indoors and generated plenty of heat with a live band and lots of dancing. The guests were asked to join in by dressing appropriately (they were married in 1973). 

The Mexican Dinner in Pierce's Garage - now an
event space.

Pierce's has been a General Store here in Shrewsbury
since the Civil War!

A look at the enchilada dinner we all enjoyed!

There is lots going on in Shrewsbury and Rutland as usual. We attended a Rutland Garden Club luncheon, a Mexican Dinner and Beer Tasting at Pierce's store, dinners with friends and lots of doctor visits and committee/board meetings (mainly Scott). I returned to volunteering for shifts at Pierce's and working on the garden at the Godnick Senior Center (as if mine wasn't big enough).  There are tons of opportunities for various concerts and theater. We saw Fidelio, Beethoven's only opera, in Middlebury and a Lincoln Center Great Quartets Concert in Saratoga Springs. Lots more concerts and theater coming up. And there are the weekly trips to the Farmer's Market too!

Our next big event is our annual Fourth of July get together. A group of five families have gathered every year together since about 1982. Most of them, their children and grandchildren will be coming again this year. More on that in my next post!

Couldn't resist these flowers at the Farmer's Market. 

My peonies are still in bud but will be out next week.

The sign said "Flowers make you happy"! I agree.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Home Again!


Kolya is a budding artist in all mediums. Here
he has created an island in play dough 
populated by dinosaurs!

Kolya shares the family red hair!

We left the campground in West Virginia early as it was a 4 hour plus Google trip to Washington. That usually means another hour or more as we go slower than the speed limit. But we enjoyed the scenery on the first half before joining an interstate. Cherry Hill RV Park in College Park, MD is a beautiful full service resort.. Unfortunately we pay for that but never really spend any time there. We stay with our son James and his family in the Capitol District of Washington. We arrived Friday afternoon so had a full weekend with he, Morgen and our (so far) youngest grandson Kolya. 

The weather wasn't great, cool with occasional showers but we had some good walks, a fun trip to Kolya's favorite, the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, and a great lunch out at Belga's. James is a excellent cook so we enjoyed some wonderful meals at the house. On Monday we drove up to my sister's in Belcamp, MD  We planned to drive her to the doctor's that same day so rented a car nearby (she can't get into our truck). Again, we left Baby & Junior at the Bar Harbor RV Resort for the week while we stayed with Paula. We had 5 days with her and managed to help her organize doctor appointments and hire an agency to provide in house services. 

Brent lights the birthday candles while Kimmy 
and Wandi look on with Heather.

Wilma, Brent and Wandi at home in South Orange.

On Saturday we drove north to South Orange, NJ to spend the night with Scott's brother Brent, his wife Wilma and their daughter Wandi. It was Wandi's birthday so we shared a celebration meal with her friend Kimmy. Brent made a great Jambalaya for dinner. They got special permission for us to park the RV in front of their house. This really splits up the trip home and allows us to spend time with them. 

Rustic Rooster is our "local", only a mile
away in our village of Cuttingsville

Although it was 70 degrees out, no one seems to
be ready to eat their dinner outside on this day.

We didn't rush out on Sunday but had a great walk up at a nearby Reserve with views of NYC with Brent. Then drove home after lunch in sunny warm weather. We laughed as it was over 70 degrees and sunny at home - better than a lot of weather down south these last months! It was too late to cook a meal at home so we parked our rig at our "local" (British slang for your nearby special bar/restaurant), the Rustic Rooster. There we were greeted with hugs from the owners and welcomed home. 

This year's journey has ended. It has been an amazing trip. We're already planning the next one! But it's wonderful to be home and there are lots of things planned here. So the blog will go on....

Baby upon our return in May

And to contrast, the day we left in December

Looking up at the house in December
The same view in May!