With the greenhouse up, hugs and goodbyes over, the kids climbed into my mother's car to head for their last sleepover of the summer, and I headed back to the cabin for a solo two nights.
Annaliese curled up in a.Caitlin's lap:
I've found that the moment the kids are gone, the camera stops coming out. I have a few pictures of the next 48 hours, mostly of the journey back to the cabin, where I stopped in a little mountain town for lunch:
Which was delicious, a tofu/tempeh concoction with an olive based relish on bread baked onsite, a grapefruit Izze, and to balance out the vegetarian meal, a bowl of beef soup.
The Main Street was thriving, and there's something about those green mountains above the buildings...
I stopped in Rutland for a shave and a haircut. This is a two chair operation in the business district, the father, in his 70s, on the right, his son on the left. The father started cutting hair for his father, in the same location, when he was 8.
I thought about heading across the street to catch a mid-day movie, true decadence while the children were away, but after driving through the shopping center parking lot, passing all the pregnant teenagers smoking on the sidewalks, the wedges of youths meeting at their points in what looked like drug deals between their leaders, I felt my happy Vermont buzz slipping, and scooted back to the mountains and my little cabin.
Where I had so much fun. The list of projects I came to Vermont with, the things I daydreamed about getting to while prepping for the trip in MS, have proved more difficult than I thought. The kids take time, and safety precautions, that aren't conducive to my general pace and scope.
So in my 48 hours, I got cracking. Many tree came down. They were bucked up into firewood, stacked throughout the woods, and the tops were cut down to brush, piled, and burned.
My fountain was finished. A hollow tree I took down was the last piece of inspiration I was waiting for, and that was lugged up from where it was cut down, drilled and mounted in a natural Y bracket to cascade the water nicely into the stone basin.
For the first time the solar hot water system managed to warm the water to a point where I had a warm shower. All of this getting to where I wanted it, days before I had to drain the system and leave. Bitter-sweet.
The view below the cabin, with each tree removed, brought a longer view out to the mountains, and a more lovely green-scape on the slope below the cabin. At some point I figured out how to get the camera to focus on the mountains rather than the trees; I'll get one of those pictures up soon. I never knew I could be so fond of "my" mountains out int he distance.
When I wrapped up my time alone and headed to my parent's house to retrieve the young-uns on Saturday afternoon, I arrived to find them asleep, and the neighor throwing a party at his classic car dealership. (Mark Gomez, the owner of Green Mountain Classics, gave me my first non-family paying job, at the age of 9.)
My father was over there, so I wandered over to say hello. The cars were beautiful, it was pleasant to see a gathering of this size in Springfield, and in the large crowd I saw two people I knew, one Mark, the other a man with a flooring business.
One of my favorite Corvette designs, close contender with the 60s stingrays with the split back window.
A Corvair Monza. My first car, I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for these. Chevy could have adjusted a few design points rather than folding under the bad press courtesy of Ralph Nader. So much fun to drive, as long as that air-cooled aluminum engine didn't throw the single cooling belt and melt.
I have no desire to own a classic car anymore. I've had my fair share, and I am sold on being able to step into a magic box, insert a key, and have my little cabin come to life with climate control, lights and buttons that work, and the insulated distance a modern vehicle provides fromt he winds and rattle of the road.
However, there are two exceptions. One is a Morgan, which this car is not, but made me think of. (It's an MG, terrible cars, but pretty.) Morgans are still made with an oak frame, which does something for me.
The other exception is this:
I never knew these existed, or that I wanted one so badly, until I saw it here.
I didn't get any of the sleepover pictures from the grandparents, but I heard they had an amazing time. After walking home with my father, the kids were up and grandmaman was prepping them to come over to the party, so I turned around and we went back.
We said our short-term goodbyes, (everyone was headed to our place on Sunday for an end of our VT-summer party,) headed into Springfield for party-supply shopping and ice-cream, and toodled back to the cabin.
Time-shift, I'm writing this from a hotel in Ohio, where we are halfway back to MS. The kids are bathed, fed, and running around the same indoor playground area we stopped in on our way North 10 weeks ago. The whole drive yesterday, which started in a relaxed fashion around 1:30 in the afternoon, they kept asking when we were going to get to the airport. It took a few hours for us to iron out that they had switched airports and hotels in their minds. After clearing that up, they were very specific about wanting to come back to this place, so with help from Alexe checking the credit card bills, we found the address, and made it here at around 1 this morning.
Packing up and heading out now, with luck we will be back in our beds, a reunited family, tonight!
Off to break up the kids' miniature golf game...