Moments after arriving and hopping out of the truck, the kids were out back with their grandmaman picking black raspberries.
Our schedule for the summer was going to be hectic. With wedding preparations, we were jetting all over the place, sleeping in different parts of the state. This room at my parents' house was the children's recoup and recovery spot, where they came for a reliable schedule and dedicated beds.
Fishing with the grandparents.
No fish, probably because I was there.
Soft Serve! So difficult to find elsewhere in this country, Vermont boasts full-fat soft serve at almost every country store, road side stand, and restaurant. To add to the joys of this smooth cold goodness is a teenager with no sense of size running every machine. Pay for a tot, small, large, or mega, they all come through the window with the same amount of ice cream piled high.
A little morning beading. They made beautiful necklaces for the bride and groom to wear during the wedding, somehow they were lost before the wedding...
Burning off some of that ice cream at my mother's school.
Brother-in-law sir beefcakes. Hard working dairy farmer, maple sugar magnate, and favorite play-mate of the kids. (They're swimming in an old sap tank.)
This guy is up at dawn to milk cows, works all day long, does the evening milking, and this summer was squeezing in wedding preparations. And being a pony.
A big part of the wedding preparations was assembling picnic tables for the reception. 30 of them, designed by Natalie, built at her and William's house, and then moved over the mountain to the spot where the reception was going to happen. Natalie and William and friends and family had been at this for two weeks before I arrived, and had one or two tables done. Harry Shephard, family friend and guardian angel, (see cabin building project: Fall 2006,) and I spent two 12 hour days assembling the next 23 tables.
Natalie supervised, when she wasn't out buying flowers, getting her hair and nails done, or attending her bachelorette party.
The kids did their best to amuse themselves, swimming in the sap tank, playing in the hammock...
or lending a helping hand.
After a couple nights at Natalie and William's, we moved over the Caitlin and Jim's house, and a tent by the brook. The sleeping did not go well for Caspian the first night, and he and I spent most of the night with him wailing in my face every few minutes when I stopped massaging his ear and fell asleep. That ear ache came at midnight, and was gone at 5 am, never to be mentioned again.
We had a nice walk up the side of Mt. Mansfield the next morning with a.Caitlin and u.Jim.
This kid; melts me and everyone else.
These troopers made it almost 2 miles up the trail before we turned back.
I had made a call the day before to my mommy, what with more tables to build, and having slept poorly since leaving MS. around 1 on Saturday we met halfway in a little town, and the kids went home with grandmaman for a sleepover. There isn't another person, other than Alexe, that I can drop the kids with and feel completely relaxed about them and able to focus on other things. They went off to a stable, regimented, and activity rich environment, and I headed north again to wrap up a few things, and sleep the night away by a bubbling brook.
I made it in time for the first part of William's bachelor party.
The crowd headed off for the second part, and I had a very nice evening listening to an audi book and finishing the last five picnic tables by myself. I made it back to the tent at C&J's, and slept late the next morning, then took a several hour hike up and back down the water-fall rich brook that comes down Mt. Mansfield and runs by the house.
A three hour toodle down the back roads of Vermont on a lovely Sunday evening, and I found my little cherubs refreshed and happy after 30 solo hours with their grandparents.
We had a day left before Alexe arrived, which was filled with more wedding related stuff. Loading up the 20ft planks that would become seating in the outdoor chapel.
Along with the 18ft slabs my father had sanded and refinished for the buffet tables. (Six of these suckers, some over 3 inches thick.) (Harry took this load the 2+ hours north to the wedding site, and with the weight of the load, had to deal with two flats before getting there.)
The kids and I went to town on our last night sans-Alexe. We hit up the town pool.
Then grabbed some soft serve and went to a softball game to eat it.
A little warm up snuggle.
Followed by bleacher racing.
And some jumping jacks.
All that made for a good night's sleep. The next morning I headed to Boston to pick up the much missed Alexe.