Mama Bear! Alexe was home minding the store, then in PA visiting with her van Beuren family, and I picked her up in Boston. We took a relaxed drive back to Vermont, stopping in Manchester, NH for breakfast and main street exploring before making it back to my parents' house and our babies.
The following morning, Alexe unpacked the bare essentials she travels with: Coffee grinder, whole beans, and french press. The security folks at air ports love her, especially since she decided she should never have to check a bag, and simply brings her full size suitcase with her all the way to the boarding ramp, and leaves it with the guy who takes the strollers plane-side. Brilliant.
We took a trip over the u.Mike and a.Mary's new house in Hartland, VT for a lovely lunch and afternoon of swimming in various ponds. We stopped in Reading at the country store for lunch supplies, and met the lovely woman who had just started operating the store 2 weeks earlier with her husband. (The store had been in her husbands family for generations.)
The next stop was Woodstock, VT, where I struck out in my search for an old competent barber and instead got a poor effort from the stylist with no self confidence who wanted direction and opinion at every step. I miss Wade. Walk in, sit down, and keep your trap shut while he does what he does and tells you stories.
A and the kids spent their time at one of Alexe's favorite Vermont attractions, the privately owned and operated gas station, complete with 20 flavors of Green Mountain Coffee, and a smorgasbord of gourmet snacks.
We went up tot he village green for the farmer's market, where my veteran grocer and farmer's market girl educated me on all the rookie mistakes being made around us, and then we headed to the library for their book sale.
We all love libraries.
We scooted north again to help out with more wedding prep.
The bride, groom, and endlessly patient friend spent a while lining all the tables up.
I spent some time up a ladder hanging tulle.
The bride and groom, despite all the pressures of preparing, both logistically and emotionally, for their wedding, always had time for the kids.
Friday morning, the day before the wedding, Caspian and I headed into the woods to hunt for arbor-making materials. (The night before Natalie had mentioned she might like one.)
While Alexe and Annaliese went dress shopping, we explored u.William's sugar woods.
The boy was a little champ.
And we finally found the arched limb that I wanted for the top. Unfortunately, before I had a chance to cover this in flowers and make it lovely, the bride decided it looked too much like a penis, and detracted from the mountain view. She had a point or two.
The night before the wedding, things are shaping up.
We had the rehearsal dinner under then tent, where everyone tried on Alexe's sunglasses.
The meal was delayed, among other things, by a massive thunder storm that picked the tent up a foot on one side and set it down with the side posts all askew. Ratchets were tightened, the tent folks were called to come by in the morning to straighten it up, and we had a lovely meal, with skies like this after the storm.
The next morning we tackled the chapel.
Alexe spent all morning assembling the flowers.
Everything was looking perfect. With the wedding at 4, this is what the sky looked like right after 12.
After a mad dash to batten down the hatches and pull all the flowers and hay under the tent, the storm blew through, and we put everything back up, and then scattered to clean up, change, and get back in time for the ceremony.