Sunday, August 11, 2013

Vermont 2013 in 5 Parts: Part 5: All about me.

Coming back from the airport, I stopped for supplies, and headed back into the mountains to the cabin.  The schedule had me alone in the woods with food and books and a 4 wheeler and chainsaw for 10 days, followed by a lazy drive south, getting home in time for Annaliese's first day of school

I had fun stocking up.

The fountain, with ice cold water piped in from the stream above the pond makes a perfect cooler. (Most of those bottles are rootbeer, virgil's and IBC.)

That's right, first dinner alone, with a movie, was two lobsters.  And most of a bottle of wine, which went so nicely with the lobster that I didn't notice how much of it was gone until after the meal.

And then there was dessert.

A great night alone, followed by a late snooze the next morning with books, and then I was done.

I broke out the chainsaw, weed whacker, and clippers and set to work cleaning the place up. With several brush fires, some focused on cleaning up the larger dead falls and tree tops left over from the clearing operation last summer, I slowly expanded a manicured circle around the cabin.

Moose print.

I did some exploring farther out the mountain road beyond our place.  The road turns into a class 4 beyond our turn off, which means a public road that the town does not maintain.  Generally, with private landowners periodically repairing the worst damage, the roads stay passable to 4 wheel drive vehicles with high ground clearance.  

So I was surprised to go down that road for about a mile and find this tucked a few hundred yards down a side road.  Those stone columns are 12 ft high.

I walked around them and went up a very steep but nicely maintained road for a mile, and came to this lovely cabin.  This place was very nice for a seasonal spot.  Spiral staircase, beautiful old porcelain gas stove, hard wood floors, french doors lining the opposite side, a slate threshold under the wood stove and a solid stone fireplace and chimney...

It was very nice, and the view form that balcony, (I did a no-harm chin up to take a look,) was spectacular.

Again, the iphone lens doesn't capture beyond the first few ridges of mountains, but they just keep going. 

I spent time building up the wood pile.

And after a visit from Harry, where he helped me carry our bathtub from it's nook below the pond up the hill so I could move it over to the cabin, I had a lovely bath as the sun set.

Here I will mention the screech owls.  For several nights there was a terrible shrieking noise that would go on and on in the trees below the cabin.  I couldn't figure out what it was.  This evening, sitting in a piping hot bath with a cold beverage and a gathering dark, as the shrieks started up again, my slightly fuzzy mind came up with screech owl.

About the time I finished thinking how foolish I was not to have thought of that earlier, the pair of owls moved into the trees right around me, and spent the duration of my bath swooping over my head and shrieking.  Or screeching, I suppose.  For almost an hour.  At that point they didn't stop, I just got out of the tub.

They didn't leave after I shot a 22 round to scare them off.  Or when I upped the decibels with a 9 mm.  Weird, but not as weird as their complete silence the next night, when Natalie and William were visiting, or the following afternoon, 3-ish, when one of them swooped in front of the porch, parked in a tree, and glared at me for several minutes before swooping off.  

I won;t mention them again, but they were with me the whole time.  

A fin visit from my parents and sisters, where we sat on the porch on a drizzly afternoon and told stories.  Papa's tended to be slightly tweaked to favor his role, but it was fun times all around.

Caitlin and the parents scooted home, and Natalie chilled with me for the evening.  We went exploring on the 4 wheeler, going farther West of our property than I ever have.  Later than night William surprised us, and after fun chatting in the night, the newlyweds went to bed inside, where I had left a very hot wood stove that apparently kept them up all night, and I had a lovely snooze on the porch.

The next day we found some fun activities to while away the time. 

I was sorry the kids missed them, but had fun seeing them for some grown-up-ish time before they had to head home.

I went back to relaxing by myself.

At some point I spent a morning in Rutland, VT, the nearby town, getting the oil on the truck changed, (207k miles on her at that point,) and catching up on neglected computer/internet related work.

I had lunch, and it made me miss the BTC.  Again, Dixie has ruined/spoiled us.  Interesting how those words are synonyms.  

At this point I was beyond restless.  Sure I love splitting firewood, but other than maintaining a wood stack height that gives the shower some privacy, the cabin doesn't particularly need a large supply of firewood, whereas there are so many things I want to do at home.  Things that need doing, that are fun, where all my tools and tractor and family are.

So.  Several days ahead of schedule, I packed up the cabin, took the swim I hadn't been able to finish all summer, (the pond was more freezing than ever before, I blame the heavy rains that never let the water sit long enough to warm up even a smidge,) and headed to my parents' house.

I spent a day with my parents, a nice time to chat and connect.  There was lots of packing and treasure hunting to do in my father's endless collection of stuff, and then more packing.  

On Thursday morning I was up early to pick blueberries with my mother at a lovely blueberry farm in NH.

In an hour and a half we picked 42 pounds of blueberries, and had a lovely time doing it.  

At 11 I said goodbye to my parents, likely until next sumer, and headed out of town, stopping in Chester for a very pleasant lunch and catch up session with an excellent teacher from my high school days. He retired a few years after I graduated, I would guess in his early 40s, and has had a successful career as an independent educator in the business and corporate environment since.  It was inspiring to hear about that transition.

By 2 that afternoon I was in NY state, headed towards DC.

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