Staycation in Vermont


August 19th, 2014

Dear Diary,

How do the self employed take vacation? Well first of all, not very often, and not very easily. My farmer husband rarely is able to leave the farm, and since I work from home, mostly from my laptop, going on a true vacation would require a ban from wi-fi I'm afraid. So we struck a compromise, and these last two weeks proved to be the perfect opportunity. Instead of going out, we would stay in. My husband would leave early from the barn when possible, and I would force myself to "clock out" and unplug early as well. 

Three years ago our family was blessed to have an Au Pair come stay with us. Her name was Leticia and she was from Sao Paulo, Brazil. We had only four children at the time, but she helped me, (and our family), through two difficult pregnancies, one resulting in a mid-term loss, and both with terrible morning-noon-night sickness. She became my little sister and my daughters' "big sister". When she left I was three months pregnant or so with little Beau, I could wait to introduce him to her!

Leticia was coming to visit us here in Vermont this summer and we were thrilled to pieces! She is also helping us to plan and throw my eldest daughter Brittany a Festa de Debutante themed Fabulous 15th birthday part, the Brazilian version of a Quinceañera, which is a girl's coming of age celebration. (Though Brittany is not in the least bit Brazilian, this party certainly will have a Brazilian flair!)

Last Sunday my family of 7 and dear friend Leticia hiked Snake Mountain, in Addison County, Vermont. It was a perfect day for hiking. I am ashamed to admit that I had never hiked this mountain. Though I am a Vermonter, and have lived in Addison County the past 11+ years... But better late then never I suppose! 

The trek up rocky, winding and wooded trail took about two hours with a few pit stops for water breaks. My two and a half year old son hoofed about half way up and half way down. The rest of the time he was up on Daddy's back in a toddler-sized camo Kinderpack with mesh insert, my husband's favorite soft structured carrier. 

My four daughters did amazingly well, and Leticia, hiked like a champ, especially considering that she is from Brazil and did not have the most appropriate footwear for the journey!

We celebrated with what else, but some trail-mix, taking in the view and taking off their shoes! We are truly blessed to have so much of nature's glory at our door-step. I can't wait to go back, this week end we're off to explore Silver Lake, (the calorie burning and muscle toning added benefit is primo by the way!)

Before too long we will have to trade in our walking sticks for snow-shoes, get back to work, the kids to school, and Leticia to Brazil.

But for today, today, I will bask in the now, the late August sun, in my new Brazilian handwoven hammock, (hey, I wonder if they could make some wraps for me......) And to commemorate the season, a poem:

End of Summer

     By Nancy Sunderland

Autumn is nearly upon us.
The leaves have begun to turn...
Outlines of cherry and tangerine begin,
Their task of overtaking green.
A new chill in the air greets me,
Each morning and dusk.
The pool and pond lie still,
Un-visited by splashing youth.
Forsaken backpacks emerge.
My chili pot simmers.
Bluejeans and flannel bed,
Do keep me warm.
Sweet corn tassels,
And second cut is baled.
My love has the barn quite full.
My children long for the bell of school.
I call upon the coffee pot
To keep me going,
Melancholy and tired.
I gather my flock.
Attend to the chores,
Hoodie zipper up,
And we nap.
My children and I
Bid adieu to summer and dream,
Of falling leaves and chalk.

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