I’ve spent the past several days in the brisk winds of a Vermont winter, bundled up, seeing new sights and sharing sweet laughter of the heart. While my trip to Vermont has been short it’s reminded me that certain bonds, despite time, distance and difference can never be broken.
First, I love watching the next generation grow into unique and precious individuals. Thursday I arrived with a slight flight delay to be greeted by a brother whose strength and resolve is matched equally by his tenderness and strong sense of family. We spent a wonderful evening laughing about shared memories and I was comforted by the example he set for his family, in this throw away society how many marriages have sustained the seasons of commitment? Not many. He’s the golden boy of the family. And I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way, he truly has a charmed life. I loved spending time with my eldest niece and watching her in motherhood. She’s sweet and perfect, the mom every young child would be so lucky to have as a mommy. And a real Vermont farmer, a tradition nearly invisible to the mass number in our society but noble and humble and a stellar example of hard work and tenacity and value. I was in awe at the size of her heart watching her care for her daughter Natalie, nearly 9 months pregnant with her next born, and making it all look effortless. She’s been an outstanding daughter, wife, mother, teacher, and I’m not just prejudice because she’s my niece!!!
I also enjoyed spending time with my nephew who never ceases to amaze me by his goal oriented ways and the mountains he moves to accomplish those goals and achieve his dreams. What a great kid to call nephew. Handsome and strong to the outward world, he’s such a soft and gentle soul that it’s truly a blessing to know he’s my brother’s son ever watchful over my brother, a spirit that charges his family with love and warmth worthy of a Dickens novel. He’s getting married soon and the twinkle in his eye grows with every year that matures him into the fine young man he’s become.
This visit was the first time in many years when we’ve all had the chance to spend a little time together with my Dad. Despite whiter hair and a few more wrinkles we’re all still pretty much still the same. Sharing common ground and stories and experiences unique to our lives, the chapters that have filled our pages and our hearts. I wasn’t sad to sit thru dialysis because all of life is ever-changing and it’s all a part of a much larger picture. Rather, I savored the few sweet moments when I caught a glimpse of a father filled with pride and perhaps a touch of remorse when we strolled down memory lane. Sweet and bittersweet, the cobblestoned paths of our lives, our choices, our differences, but more importantly the intersections that wove us together in a crisscross journey few of us could have anticipated but one we’re better off for having taken.
The weekend is going by so fast, and yet still I’m getting so much in. Little things with big meaning. Sharing lunch at a favorite watering hole of Lee and Deb’s, shopping the quaint shops of Middlebury, and breathing in the fresh cold clean air has been like a spa for the mind and soul. Thank you guys for sharing some of the places and things you hold special. Visiting a sugar shack where getting there was half the fun. And the mountains, the terrain, oh how I love it so. Beauty beyond description. Rolling hills, dotted with farms and stories and legends, the true hidden gems locals probably pass daily with little regard for their significance.
It’s cool when you have the chance to spend time with your siblings in natural settings, it allows you to share their life, thru their eyes. Like going out with my sister and her friends, I see she has a safety net of people who’ve become important to her and who she’s made family. It was nice to know she’s not navigating the rocky waters alone. Not everyone is lucky like my brother, we don’t all find the right guy or gal and build a life, for some of us it takes longer, but I have to believe the rewards are just as sweet. Perserverance!! Thank you Meg for being a great friend to my sister, your presence in her life warms me like a sweet cup of cocoa on a blizzard like evening. Everyone needs that sense of calmness, clarity and acceptance.
Last night I enjoyed an Impromptu
Dinner with Brenda Brian and nephew Justin. I’m not entirely convinced a brilliant and popular high school senior didn’t have better places to spend a Saturday night, but here he was visiting his ole aunt and that made me smile. I love it when I can make him laugh. He’s often so serious and soft spoken, and smart as a whip, but it’s nice to see him laughing at the silly shit and it made me happy he came. In the Fall he’ll be off away at college and his life will be finding new paths, the familiar will fade and these moments we treasure now will become memories we later reminisce about. You ever have a feeling you can see the future? This kid is going places, in the quiet chambers of his mind lurks a genuis and I think he’s going to make us all proud one day by being the next Oliver Stone or Steve Jobs!!! Still waters run deep. So grab a life jacket and enjoy the ride!
Today it’s Palm Sunday, I haven’t decided if I’m going to church or not, mostly because I still have another 15+ hours to squeeze in some more time with family in this whirlwind visit. I look forward to playing with the youngest apples of my eye Nic and Analise, two of the cutest God children <3.
It's so deliciously wonderful to see them grow and change, no longer babies but their own personalities and thoughts and mannerisms, it's like seeing mini versions of ourselves as kids and allows us the pleasure of remembering the sweet innocent moments of our own childhoods. I can't wait to watch them run and play. Cousins. Cuteness personified!! What a great way to end my trip. Who doesn't love the echo of a child's giggle, uncontrollable joy-priceless.
I miss home and the warm hearts in Florida that make my life sweeter and fuller, but I'm having an awesome visit and am enjoying every hour. And with that said I need to steal a few more hours of sleep so I can be ready to tackle another day with full appreciation of how important these days and hours are, knowing today shapes tomorrow, and that all of our 'yesterdays' are forever gone, but for a memory that you hold the key to its definition and design. Peace!