We are home again home again after some pretty grueling travel times (not sure the savings were worth departing the house at 3.30 am and returning at 2am), and it is lovely.
But despite the traveling and the late nights, Vermont was all that it should be. Jeans and sweatshirt weather during the day, bright blue skies, and the most delicious smell of fall, with the leaves just beginning to turn.
Annaliese spent Saturday in the good hands of aunts, an uncle, and grandparents while K. and I journeyed down narrow roads in our rented Ford Explorer (a free upgrade and I have to say, so ROOMY) to attend Natasha and Nate's wedding.
It was held on a farm where the owners, a very VT couple in their sixties, have lived for 42 years. And it was stunning. The end of a road, no other houses in sight, with a whimsical copper-roofed guest house complete with cupola, beautiful gardens, Jersey cows, a handsome farmhouse, and a very elaborate train track that the husband built himself. Big enough to carry people and with a stone slate roofed engine house.
The wedding itself was sweet and lovely. The bride looked beautiful, they all seemed remarkably relaxed, and the weather couldn't have been better.
The next day, we tromped around a dairy farm and had a great time. Cows, pumpkins, apples, and a four-wheeler... good fun.
Annaliese seems recovered after a day home...she took four naps and slept solidly last night. This morning I went to her room in response to her whistles and trills (such a little bird) and found her sitting upright. She does not crawl, but scoots on her but speedily across the room, usually towards dog food, dogs, or wires. And she's pulling up on things. So the Age of Mobility is dawning.
I was 18 when I met K., and I remember it very clearly-- sort of. The first scene, ten minutes in our mutual aunt's office (cousins-in-law-- oh yeah) were kind of blurry. But he drove me in his zippy little two-seater to his college. I got out the passenger door, walked a little onto the lawn, and turned and saw him for the first time.
I kid you not: my heart skipped a beat, my stomach flipped, and the familiar taste of recognition flooded my mouth. All-in-all, a very physical reaction.
I had a boyfriend, whom I really did like very much, at the time. So I chalked the reaction up to a gut thing, my lifelong predilection for tall men surfacing yet again.
He wore a black knit cap-- it was November-- and the red ski jacket he still has.
I remember that same night, we ended up talking. I stayed at his apartment until 3am (watching a movie with his college buddies) and I was insanely pleased when he sat next to me on his futon sofa for the duration of whatever movie it was.
It's a long way from 18-year-old kismet to where we are now: three years in. Two overseas trips since we married. One pregnancy, one baby. Two rented houses; a cabin in the woods; a combination of six jobs between us. Not to mention all the stuff that came before we even hit the altar: college graduation for him, high-school (oh yeah again) and college for me. Two road trips. A gradual escalation of travel style from tents in a field and 25-cent granola bars to four-star hotels and steak dinners.
I know I wanted to marry him about five minutes after I finally admitted to myself that I maybe, kind of, possibly, had fallen in love about four months ago. I was twenty.
I think it took him a little longer, but not much. Two months after I'd figured it out, K. started using words like forever. Four months after that, we were planning for September of 2005, after I graduated college.
And that's what happened. He proposed formally (and wonderfully). We were engaged for seven months. We married at my childhood church, I wore a long white dress, he was in his grandfather's tux, and when we came home from our honeymoon to live in the same house for the first time, it felt like we'd gotten away with something because it was so much fun.
We take it for granted now, most of the time. How could we not? But once in awhile we look up, squeeze each other's hand, and thank God that we get to live together, as long as we're here and hopefully after.
I live every day with my favorite person in the world. And every single day, even when I'm grumpy and he leaves his popsicle wrappers on the couch, I'm glad.
Where does the blogging time go? Why, to slipcovers and sweeping, and dog chases and beatings... Dido has wiggled out of the fence five out of the last six days. Last night she was gone from when I went to work (9am) and we awoke in the middle of the night to her slinking under the bed-- probably at least midnight.
I am not impressed.
And where does she spend 15+ hours in WV, anyhow? NOT a big town.
I will try and post again before we leave on Friday, at 4am, THE MORNING AFTER K's and my 3-year anniversary, for a 3-day weekend in Vt where we will see family and attend a wedding. It'll be nice once we get there, but man, the traveling ain't my cup of tea. Good thing we're not going anywhere for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I have seen a great many sunrises in the last eight months. One of the few perks of nightwaking babies.
There have been a great many things on my mind lately, and it seems unlikely that each one will get its own post. So in no particular order:
-- the house/building renovations need some divine assistance. Send good thoughts our way.
-- Writing/motherhood really IS a full-time gig. So at the end of this month, I'll be dropping my "part-time" (6-day-a-week, definitely more than 20 hours) job. I'll still manage the Farmers Market, and I am busy planning a downtown movie showing in October, but it won't be what I do every day while neglecting the things closest to my heart. So that's a good thing. Three cheers for K., who-- as always-- knows me better than I know myself.
-- Annaliese is living up to her name meaning (favor from God) more and more every day. I know she will not remember or appreciate how much K. and I delight in her, but it is enough to be this particular soul's caretaker as she eases into life.
-- I really am beginning to miss the East Coast. The smells. The mountains. The architecture.
-- K. might not post, but he is busy being a champion at every step. Annaliese LOVES him. In the morning, after she's woken me up and been fed and is in our bed, she looks over to her still-slumbering papa, grins, and reaches her small hand to him. If he's in reach, she thwacks him until he opens an eye-- and then she BEAMS and kicks her legs. It's the cutest thing ever.
Yeah, I know, you know. I was busy.We went to Blooming Grove for Annaliese's first Tomato War. To those who don't know about this 75-year-old ritual: a bunch of the same people, who all belong to the same hunting and fishing club in a n idyllic corner of Pa with some fabulous private lakes, meet up once a year for the Tomato War. There are the blacks and the Reds. My family is and have always been Blacks. Almost everyone has been a General of the Black Army at one time or another, including my sister.There is much pomp and cirumstance over the weekend which concludes in the two armies meeting and pleting each other with tomatoes. If you're hit, you're dead.I always die, but the Black Army always wins, so c'est la vie.Behold the weekend: