Friday, May 29, 2015

Camping In Vermont

It's old news by now, but I haven't had much chance to catch my breath. Last weekend we went camping with our friends in the North Woods chapter of the Tearjerkers, who are very understanding about the fact that we don't have our trailer yet. Our hosts provided their front yard on seven acres of farmland in central Vermont, near Barre.

As usual, camping included a lot of singing around the campfire, lots of good food, and a chance to talk to friends that we don't see enough of, especially in the winter. But there were some unexpected treats as well.

On Saturday, Karen and I rode with the boys to a floating bridge in Brookfield, which had just been reopened after, apparently, some years. From there we went to Barre, looking for an interesting place to eat, and also for the longest zipper in North America. We found both.

The eatery was a diner along the downtown strip that serves wonderful burgers and shakes. The zipper is a 74-foot-long granite sculpture next to a gallery and studio complex. That was pretty cool, but not as cool as the granite sculpture of an easy chair sitting nearby. A sculpture you can actually sit in. And it's fairly comfortable.

And neither of those were as the fact that the studio complex was having an open house. We got to visit several artists in their studios: sculptors, painters, and even a stained glass artist who put us on to someone who might be able to help Karen with a technique she's been trying to track down for over a year. Karen got to talk art with professional artists for more than two hours. That was her big treat, though the boys enjoyed it too, and they even learned the proper way to cut glass.

But the big treat for William was still to come. Around 7:00 in the evening, he got to go over to one of our hosts' neighbors, who happens to own a 1941 Piper Cub. And William got to fly in it. It takes off and lands on a little grass airstrip, and William was out in it for around 15 minutes. He even got to take the controls for what he described as a "long 30 seconds." He had something to brag about at school on Tuesday!

Danny decided not to take the ride; the Piper's cockpit felt a little too close for him. It's a shame, because I think he would have enjoyed it, but I didn't push. When he's ready, he'll get a chance. Maybe even in the same plane, because our hosts promised to do this again. We're looking forward to it. The pictures will be slowly making their way onto the Web site over the next week or so.

By Tuesday I was sneezing and my throat was sore. I was figuring allergies and too much singing out of my key, but by Wednesday I knew better. I managed to squeeze in one song recording in Thursday for a class, which is good, because this morning my singing voice was just gone.

It'll be back, and I'm already feeling better.

Summer vacation will be upon us soon. William has a two-day camping trip in the White Mountains, and Danny has an overnight stay at the Museum of Science in Boston. Exciting ways to end the school year. I hope summer won't be boring by comparison.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

In Case You Missed Spring

We seem to have jumped from early Spring weather straight to early Summer weather without having experienced the lovely mid-Spring weather. It's a little disconcerting, because most of the other signs of mid-Spring are still here: the leaves haven't really come out yet, and the lakes are still too cold for all but the heartiest swimmers, to name just two.

But the temperatures have been hitting the eighties recently, which may not seem like anything to my California friends and family, but it's something of a sudden shock on the heels of days in the fifties.

I haven't even been able to get everyone in front of the camera to update the picture on the site, and it's annoying to look at it every morning and still see everyone in Winter gear. And who IS that bearded man on the left frame? That will get changed soon, though.

Spring vacation is behind us, and Summer vacation is looming a mere six weeks away. I'm already scrambling to schedule swimming lessons and figure out how I'm going to keep the boys out of my hair for ten weeks without just planting them in front of computer screens and game consoles.

I know that this wave of hot air will abate a little before the official start of Summer, but with the thermometer on the back porch reading over 90 (because it's in the sun, I know), it's really hard not to feel that Summer is coming upon me like a speeding train.

And I don't have the luxury of jumping off the track. I guess I'd better get running!