Currently viewing the tag: "vermont"

Yesterday I was reminded that I do not visit Vermont as often as I should(/need). A day is never enough, especially when the sun is shining and everything is green. And while I am happy here on the Maine seacoast (this certainly feels like home), there is nothing quite like the Densmore homestead.

A number of these shots are Timothy’s.

Homeland :: girldust.com

Homeland :: girldust.com

Homeland :: girldust.com

Homeland :: girldust.com

Homeland :: girldust.com

The above photograph is from my 2002 high school photography class. The exterior of the barn has lost some paint since then, for sure, and it seems my father is forever patching the roof. When he was young, the top floor was home to chickens. Some of the nesting boxes and metal feeders still remained when I was little, though I haven’t ventured to the upper levels in many years. This barn is such a huge part of my childhood landscape. It’s impossible to imagine it not occupying that space.

Homeland :: girldust.com

Homeland :: girldust.com

Before we left, I shared with my niece (who, by the way, is one of the coolest small people I know) that this little copse of birch trees is one of my favorite places. There is magic there. It is the place I will always return to.

See you again soon, Achenmead West.

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One pair of fleece lined leggings is not enough. This is New England.

We drove North into New Hampshire over the weekend and there was snow on the mountains. Winter is upon us.

I recently won a Fair Trade USA + PrAna #BeFair giveaway (on pinterest). I am under the impression I get to choose an item from PrAna’s Fair Trade collection, which is here. I’ve had my eye on the long sleeved Alana dress for months, so I am hoping that it’s one of my options. It has a hood. It is my dream. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Honestly, my winter gear list is more up to date than it has been in years. I have Timothy to thank for that! These items are more wanted than needed. So it goes. How are you preparing for the snowy months? Do you even have snow? You’d better not be from somewhere sunny. You simply wouldn’t understand (I jest, but only a little).

winterwishes

Inga pant by PrAna / Shinsky beanie by North Face / Long Ribbon touchscreen glovesSplit Snowflake sock by SmartWool /  Sydney Hale Co. fir + blue sage candle / Pendleton Woolen Mills Acadia National Park blanket / + Gritty McDuff’s Christmas Ale

I love Maine. I love that I will be living in Maine.

I actually have a wonderful winter hat (a gift from Teej), but I am constantly cold, and I like the idea of having something lighter weight to wear inside. And, for the first time ever, I am going to also need gloves for driving. Mittens seem like they would be difficult, but obviously I have no point of reference. Am I going to need full use of my fingers?

And, since we are on the subject of snow, and because my Vermont pride will never dissipate despite my eventual Maine induction, let me take a moment to mention Snowflake Bentley. I have him to thank for the snowflake images above. This book, with beautiful illustrations by Mary Azarian, is meant for children, but it’s one of my favorites about Bentley.

Snowflake-Bentley-Martin-Jacqueline-9780606144568

If you ever have a chance to take a look at any of  his original photographs, do so. They are stunning to look at up close. The Smithsonian archives are home to five hundred photographs, donated by Bentley himself in 1903. I swear I viewed prints while visiting the museums a couple years ago (because I stared at those tiny photos for ages), but I honestly don’t remember what building we we were in! I may also be confusing our first DC trip with our Chicago trip, which is embarrassing, but entirely likely. Please feel free to set me straight.

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I was originally going to sort of maybe write this week off, but then I discovered “Blogtember” / Story of My Life, and felt compelled (inspired) to participate.

* Today’s prompt: describe where or what you come from. The people, the places, and/or the factors that make up who you are.

This is my lovely mother and father in 1968.

mumdad1

My mum was born in 1946 (she died in 2001), my father in 1935. This is, by far, my favorite photo of the two of them. My mother is so young; this is sixteen years before I was born. Six years after this photo was taken, they had a son.

My brother is ten years my senior, but we were relatively close growing up. I cannot describe the amount of patience this teenage boy must have had for his occasionally irritating younger sister. He may murder me for posting this photo. I don’t know. If I were him, I’d own it.

sabinme

This is a photo I would love to re-create someday (Sabin!).

This was taken outside my grandmother’s (my father’s mother) apartment on Main Street in Hardwick, Vermont. I grew up in this small town. We lived in the home my father grew up in. At the end of a long, long driveway on Mackville road is a big yellow farmhouse tucked behind a giant maple, and two lilac bushes that have grown into a forest. My parents were able to buy the house when my brother was younger; the house, barn and surrounding 14 acres had been out of the family at that point for years.

I feel blessed to have grown up under that hundred year old roof.

familiesareforever

My father presented me with this photo when I went home for Christmas, last year. Neither of us can remember exactly when or where it’s from. I think it was probably a church event, but it could also have been part of my pre-kindergarten screening, which would explain my brother’s absence; I think I’m three or four, here.

My father was always self-employed, and my mother worked primarily retail jobs. She spent many years in a local fabric and flower shop. She was also a quilter and seamstress.

I am both my parents. I can see it as clearly as I can see anything. I am Cheryl and Victor’s daughter. This I see as generally a joy, but there are some disadvantages. I am moody and anxious, and occasionally short-tempered. I have a difficult time communicating my needs. I can be impatient.

I think I am mostly a Densmore, but an aunt once commented on how much I am like my mother when she was younger, and I lost it.

dad

This is my father in 2002 or 2003. My mother passed away from complications due to her diabetes in 2001, which left the two of us on our own in the big yellow house. There was a strange quiet. Not uncomfortable, but it was palpable for both of us, despite our closeness. Without her there, even though she had been in and out of the hospital for a year at this point, everything just felt different. My father quit his paper route and worked shorter days so I wouldn’t be alone in the house for long. There was also, I think, some small sigh of relief between us. My mother hadn’t been herself in ages. I like to think her energy released itself full force into the world, and whatever part remained of her remained vibrant and sparkling. It does still sadden me sometimes to think that I was a such a mess of a teenager when my mother passed. I wish she had been able to see me grow up and be well. I suppose there is a part of her with me, always.

My brother and his family recently moved back to Vermont to live in the house with my father. The last time I was home, I caught a half-second glimmer of what the place used to be. A little girl dancing in the living room, a blonde teenage boy and his patience, a golden retriever, cats licking the butter, my father scribbling poetry in front of the wood stove. I know he must feel it, too. After the years of quiet, the house is alive. I imagine sometimes my dad wants to get away from it (we are both quiet people), but I can’t help feel that the house is happiest when it is full.

blogtember

* I will continue posting regular entries, this month, occasionally resulting in two-post days.

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100things

We’ve reached the final installment of One Hundred Things! That’s not to say that I don’t have one million things to be thankful for, though, every day. When you get right down to it, I’m thankful for life in general, honestly, and being allowed to know and experience all of these things. Now that I’ve written this list, I don’t consider that a cop-out answer!

  1. leftover lunches
  2. Cosmos
  3. gardens
  4. salt water in my hair and on my skin
  5. that I was taught how to mail a letter, balance a checkbook, do my own laundry
  6. that I grew up before cell phones
  7. always having choices
  8. my llama wool socks (a gift from my mother)
  9. Vermont fairs
  10. honeybees
  11. being told, as a child, that everything I did made a difference

(and I still believe that everything does)

** I know I mentioned it early on, but I am so completely thankful for my Dad. Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful fathers, husbands, brothers, sons I know.  ♥

dad_ocean

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In three days, I will be sitting on the floor at Boy’s house wrapping presents and listening to this. I informed him last night that I would be “Christmas-ing the crap out of” his house. It’s necessary.

Three days.

Christmas morning in North Berwick. His family. Whirlwind adventure up to Vermont. My family.

our family (and lots and lots of Benadryl)

my little heart

In the meantime, I have a tortoise to take care of  and coffee to drink. And I should probably do some dishes.

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