Tag Archives: Friends

A great start!

It's a beautiful day for a drive.....to Vermont!
It was a great day for a drive! Especially a drive to Vermont!
We started our Last Vermont Hurrah a little differently this year. Instead of heading straight to the cabin, we stopped for a lovely visit with friends in Ludlow. Lynne and Roger are friends from Way Back – we met when we carpooled our boys to nursery school. Boys who are now 34. So – even though they moved out of the neighborhood (and state) only about a year after we became friends, we’ve somehow managed to stay in touch over the years. That’s the blessing of a kindred spirit kind of friend! And now they live in Vermont, so we usually get to see them at least once a year. A good thing! Since we were going to be there for two nights, it gave us a full day to play :). Guess what the guys did? They built the foundation for a sugar house that L&R are putting in. Sounds like a Gary kind of day, doesn’t it? So, it started out like this –
Croswell Sugar House-2
and after a hard day’s work it looked like this –
Croswell Sugar House-20
Thank goodness for that little front loader!
(If you’d like to see more details of the project – check out here!)
While the boys were working, Lynne and I were doing a little power walking and a some quilt-y stuff. And of course, solving the problems of the world as we caught up with each other.
Croswell Sugar House-1
It was a lovely visit – and a great start to our end of summer R&R!
Croswells & Conrads
But the Cabin called, and Tuesday morning we got on our way!
We did manage a quick stop at the Long Trail Brewery – we’d driven by time and again, and never had the time to stop for a little tour.
It was self-guided, and we weren’t there very long, but we were glad we stopped. Check that off the list!
Soon we were back on our way
and before we knew it, we were pulling into the cabin.
Of course, we were at Home Depot first thing this morning and Gary already has the power tools revved up, so I’m not sure just how much R&R will actually be happening. Let’s just say, this is Gary’s favorite type of R&R.
Now the next two weeks could go a couple of ways for me. Apart from helping Gary, I don’t have heavy agenda. So either I’ll be inspired to blog every couple of days since I’ll so feel so relaxed and creative, OR you won’t hear from me again until we get back to the rig. We’ll see how it goes!

I better go check on Gary – he might need me to hold something!
(Besides, it really is too nice to be inside!)

The Lower PA Tour

Anyone still out there?

Man, have we had a busy week! Green Park, Chambersburg, Green Castle, Hanover, Doylestown, Lancaster. We called it our Lower PA Tour! Four bedrooms in 7 nights. Lots and lots of friends and family. Some planned and some delightfully unexpected! It was absolutely wonderful and absolutely exhausting all at the same time! I tried my best to snap a picture of everyone we saw along the way, so here you go- (Don’t worry, they’re all consolidated into one picture!)
There were a couple of people that I did NOT get pictures of.
Like the Doctor and PA that handled our annual check-ups. (And I’m happy to report that all is good on that front! Gary, since his last check-up -April 2011- has lost 34 lbs.! His blood work numbers very good -“better even than last year” – and the good doctor was very pleased. My check-up also went smoothly – down about 8 lbs., mammogram good and while I’m still waiting on the blood work, we’re not anticipating any problems. Sure feels good to get that clear bill of health!)
I also did not get a good picture of the nice fellow that changed out our truck alternator in Chambersburg. Yeah. Bummer.
But oh, those babies! One of our stops included meeting 10 month old great-niece Megan
Megan Fitz
and great-nephew Joshua –
Joshua Fitzpatrick
Such cuties, and since they are the first set of twins in our immediate family, it was very special to meet them!

2012-07-25_07-35-04_901Early morning with the Chambersburg Fitzpatrick kiddos!

It was grand connecting with friends and family and getting some of those “life chores” taken care of to boot! And of course, it was truly icing on the cake to end it with a sweet visit with our little Weston!
Contented sigh.
But we’re back to work here at Montrose.
Back to work.....and the attic.....
I’ll catch you up on that next time – but for now it’s just nice to be back in our little home and getting back into some long overdue routine!

And I’m thankful you’ve checked back after such a long quiet spell!

The Vermont Bite

So, Vermont.

I could have easily done multiple posts about our time in Vermont, but my life is promising to get pretty busy again starting Friday, so I’m putting together a Reader’s Digest Version.

The Preface
We had a quick afternoon at the cabin before we drove to Lancaster, PA to meet our new grandson, Weston.  My nephew and his family were just settling in at the cabin for the week, and we were delighted to be able to join them (along with my sister and hubby) for a quick lunch after church.
Not seen in the picture is Mike’s wife (she’s behind the camera) who is expecting twins any time now. I think they did their first vacation at the Cabin (since the kids) just in time!

Chapter One – The Projects
No Cabin visit for us would be complete with Gary tackling a variety of projects. Let’s face it, I’m content to sit in front of the fire with my coffee until 10AM, do up the breakfast dishes, make a sandwich for lunch, read a couple of chapters of my book, take a nap, put together a salad for dinner, pull out the book again and then call it a night. On a sunny day, you might find me wandering down by the pond or suggesting a ride into town for ice cream. Gary, on the other hand, starts every day with a list. This year he was concentrating on doing some ground work for the shed rebuild next summer.
Shed view
Since he was replacing some supports, he decided to do some improvement to our outdoor shower.
First of all, let me say that I LOVE this outdoor shower. I marvel at the miracle of a hot shower at the cabin every time I use it! And now, we can use it without getting our feet muddy coming and going!
He did a little additional shed organization/cleaning –


and worked on replacing some rotting supports on the cabin and porch.
So, it’s safe to say that Gary was having a great time at the cabin. And he even got to pull out a giant rock or two!
(lucky for you, I can’t find that video!).

Chapter Two – The Friends!
We delighted that friends joined us for the last part of our Cabin time.
Rosenbergs and us-2
Gord and Mar had driven all the way from Western Michigan, so we had a great time showing off the beauty of both Vermont and New Hampshire. From the Trappe Family Lodge (think “Sound of Music”)
Trapp Family Lodge
to the Dwinell Homestead in East Calais
Dwinell Homestead Barn
to covered bridges
Haverill-Bath Covered Bridge-3
to scenic waterfalls
VT Water Falls-3
to the top of Mount Washington –
to evenings enjoyed by the fire playing cards, it was a GREAT way to wrap up our time at the cabin!

Chapter Three – The Beauty of it All!
Cabin Sky-1

Cabin Sky-3

Cabin Sky-4
cabin reflection

Conclusion – A Wonderful Time Was Had by All!

It was a pretty perfect couple of weeks at the Cabin.  I’ve skipped over the chapter about  my quilting day with my buddy Lynne, and the mini family reunion with my brother and his family, my sister & hubby, and my niece and her kids, or the lovely afternoon shared with the ladies’ fellowship from my sister’s church.  All 30+ of them!
Needless to say, there are lot more pictures that pertain to our time at the Cabin and our drives through the countryside. If you’d like, please check them out for the “rest of the story”.

Cabin Projects
Fun with Gord and Mar
Vermont Sky
Mount Washington
ALL the Cabin – Sept. 2011 pictures!

Thanks for hanging in for this (not so very) condensed version of our time at the Cabin! I know it’s been fun for me just to review what a special time those two weeks were!

Back in the ‘hood!

Family, friends, baby showers, haircuts, banking, more friends and more hugs – that’s what this past weekend was all about! We were back in the old neighborhood for three days, and we managed to cram those days full to overflowing! I wish I could say I whipped my camera out at every opportunity, but I confess I was too busy catching up with friends to get too involved with documenting the activities! But here are a couple –
First of all – my dear Birthday Buddies –
The three of us have gathered during our birthday month (November) for the last umpteen years (we really couldn’t figure out how long it’s been!). Now that I’m on the road, any time I’m in town is a Birthday month for us – so, (not that I really want to hurry it) Happy Birthday to Connie and Bonnie and me – it was such a precious time of sharing and praying with you, dear friends!
And then there was the Baby Shower for my DIL, Abigail.
Again, being on the road has pretty much eliminated my ability to attend any showers for my grandbabies (except for Ellie who was born before we set out). Imagine my delight to be able to share in the celebration of a shower for my newest grandbaby (a boy!) due in early July. And as a bonus, Gary got to spend the afternoon with Josiah. A good afternoon for everyone! 🙂
Quick Quilt aside – here’s a close-up of this fun black and white quilt I made for Baby C.
My buddy Lynne made a couple of these for her grandsons, and I loved the idea! I found a little bit of color for the front –
and then lots of color for the back!
I sure hope the little guy likes it!
But along with the blessing of going to the baby shower and getting to see our kids, we also got to spend time with our good friends, Joe and Janet. They housed us and fed us and didn’t mind when we kept taking off to see folks and go places. They are the best! No picture, of course. But here’s one of their backyard – 🙂
Ikoniak garden-3
They have some really beautiful gardens (not to mention a killer veggie garden that is behind that fence!), filled with all kinds of flowers –
Ikoniak garden-1
Ikoniak garden-2
Ikoniak garden-5
But one thing I was reminded of especially this visit was that beautiful yards and gardens like this take a ton of work.
And a ton of mulch!
Ikoniak garden-4
(That’s Lily heading to the patio, but the pile of mulch in the background is what was still waiting to be spread.)
I sure do love looking at that yard, but I sure am glad I have none of my own!
It really was a Five Star weekend. Besides the shower and the Birthday Buddy Bash, I got to play cards with dear friends, enjoy a Starbucks with a buddy, stop by my old job and enjoy a great lunch (and company) in downtown D-town, have my hair cut by the girl who cut my hair for twenty years before we left town (instead of a random person at Cuts-R-Us), worship at our old church and generally collect hugs. Lots and lots of hugs. Loved, loved, loved it. (Gary had fun too, but let’s face it, the weekend was more fun for me than him. He cheerfully played chauffeur and even managed to get the tires rotated. See, he had fun too!)

We’re back in Egg Harbor City for couple of days. Two more days of work and then Thursday we head to New Hampshire. We’ll be dropping the rig off at our June project – Pilgrim Pines Camp – and then heading to The Cabin for the week between projects.

I can almost smell the wood smoke now…….
Cabin 1

Try to remember…..

UMHSGirls 1969
Last night I joined 5 girlfriends from my graduating class of 1969. We weren’t all “best friends” in high school (though some were), but that didn’t seem to matter in the least as we gathered together to celebrate one of us turning 60. (Actually, we all will be turning (or have already turned) 60 this year, so for me it was an excuse to celebrate ALL of our milestone birthdays!) I can’t speak for all of the girls, but I know (with the possible exception of a 10 year reunion) I haven’t seen any of them since that day in June, 42 years ago.
So where are we today? Well…….
We’re married and widowed and divorced. We’re moms and grandmoms and career women. One of us is sacrificially, but joyously, raising her grandson. Several are lovingly caring for their aging parents, knowing that hard days may be ahead. We’ve fought our own personal demons and won many battles. Some we’re still fighting. We’ve made some good choices, and we’ve made some bad choices. We’ve grieved over love lost, and we’ve rejoiced over love found. We’ve worked hard, and played hard and loved well. And we’ve made our share of mistakes. We’ve lived all across this country (and some foreign ones as well) and are delighted to have found each other living close enough after all these years to gather together for times of celebration and to support each other through whatever the future will bring.
UMHS Girls 2
I was blessed to be part of the celebration! As one of us said – “the years just melted away”.
UMHS Girls silly
Now if we could just do something about those wrinkles! 🙂

Thank you, Gail, for getting the ball rolling. And thank you, dear newly-connected friends, for including this traveler as an honorary Floridian. Facebook might have been the vehicle used to start the connections, but it takes real live sweethearts like you all are to get it off the Internet and into our hearts. God Bless you all!