Tag Archives: sisters

Family Weekend Fun

Wedding. Family. Heritage.

Sometimes everything just comes together is a super-special way, and you’re left with more precious memories than you’d ever imagined!

Our youngest niece, Sydney, got married on Saturday to the love of her life, Nate. The wedding was at a beautiful barn in central Vermont – the Cyr Barn.
It was one of those (typical) Vermont summer days where if you looked in one direction it looked like a beautiful day.
Check out the blue sky!
But as the wedding progressed, the clouds over the mountain took on a bit more threatening look.
The weather did not squelch any of the joy of the day however!
The reception was in the barn, which was whimsically decorated with white lights and white tulle.
We loved being able to share in the joy of the day, and we LOVED being able to spend the day with my siblings and their spouses.
We clean up pretty nicely, don’t we??

So we spent Saturday at that lovely wedding, not only being able to celebrate with Syd and Nate, but also enjoying sweet visits with the sibs. Such a precious day. But then on Sunday, with no advance planning whatsoever, we were able to connect with our Canadian family who ‘just happened’ to be in Vermont over the weekend. What a delight!!
Dewey and Sharon couldn’t join us since they were in post-wedding recovery mode, but it was so grand to see these folks. We even gave it a Senior Citizen attempt at a 10 person selfie.
Where’s that selfie stick when you need it!!

Usually, if we are in Vermont we are staying at the cabin. This time, though, the cabin was being used for the rehearsal dinner and housing for the groomsmen, so we opted to stay at another piece of our family history – the Dwinell Homestead.
This home was built by my great-grandfather and his brother, and 5 generations later it’s still in the family. It wasn’t being used this weekend, so we made arrangements to stay there. It’s only used in the summer, and in many ways has remained just as it was at the turn of the century. (Think lots and lots of extension cords!) We poked around in the genealogy books, checked out the vast array of old pictures, and tried to conjure up just who might have sat in what chair last century.
Super special to stay there!

Wedding, Family, Heritage. What a beautiful weekend!
If you’d like to see a few additional pictures of our glorious weekend, you can check them out HERE!

Four Fabulous Days

Did you ever come to a particular place in your life when you want to pinch yourself because you can hardly believe you are getting to do something? Gary and I often feel that way as we travel across this country – even with all the ups and downs, we still feel incredibly blessed to be able to do what we do.

Well, that’s how I’m feeling about my current circumstances.  Last week  I spent a Fabulous Four Days with two of my closest SOWER buddies.
Jenny flew in from South Dakota, Kim and I picked her up in Burlington, and we spent four kick-back, chocolate-eating, pool sitting, coffee on the deck days at a condo at Smugglers Notch Resort, Vermont.
We slept late (well, late-ish anyway), lounged around, and had a major gabfest for those four days!
We checked out a local farm market,
visited the fabulous (if you like this sort of thing) Hope Cemetery in Barre
and even (ok, I insisted!) took a beautiful drive to The Cabin, where my SOWER sister world collided with my Sister sister World.
And oh what a glorious collision it was!
When our four days were up, and we’d said our last ‘see ya later’ s, I headed back to the cabin (to be happily reunited with Gary) for our annual business meeting.
Although not all of these people were actually at the meeting, they were there for a wonderful family meal. It was an amazing afternoon!
(Thankfully only 4 of us were spending the night!)
We were back in Montrose by Sunday evening, and back to work Monday morning.
But my anticipation level was still running high, because tomorrow (YES – TOMORROW) I’m deserting my sweet, precious, oh-so-patient husband again, and going on a seven day New England and Canada cruise with my sisters!!!
Oh. My. Goodness.
When we started talking about this cruise last summer (“Let’s put down a deposit, we can always get our money back if we change our minds.” I said.) we had no idea just how precious this cruise would be. With Elna’s recent cancer diagnosis (she’s doing really well – virtually no side effects from the Opdivo therapy 🙂 ) we have all become aware of how quickly our lives can change. To say we are relishing this next week, would be quite the understatement.

So to the 4 husbands who have (mostly) joyfully shared their wives with me last week and then next week, I can only say thank-you, thank-you, thank-you and thank-you. And to my sweet husband who has had to do double duty of ‘batchin’ it’ I say – You’re the BEST!!!

Oh – and another reason to pinch myself? All of Gary’s cardio tests came back with that lovely word “Normal” attached. The cardio Dr. doesn’t want to see him again for year, and we already have regular appointments with our Primary Care doctor for later in July. Thank you for your prayers – our God has been very gracious to us!!

Thanks for stopping by! It’ll be quiet next week, because I’ll be crusin!

PS – If you’d like to see more of my SOWER sisters and I having a grand time in Vermont, you can check out additional pictures HERE!. (Warning, there may or may not be food pictures involved!)


The Sisters
If you have been stopping by here for any length of time you know I am blessed with a very special relationship with my sisters  Elna and Joie,  and that each summer we spend at least one week together. We’ve been doing our “Girls’ Week” for at least the last 25 years (the only ‘misses’ that I can think of are when two of us had weddings the same summer, and when we were in Alaska). Traditionally we’ve gone to our sweet Vermont Cabin.
Sisters - a while ago
For the last several years, though, we’ve gathered at Joie’s house in central PA for that precious sister time.
The Sisters, 2015
We’ve learned over the years that it doesn’t matter WHERE we have Girls Week,  just that we have it. Last summer, since I was fresh off my first cruise, I managed to convince my sisters that we should do a cruise sometime – and maybe it should be next summer (2018). We found an itinerary that worked for us, and soon after GW17 was over we had made our reservations for a New England/Canadian Maritime Cruise! Truth be told, we made the reservation knowing that we could cancel by March and still get a full refund. But still, we had one foot in!
Then, as so often happens, life changed in an instant. In January, Elna was diagnosed with cancer. Renal cancer that had metastasized to her pancreas.  The best option was extensive abdominal surgery to remove the tumors, and although the recovery was slow at first, the procedure was deemed a success. The surgeon felt sure that her recovery would be complete by the time of our proposed cruise (end of June).  Suddenly the cruise became The Cruise, and all systems were go!
But cancer is a sneaky beast, isn’t it? Follow-up CT scans showed several spots on her lung, and these could not be dealt with surgically.  Next week she begins a course of immunotherapy (Opdivo), which will continue until they see results.  Or not.

To say this is sobering news to all who love Elna is an understatement. But we know this is NOT news to the Great God we serve.  We continue to pray for effective treatments, minimal side-effects, and complete healing.   Will you join with us in this?

And we continue to finalize details for that Cruise! Oh how precious that week at sea has become!

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Isaiah 41:13




Snow Boots and Slippers

We have worked pretty hard in the last 14 January’s to be in places that require sandals and sneakers rather than snow boots and slippers. And we’ve been moderately successful. Oh, there have been a few snow sightings over the years, but nothing that lasted more than the morning. We’ve had to pull out the sweatshirts and fleeces on occasion, but most every day held the possibility of ‘sunny and 70’ whether or not it was actually achieved. This year was to be no exception.

But when an extreme gall bladder attack revealed two masses on the pancreas of my sister Elna in Vermont, I knew that snow boots and slippers were in my January future. Continue reading Snow Boots and Slippers