Tag Archives: New Hampshire

An Even Dozen

Here are a dozen things I learned during our Sisters’ Winter Getaway –
1. Don’t be afraid to think ‘outside of the box’ when it comes to planning a Sisters’ Getaway. When we realized that our Winter Getaway was going to be in New England instead of Florida, we began searching the traditional vacation rental websites – VRBO and AirBNB. While we weren’t too particular about location, it did need to be within driving distance from Hanover, NH (for some doctor appointments already scheduled) and it also had to be handicap accessible. Oh, and fit our budget! Nothing was really thrilling us, and we had even begun to check out different hotel/motel/suites options. Good for the handicap part, not so great for the ambiance. In my searches, down at the bottom of the page was a link to Alton Bay Christian Conference Center in the Lake Winnipesaukee area. Hmmmm. Wonder what they might have to offer. There in the Facilities tab was a little sub section called Cottages for Rent. And under that heading was one cottage.
While there was only the one exterior photo, the description sounded great, and there was, after all, a “D” on the exterior. (The owners probably thought it stood for their family names, but we were pretty sure it stood for Dwinell!). Joie contacted them to get some additional details,  signed the contract  post haste, and we were good to go. I cannot express how perfect this little cottage was for us. Everything, from the view of the lake through the pine trees to the grab bars in the bathroom, was like God had picked it out for us! (And I do believe He did!)
Cottage love
2. Jigsaw Puzzles. There is no such thing as Puzzle Police. We enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles when we’re together– the conversation can continue and it’s a nice cooperative effort. Our first puzzle was a beautiful Vermont scene, but as we got further into it we realized we just weren’t that interested in all those fuzzy fall colored trees. When our rate of “piece finding” slowed to roughly 1 every hour, we decided to pack it up without completing it. (I’m happy to report our consciences were not seared and we were still able to sleep at night.) We like puzzles with lots of interesting things to find. Once we walked away from those evil trees, we enjoyed two other puzzles.
Also – ALL puzzles work better when there is chocolate involved!

3. It’s perfectly OK to have avocado toast for a late breakfast every day. It’s quite delightful actually! (We upgraded to some artisan bread after a couple of days – and that added a whole new level of deliciousness!)
4. Eating two meals a day works just fine on vacation. Especially when Joie has brought all the fixin’s for homemade soup and rice pudding. And is ready to do the bulk of the cooking. (We’ve actually worked out a pretty good division of labor. Joie’s the main cook, Elna is the main dishwasher, and I’m the driver (and avocado toast maker).)
5. While I drink my coffee black 51 weeks of the year, when I’m with my sisters it’s coffee with whipping cream (none of that whimpy half and half for us!) all the way. We may or may not have gone through 7 pints of that liquid goodness during our time together (full disclosure – the rice pudding did use some too!).
6. All three of us are enthralled with watching birds at the feeder.
Chickadees, tufted titmouses (tufted titmice?), nuthatches, a couple different types of woodpeckers, a pair of house finches, a lady cardinal, juncos, and (we think) a redpoll.
7. The squirrels were pretty fun to watch too!
We got pretty innovative when it came to shooing them away, but I’d like to report that attempting to throw snowballs at them was less than effective. Though that could’ve been my terrible aim.
8. Meeting up with family is the BEST!!! We had a lovely lunch with Vermont family down in Keene and we’re so glad we could make the connection!
9. Experiencing a Nor’Eastr during our time called for a little adjustment (changing doctor appointments to video calls), but all in all it was just a beautiful added dimension to our vacation.

(Catch the snow INSIDE the bird feeder!)
Especially when our neighbor did such a stellar job of keeping us shoveled out!
10. Lake Winnipesaukee is beautiful! On a crystal clear (and bitter cold) day we took a drive around the lake.
All those huts are ice fishermen. Brrrrrrrrr
Lake Winnipesaukee
Weir Beach – not so many fishermen here!

11. Waking up with no heat one morning was a bit of a surprise, but huddling together near the little gas stove while we waited for the service guy wasn’t a bad way to spend the morning.
The furnace was up and warming by 9:30, and the homeowner was very thankful that we were there when it happened. It could’ve been quite disastrous had it happened while the cottage was unoccupied.

12. Spending time with these two women, whom I am so blessed to call both sisters and sisters in Christ, is precious beyond words. We are so thankful for husbands who understand that our hearts need these times, and for a gracious Heavenly Father who orchestrated this year’s Winter Getaway right down to the sesame seeds for our avocado toast garnish.

Saying farewell is always hard
but husbands and real life call us back. Until next time, dear sisters, we’ll keep on Zooming! Real hugs are better, but just seeing your faces each week does my heart good!

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!