Thursday, June 4, 2009

There's No Place Like Home...

Dorothy's ruby slipper's as seen in the Smithsonian Museum.

June 1, 2009: Arriving in Shellburne, Vermont - our home town - feels surreal. Hugs from Margaret Ottinger, welcome us to her home, which is our home for the week. Almost immediately, the kids are off: Will shooting hoop with (now taller) Harvey Ottinger and Kim hugging Lila Ottinger and friend Allie Kloeckner. Shortly, Dave and I depart for Wake Robin to see our friend Ellin London. Not finding her home, we leave a note along with a jar of homemade Rhubarb Chutney. Half way back to Shelburne, the phone rings: "Where are you? Can I come to you?" Its Ellin. We turn around (nothing new for us!) and by the time we get to her house the kettle is boiling. We enjoy a warm spot of tea on her patio, chatting and watching an epic storm blow in across the lake.

Next stop: Shelburne Beach to witness the strong wind, crashing waves and violent weather whipping the shore. There we find Mike Fornier and his sons, doing the same thing. We invite them to huddle into Philomena. With excitement and ease young Mike recounts with 100% accuracy many blog-facts about our trip. Landing back home just maybe our 15 minutes of fame. Heading back to Davis Park, we are tickled to over hear a family pointing at the van and saying "Is that her? Yes, its Philomena!" At All Souls that evening, pastor Mary Abele greets us with loving hugs; as do other friends at the Gathering. We bask in the warmth of this welcome reunion, enjoying the music, mediation and sunset service within this blessed space. It feels good to be home reconnecting gradually with the community that we left a year ago.

As Dave and I make our rounds, both kids remain within the informal care of "the village." This, too, feels good. Will moves from shooting hoop to playing catch with friends, warming up his arm for the up coming Babe Ruth baseball season that starts this week. Kim, who headed off to the school to watch girl's softball, soon pulls into the Ottinger's with Cindy Gagnon, who anticipating the pending storm, has brought her to collect water-proof, warm clothes. Later,like clock-work but with no advance planning, Kim and Lila are delivered home by Andy Kloeckner. Thank you villagers: there's no place like home!

That's a brief summary of our first hours home. More reflections to follow.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jonah Reunion (without Philomena!)

Philomena sprung a leak (actually a water pump) in my brother Gordon's driveway. So, we left Philomena in Stowe, Vermont on Memorial Day and traveled to New Hampshire and then on to Maine for a big Jonah reunion. Thankfully, Gordon loaned us his car (how many people can fit in a FIT?) and then he took Philomena to Willie's Gargage (the local mechanic in Stowe). Meanwhile, we drove to New Hampshire where we picked up Nana (Dave's mom) and all five of us squeezed into the FIT for the 4 hour drive to Maine. Now we are enjoying visits with Ellen & Bill (Dave's sister & her hubby) and Robert & Trudy Jonah (Dave's brother & his bride); their kids (Alicia & Brian) and Alicia's boys (Tyler & Bryson). One big huge Jonah reunion and, wouldn't you know it, my camera battery failed! So, this blog entry spares you the photos but, suffice to say: Good Times are being had by ALL!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Re-Connecting with Cousins!

Yippie: finally the cousins are together again (well, some of them!) The kids had fun seeing some of their Stowe cousins and all of their Essex Junction cousins. Tomorrow we head to Stowe and then we are off to New Hampshire to see Nana Jonah. We look forward to getting up to Maine later in the week to see the rest of the Jonah clan! Packing in a lot of family visits before June 1 when we head back to Shelburne and the journey's end. Its been wonderful: thanks for following along with us. XOXO S

Nice Seeing Steve's Familiar Smiling Face!

Heading up the New York State thruway on our way to the Adirondacks, we gave Steve and Deenie Galipeau and call... the next thing you know, we find ourselves deep in the North Woods heading towards their lovely, secluded camp for the night. Despite the thick black flies, it was a great visit. We now know why Steve loves it so in at their camp!

Hearing nothing but the loons, we enjoyed a peaceful night's rest sleeping in the "kid's camp" at Bettner Lodge in the Adirondacks - kindness of Stephen, Christopher and Leigh Galipeau.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Let the Reunions Begin!

Kim and her friend Lila doing a little bed-time reading at (Kim's) Grandma's house in New Jersey. Lila (and Mom, Margaret) traveled down from Vermont for the weekend, surprising Kim in celebration of her 10th Birthday!