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.