Wednesday, September 28, 2011

River Walk

One of the big selling points for me for this house was the fact that it was right on the river.  It is on the outskirts of the village that I grew up in (and my mom grew up in, and my grandfather grew up in...), which I know isn't for everyone, but it makes us incredibly happy.  My grandparents lived right on this very same river for over 50 years.  I spent so many childhood days down there swimming, wading, and exploring. 

And now, I'm back...with my own direct access to one of my favorite places in the world.  As soon as the moving was complete I slid my way down the 40 ft. bank to the river and started exploring.  It's hard to believe, but our river rose 18 feet during Hurricane Irene and was one of the more destructive rivers in the state, it washed away multiple houses and roads.  Our little section of river was littered with flood debris: children's toys, an emergency telephone, clothes, tarps, tons of bricks from someones foundation, and most interestingly, a purse. 

I quickly looked at the tag, not expecting to find anything, but found an intact name and address from a few towns over.  I pulled it out and slipped it in my pocket, then dumped out the sand filled purse, hoping to find something to return to them.  It was empty.  I brought it back to the rivers edge and washed it out as best I could and then brought it back to the house and hung it on the fencepost to dry.  I'm assuming that if the purse was able to wash away, they must have been one of the families that lost everything. I know it's not usable now, but it will be making its way back to it's rightful owner.  Hopefully they will take some comfort in something out there making it's way back to them and in knowing that they (and everyone else in their position) are in the forefront of our minds still, a month after Irene.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Settling In

Slowly but surely we are settling into our new house.  We've unpacked the necessities and the rest can wait until once the cold sets in.  There are so many projects we want to tackle, inside and out, it seems a little overwhelming, but so wonderful at the same time. 

Right now while the weather permits, we're focusing on improvements to the outside: trimming bushes, removing dead ones, raking, planning out soon to be tilled garden space, and learning how to take care of a pool (which will soon be closed for the winter...another adventure in itself!). 

The inside will be getting it's fair share of attention soon enough: removing faux wood paneling, painting our neon blue kitchen cabinets, taking down 70's wallpaper in, painting trim white (right now we have a mixture of neon blue, maroon, and mint green), and maybe, just maybe, tackling our first big renovation, the upstairs bath, where a black toilet and hunter's orange counter top mingle with tan tile and brownish-yellowish linoleum.  It's all so exciting still.  We've been waiting for this and we couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A New Chapter

Tomorrow morning we close on our first house.  It has been a long, rocky road to get here, our closing has been rescheduled three times, but we made it through and now will start reaping the rewards of our patience.  When we were going through everything throughout this process we just kept reminding ourselves and each other of all of the benefits having our own house would have (a garden!, room for chickens! a pool! room for kids! a garage!).  Tomorrow will be a little bittersweet for sure, saying goodbye to a place we've lived for four years and have made so many memories in (letting go can be so hard for me...), but we're definitely moving in the direction of our dreams, and that is a very good thing.

I'll be away from this space just a little while longer while we move, but plan on being back with a vengeance afterwards, sharing our trip to camp in Northern Maine, the pickling I did this summer, summer knitting projects, and most definitely a peek of our new home. 

Friday, September 2, 2011


A week ago, we had no idea what Hurricane Irene would bring.  All of my family and friends are safe and accounted for and that is all that matters....but the's unbelievable.  The pictures are horrifying, but they don't do it justice.  Our area was very hard hit, along with so many other Vermont towns.  In our area whole houses washed away, covered bridges sucked into raging torrents like they were made of matchsticks, water rose into the first floor of houses (never mind basements), destroying everything they owned.  Fields upon fields of crops were lost...along with those families incomes for the year.  People without power and stranded still, six days later.

As a general rule, I try to stay off Facebook as much as I can, but the past few days I've been hooked...checking in on friends, seeing the damage they have to endure, and reading pleas for help..."Trying to find clothes for such and such a family.  They lost everything"......"Need a few strong hands from anyone willing"...and there are so many willing.

I have been brought to tears so many times over the last few days, out of sadness for the lives it impacted, out of sadness of favorite spots lost or changed forever, but also out of complete pride and gratitude for the people that make up our great state.  Neighbors helping neighbors.  Strangers helping strangers.  The work crews have been working tirelessly on power lines and washed out roads, getting things in a workable state (until they can be permanently repaired) at record speed.  It all overwhelms me in the most wonderful way possible.  Irene didn't know who she was messing with.