I fell in love with Vermont and I fell in love in Vermont, and it’s my great pleasure to share these loves with the friends and relatives who visit. This week, it was my two grandnieces and their entourage: mother, brother, aunt, uncle, and grandmother.
I’m a great aunt, and Tim is a terrific uncle; together, we showed them our country life.
Leo the Dog was excited, too, and ran off to show the girls the future layers pastured in the field. A visit to the hen house to collect eggs from the hens in production came next. But it was the poults (turkey chicks) they fell in love with and wanted to hold.
I follow a “if they ask they’re ready to know” policy with kids. I figure that if they can ask the question, they deserve an answer. The girls didn’t ask, so I didn’t tell them about the freezer. When they’re ready, they’ll figure out that the roasted chicken we ate for supper was one of the chicks they held in their hands the summer before.
They did make the connection between dirt and dinner when we pulled carrots out of the ground, like magic. They also helped pick the first of the sugar snap peas, and ate the salad of home grown lettuce and spinach we harvested.
The visit was full of other firsts: fireflies blinking in the field as we walked to the tent where the three of us spent the night; a hike along the West River to look at the eagle’s nest, where we saw this year’s eaglet waiting home alone for its parents to bring food; and a swim in the river, where we also caught tadpoles and built stone cairns.
Indoors, during what was supposed to be quiet time, they played with the toy horses who live in the toy barn Tim built for our kids years ago. The girls also stalked the cats, played the piano and drew pictures.
Meanwhile, adults pitched in, plucking rhubarb, mixing salad dressing, washing up. One night, we were fifteen people spanning four generations eating supper together – my definition of prosperity.
The next day, I waved everyone off home and laundered the bed linens. As I hung them to dry, I basked in the summer sun, blessed to be living in place in love in Vermont.
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