Leaving Vermont was really tough -- Forest Echo is SUCH a special place for us. It was the absolutely perfect place to recover from the noise and pollution of China and a true retreat. Jason asked me what I thought I would miss the most about our home in Vermont and the first thought that popped into my head was the peace. It is probably the most peaceful place I will ever live...I so hope that we will get to visit it again someday and show Luke the beautiful place he got to live for the first few months of his life.
In any place, it is the connections with people who make the place alive for me. The people we met through Forest Echo, through our church and through our jobs at Okemo will always be part of our special Vermont memories. We have been welcomed and loved by so many ... saying goodbye to them was heart wrenching. I can only look forward to seeing who we cross paths with again.
Our last morning at Forest Echo Farm -- we love that we lived in a barn for nearly two years!
One last afternoon on our little lake - Tiny Pond
We didn't have a formal goodbye at our sweet church which was nice in a way -- the sadness of goodbyes can be so emotionally draining ...
... but we did get to spend one last afternoon with our dear friends, Bud & Edie who are 92 and 89 years old and still maintain a lovely home on three acres. They share the same names as my Mom's parents who I never got the opportunity to know and were perhaps immediately special to me because of that coincidence. They shared their hearts with us and we will forever be grateful for that.
We visited them on our second to last day in our barn and I'm looking mighty fine in my cleaning garb :)
Two of our bosses from Okemo (Wendy & Juliet) who felt more like friends than bosses and were incredibly generous with us.
Val & Terry -- Okemo co-workers who blessed us with their friendship (Luke is the 2nd baby that Val has ever held -- she looks really good, doesn't she?)
I met Sue briefly in the fall through Okemo and we started talking a lot more when we realized we were both expecting. As we got to know she and her husband, Dustin more, we found that we had many common interests and were left wishing we had gotten to hang out with them sooner. Sue became a sort of Mentor Mom for me which was wonderful. She was about 3 months ahead of my pregnancy and was a great resource for me about pregnancy and motherhood as I stumbled along figuring things out. Sadly I forgot to get a picture of their beautiful daughter, Ada, but we managed to snap one of the four of us at least.
One final, final visit to Forest Echo to do a hand off with the long-time summer caretakers, John & Mary Di. Kindred spirits who have not worked traditional jobs for 25 years :)
One of my "last things" -- a final maple creemee (soft serve ice cream flavored with real Vermont maple syrup!)