Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Spending SIX days in the car--to spend SIX days in Vermont

Fifteen hours after we arrived in Rapid City, we loaded up our car for a 3700 mile road trip. It was an official celebration to the end of Jason's job hunt & the last 3 years of working toward his career change.

We stayed with friends along the way and although there were definitely some tense moments in the car with the kids, overall they did really well. All things considered -- they were only strapped into their car seats for nearly 60 hours, poor things!

We were fortunate to be able to stay the whole week at our beloved Forest Echo Farm (FEF)-- where we previously lived as caretakers for two years. It was a joy to re-introduce Luke to his very first home and we were so happy to be back at that special place. We had wondered if we remembered Vermont and Forest Echo as better than they actually were ... we definitely did not!

We stayed in the Ripley Hill cabin -- complete with wonderful sleeping porch, views of the farm pond & a kybo (outhouse)!

We arrived at nearly midnight to an unbelievable display of heavenly beauty - the stars were incredible. We had a lazy morning the next day, reacquainting ourselves with Forest Echo a bit before heading to our old church and catching up with friends there.

The next day was an all-FEF day -- we had FABULOUSLY warm weather which I was so so thankful for -- and spent a great deal of the day on FEF's small lake, Tiny Pond.

But first, a view of our old barn-home where we lived as caretakers. It's been painted RED since we last saw it!

Luke loved the hike down to the pond and Mabel was ready to paddle once we arrived!

We paddled all over the lake, checking out the beaver lodge and even found a geocache that we'd uncovered years ago.

Then it was time for a swim from the small dock which floats 20 yards from shore.

Our only outing for the day was to travel down one of our MOST favorite roads - Patchbrook Rd -- to get Maple Creemees at the Green Mountain Sugar House! Amazingly delicous!!!!

Driving back we came up the main road to Forest Echo and took in the beauty once again of a road we drove so so many times in our two years there. A beautiful couple miles in every season!

In an effort to squeeze the most out of the lovely warm day, we even had a campfire that evening.

And the next morning was a perfect day for playing in leaf piles!

Then we were off to Woodstock for the day -- one of my favorite Vermont cities!

A special bonus was seeing Jack & Ruth, some of the owners of FEF who we hadn't seen since Luke celebrated his one month birthday. They have always been incredibly kind to us and it was a pleasure to get to see them again in their lovely Woodstock home.

We spent even more time visiting our old haunts at FEF the next day ... realizing the time was already slipping by too fast!

W also visited some of our favorite village stores --

One of the reasons getting back to Vermont had been so heavy on my heart for the past year was that we left some very special, older friends there who had promised not to die until we were able to get back. I wanted them to be able to keep their promise and even more, to just see them. Unfortunately for us, Bud went to be with Jesus a month before we arrived. We were glad to know he was in a better place, but selfishly wished he would have held on just a bit longer. We were incredibly thankful to be able to spend some very special time with Edie. Bud and Edie were the first non-family/non-medical people to see and hold Luke. Luke had grown a little since then :) Edie was great with the kids, getting on the floor with them to teach them marbles, letting them play with her hearing aids and treating all of us to ice cream sundaes!

We had one final, grand day at Forest Echo 

And all too soon, it was time to say goodbye. To Forest Echo & Vermont. Until next time.

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