January was spent trying to finish my thousand cranes – a resolution I make every year and never quite finish. I figure a couple more years and they will be done. I do recommend this to any and everyone. It’s simple to do and is one of the most meditative things I have ever done.
The weather was wintry and exquisitely beautiful. Each and every storm left behind a landscape that screamed to be walked through on snowshoes and photographed. The quiet that goes along with weather is restorative and I always look forward to a snowstorms aftermath.
St. Patrick’s Day will be one of the most important days of the calendar year to me now, not because I’m Irish but because it was the day I talked to Scott for the first time. Given up for adoption in 1972 I had come to regard this moment as something that may never happen. I had left information on a website and through a convoluted chain of events was contacted through an intermediary. The rest of this year has been spent with each of us getting to know our new family members, a blessing in so, so many ways.
Sugaring this year was amazing although the snow was rather deep in the beginning. A lot of work gathering those buckets without the aid of snowshoes. It makes up for it when we boil and smell that hot maple goodness wafting through the sugar house.
I made my first overshot throw in wool and discovered a passion for weaving that far and away exceeds any other handwork I have ever done. My grandfather had wanted me to weave I think, I have a faint recollection of receiving a small, plastic kids loom when I was very young but without someone to teach me. This has been a special journey with a connection to just about every member of my family.
Every morning the weather cooperates this is what I look at as I drink my first cup of coffee. There is nothing like walking out the door in your pajamas and sitting in an Adirondack chair overlooking your land. Day to day the view is different, each having its own beauty. I feel very, very blessed to have this be such a big part of my life. It’s grounding.
The end of summer brings with it the fairs. I took full advantage this year. Heath Fair is one of my favorites with something for everyone. I also had some validation with winning a blue ribbon for my weaving.
Wood, wood, wood, we cut and split a lot of wood. It’s best when it’s like this – family all gathered to make it all go quicker and easier. It’s also more fun. Everyone pitched in and Chester thought is was awesome.
Chester started swimming this summer. He is a very hot dog when the weather is warm but loves playing fetch more than anything. This was the perfect solution. He was a bit of a panic swimmer the first day but after that he looked forward to coming to this spot each and every day we were in Rowe, sometimes twice a day. He is an amazing animal.
My garden had its issues this year but my popcorn, the experiment of the year was a complete success. There is no better feeling than finding out there is something new you can grow that’s beautiful and functional.
I went to Belfast, Maine to Fiber College this year and spent quality time with old and new friends and ate lobster every day. It was a fiber weekend for some but for me it was more about photography. I need to be alone to do my best work and I came away with images that were everything I wanted them to be. It was also a time to reminisce about childhood, we spent many summers up this way while I was growing up and I hadn’t been here in a good 30 years.
This autumn the foliage was more beautiful than I had seen it in years. So many of my friends shared exquisite images of scenes right out their front doors that were breathtaking. Photography slows me down and forces me to look at the details. The photograph above of the red tree was taken almost at dark. I drove by it in the center of town, said wow to myself and kept driving. By the time I got to the bottom of the hill I turned around to capture this. In my head I initially said “Oh, just take it tomorrow” but a few hundred feet down the road I realized that it wouldn’t be there. Those are the best photographs, the ones that catch that fleeting moment.
This fall I saw some of the most amazing sunsets ever. Enfield never looked so good under these vibrant skies. This particular evening it seemed that everyone I knew posted a photograph from a different place. It was like the sky made everyone stop whatever they were doing to watch. It’s comforting to know that the people I love were all looking at the sky at almost the same time and then sending what they saw to others.
Thanksgiving weekend was about family, our immediate family. What is usually a crowd was just Bill, me and the two girls, our nuclear family. It was the first time in so many years that it was just us and it was wonderful. It’s probably the most difficult thing to experience – the loss of your children to adulthood. The best time of our lives was raising our girls and they have both turned into amazing, remarkable women. It was good to have the opportunity to have them all to ourselves. For a treat Bill built an amazing bonfire to share with them and a couple of their cousins.
Christmas has come and gone, although the remnants are still in the house. A few decorations will return to their boxes in a week or so and life will begin its new cycle. There aren’t any resolutions this year for me other than to absorb the gifts around me. The time seems to go by so fast each year it leaves me breathless. I will spend the winter months planning the garden, weaving and cooking for the people I love. I will follow in the rhythm of the seasons and work the way I do for each year. It may seem a little dull but planning my life around what’s growing or the weather is the most comfortable way for me to live at this moment in time, you just roll with it. I take every moment spent with the people I love and savor it like a fine wine. Those times of love and laughter are what sustains me through any other trials that come along. The simplicity of it is all I need.