I came across our pictures from one of our trips to Vermont when the kids were young. This particular trip was for Christmas and it was 2001, just months after the infamous September 11th. It was eerie walking through Portland airport with a three year old and a six year old passing guardsmen in fatigues and carrying automatic weapons.
After a stop in Chicago, we descended into Burlington airport at dusk with a light snow falling. A warm welcome from my dad was followed by a crisp, cold drive through the Wynooski valley. In my minds eye I could see through the dark and snow to snow covered fields with picturesque red barns and silver silos standing guard over the dormant fields. Once we got to Stowe, we turned off Route 100 and wound our way into Stowe Hollow and were met with the pungent yet delicate smell of woodstove smoke. Mom had the house all lit up and was standing in the doorway as we came up the driveway, our tires making that squeaking sound in the fresh snow.
The snow continued to fall all the next day as we procured a sled for Kyle and Kate, and prepped the shovels and snow gear. Kate was all bundled up like a little Michelin man. Kyle, mister industrious, spent some quality time with the snow shovel making all sorts of paths and a snow fort.
Summer 2012, Kyle and I flew to Stowe to say goodbye to the old house as my parents were selling it. I was comforted by no hesitation or doubt in Mom and Dad’s voices about their decision. Living all the way across the country and only back sporadically, I had already said many goodbyes to the place and was at ease. On our last day, Kyle and I made one last hike up the Pinnacle on a perfectly sunny day to look out over the valley and mountains. This special place will always be in my heart.