Well, Day 2 of my vacation and my last day in VT is nearly done. Another day of going about, and seeing much more of this place that I think I need to return to.
My sister and bro-in-law ARE staying in the hotel after all! Amazing we never saw one another; turns out Rob, who is a huge minor league baseball fan, went to the Lake Monsters game at the park I drove by. They have been up here; Rob is a brilliant artist, and an ex-roofer who dusted off his skills on David & Liz's house. He said it was pretty bad up there.
To explain: my brother David is the father of Aubrey, who walked the aisle today. Lot of intriguing subplots to the new additions to our family. Erica is a lovely young lady, and very sweet; she and Aubrey are perfect for each other. The remodeling of the family home inside is ongoing. The outside looks pretty dire, but they know what they're doing. Change, it's inevitable.
Erica's family apparently has some $$$, because they paid for the whole wedding. No Bridezillas, thank Heavens, and the bride's mom is a really nice lady. In fact, everyone on Erica's side seems pretty cool.
As is the case with weddings, both sides of the family did not appear to have an awful lot to say to one another, but I think that'll change in time. A short but sweet wedding, with an officicant, or however you spel that word. No Xtian bullshit, thankfully.
Now...the grandfather did not show up, probably due to his age. Turns out that fellow was in the SS...yes, that SS, in THAT war. "Don't Mention the War," was all I could think of. Actually I would love to meet the man, I think he'd be a bit of living history, and what one could learn from the other side of things.
But you know what, a great time, and I wish Aubrey and Erica nothing but the best.
My younger nephew Angus looks damned good; he lives in Burlington, the city I have fallen in love with all over again. He agrees it's a happening place once more.
I also got the chance of a lifetime, one which may not come again: I got to jam with my brother Mark in his "Music Room," a den of computers, amps, tape decks, sound gear, and guitars, guitars, and more guitars! Many of which he made himself.
We didn't have long, but we blasted through a few of my songs, plus two or three covers...he just dropped in with some blistering lead guitar like you'd not believe. OMG...he seemed to like my stuff, and he was thankful, as am I.
His daughter Hanna is all growed up now...about 16 or 17...cute as ever, smart and really cool. We're all proud of her; she has a great interest in art, and painting...nothing is out of her reach.
Well...I am back in Winooski, across the line from Colchester, at the Block Gallery and Coffeehouse. Awesome place, and great coffee. The whole area has undergone a Renaissance of sorts; more development, but it is a place to be again. I feel an energy from Vermont I've not felt in years...
The road up to Cambridge was much the same...not a lot of changes, though a bit more development here and there. A rural area that Charles Kuralt would have admired; he may well have even been here.
The hometown...almost the same...one of the general stores is gone...I don't know what happened to it. One gas station now, not two, but it is so much alike.
The farm looks a little rough, but so it should, because you work a farm, you don't keep it nice for Norman Rockwell to show up. The strangest thing I saw was this monstrous silo; a nod to environmental rules and regs. It has put the farm into debt, a lot of it, and the state is to blame for part of that idiocy. I'm all for keeping the cow shit away from the river that runs through the property, yes, but the engineers fucked things up, according to Mark.
It's a big blue monument, but to what I have no idea.
Another thing: GREEN. The whole area is now more GREEN than I ever remembered it. More trees, more greenspace, more growth along the roadways. It's nice to see.
I also took a side trip to Westford, a small town where I own grazing land. It is the Land That Time Forgot; a long dirt road past a few houses, to open, forested space. Relaxing, enchanting, just fucking awesome. My brothers use it to graze a few animals every year, and that's about it. I plan to hold onto it as long as I can; nice place to retire to, build a house on, and yes, I can imagine an awful lot.
All I can say is, that I have experienced a re-understanding of where I came from; I need to get back to New England someday. I can't afford it right now, but one day I will do this. I need to live in a land like this again, a part of the world that cannot be duplicated. Nothing comes close, in my opinion.
Happy as all get out to see everyone, happy to see my nephew and his lady get hitched, and happy to see a land coming back into its own again. Very much at peace I am.
I'm off to Salem tomorrow to see an old and dear friend, and then Boston, right after that. So much more to get done...