Apologies to the Scots for the poor spelling above. The moon over Rumney, NH, is stunning. But, Susan T. wonders why it is “the-ah” in the south east sky instead of over the church. Drive from Tom and Mary’s was pretty and uneventful. Clouds kept building and we had some rain going over the Kancamagus Highway. Drove past the “once-was-Old-Man-in-the-Mountain.”
WWIT scenarios: On to Rumney as the clouds closed in. Well, I certainly got the day wrong – ice cream social was Saturday, not today! WWIT number two. Number one was reading the murder mystery in a rambling farmhouse on a dark and stormy night! What WAS I thinking?
Susan and Jim are so good to see, visit with. The familiar, playful and gentle teasing. She is the queen certainly – all in a good way. Fabulous dinner after a beer and Tanqueray. Fish. asparagus. rice pilaf. Their good friend, Nancy, who grew up in Rumney but who now lives in California is here and she and Susan are so charming to watch interact. They feed off each other, keep each other in line and plot playful antics. Susan said that when they first met,they just hit it off.
At the swim hole
A refreshing swim at the swim hole which on this day is flowing fast from the rains of the night before.
Monday, July 26 – A late start after a late night dinner. Up Mt. Stinson past wonderful for sale homes! Lovely forest that changed with elevation. Checkerberry (winterberry), trillium, princess pine (shining club moss), Indian pipes, sweet fern. Rocks! Birch, alders, pines, hemlocks, balsams. We heard a thrush as we started and finished. Mom came to mind, as I heard thrushes the year she died while we were on our first llama trek. Windy on top with view to Lakes south and west. Ski slopes and the village of Rumney below.
Rumney from Mt. Stinson
WWIT number 3 – my knee brace is safely tucked in a drawer in CR. Not much help going up and down the mountain.
In the afternoon, we began to “brush out” a place in the back that has granite squares, pile of bricks and a wonderful clump of birches, a balsam, a pine and some Pagoda dogwood. It will look really nice when cleaned out. Cate got to use the Kubota machine to drag away brush. Jim and Susan are so good about helping to guide her.
Fabulous dinner with Arrowwood wines and carrot cake. Lovely conversations.
Tuesday, July 27 – Nancy’s 27th birthday. Beautiful day, again. I had forgotten that Susan re-arranges plans during the night. So, Jim stayed with Rich and me while Susan took Cate to Manchester, did some work at the store and came back with a friend of Cate’s. We really brushed out the small area, cut up larger trees, hammered the Japanese barberry and Russian olive. The area looks splendid.
Revealing the birch clump
Nice to work as a team.
In the afternoon we met John Clark, a school friend and high school colleague and college fellow, who is now AD at PSU. He showed us the new ice arena and then took us to meet President Steen and Sylvia Bryant, director of advancement. Very thoughtful listeners. Showed us a restored picture of Plymouth valley and the different land use. Susan had just told me about how the land had been cleared in the 1820′s for sheep production. John showed us around the campus and then explained how he was instrumental in changing the campus to a walking one that opened up the views to the mountains. He is just right for his position. He waves to everyone, greets them and is an excellent ambassador for the University. President Steen and Sylvia were impressive and welcoming. Good contact.
Supper was at a little hamburger stand reminiscent of yesteryear. Then, to an ice cream stand for lovely lemon sherbert. yummmm.
Nice visit here to Rumney and the Turbynes.
Wednesday, July 28 – after a lazy start we drove to “The Camp” on Lake Horace in
Weare, NH. Wow! It is so cool to return to a place that I loved and had a great time at as a kid. Nancy and I came here a dozen years ago. Rich and I chilled a lot and then drove to Dawn Allison’s in Litchfield. Bill and Hannah gave a tour of the house like last time adding all sorts of hilarious details. I think this is our tradition now. Then, home as dark was descending.
A classic Yankeeism, “Jim, tell me how to get to The Camp.” “Oh, you will remember.” “Well….” “OK, take Route…..and when you are almost there, you will recognize it. Turn at the ‘cohrnah whahre the stoahra’ used to be.” Oh, thanks, Jim. But, ironically, he was right!
Thursday, July 29 – Well, gravity grabbed us and held us down. Up about six a.m. By nine a.m. we had had a few cups of coffee and talked quietly and then not. Finally, we did get out for a paddle on the Lake. South breeze. So, the shoulder didn’t feel that great. About 4 p.m. we headed out past stands that sell “native” blueberries and corn. Then, we wound our way out to Concord and to the Weathervane for dinner with the high school friends. Fish and Chips and Vinegar! Yeah. Wine and conversation lakeside in the late evening.
Friday, July 30 – A day of nostalgia, which was just fine. We took little roads to Hillsborough and found the camp (not to be confused with The Camp) where I was
Cardinal Flower at the brook
counselor for three summers. Sort of looks the same and yet, nature is taking over. Turtle Stump, The Keep Out (for counselors only), Monkey House on top of the hill, and the splendid Cardinal Flower in the brook.
Over to Goffstown for coffee, a walk through the town past the popcorn stand, the library, the Church, the grocer, old schools and on to Grasmere and Mom and Dad’s grave. Tender to see, but not sad. OK. Up Tibbetts Hill Road to Jane White’s. She is so gracious and has such a pretty yard overlooking the Uncanoonuc Mountains. Great lunch and then a tour of the Fallu property which once was the Fellows property! How sweet of Lesley and Real to let us see the yard, the wedding nook, the house. They have made wonderful changes and yet kept the integrity of the property. They even have kept little remnants of Mom and Dad – the birch
Manny and Rich on Rock where we were married
clump and the trees in the yard – including the blueberry patch, the woodstove and a palm frond and some note from Mom about a pipe under the cellar floor.
After much visiting – 24 people so far in 10 days! we went back to the Lake, had supper, and enjoyed Columbia Crest on the Lake and a short paddle and a skinny dip after dark. Leaving will be sad as it has been such a blessing to be here and be able to venture out and return to a quiet spot here. Waning moon, rising ever later is still bright and pretty. Goodbye to Will’s Cottage, Jennifer’s Cottage, the Woodshed, the main Camp, the boathouse.
The generosity the Turbynes have shown is what I grew up with. They simply do nice things, include people, and open up their lives and homes to others. Solid mentors for me as a kid and a precious reminder now of why I do certain things. I just do, based on their model.
Saturday, July 31 – The month is at an end and so is our New England stay. So much of this has been simple narrative and only at night do I remember the deeper quality. To actually record it is difficult.
We left early, went past Naulauka in Brattleboro, VT. and drove the mountain roads to NY and down the Taconic Parkway. One eventful incident was when a crazy motorcyclist zoomed between us and a Target truck. Gads!
Quiet on Cedar Lake. Dan came in. More starting for week seven.
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