We spent the day in Vermont Saturday at our friends Deb’s house.

I love visiting her place, an old beauty that she and her friend Rui lovingly restored. (She may read this and say there was nothing loving about it. I think once past the renovations we all ought to be entitled to rewrite things a bit and look back fondly on the work, though we might have spit and cussed through every last dusty damn minute of it.)

At Deb’s it seems that around every corner there is something new to marvel at. I remember staying overnight in March or April of 2001 and feeling every bit like Anne of Green Gables, my eyes wide as could be as I drank in the magical qualities of the house. I heard the whistle of a train in the night, slept under downy blankets, enjoyed a perfectly appointed guest bath, and a breakfast of fresh baked bread, preserves and coffee from an achingly delicate mug. It was amazing to watch, four years later, as my own daughter, at the time not yet one, found the same kind of magic.

Briar, late summer ’05, making friends.

Briar, playing out back, ’07.

It is so difficult to find truly magical places anymore. I was excited to be back. This visit did not disappoint. As I daintily fed myself and Briar bits of honey dew and strawberry. (Ok, Briar fed herself and me eating is anything but dainty.)

Briar, this visit, eating the first of approximately 37 strawberries.
I sat on one of the stools behind the unusually tall island in the kitchen. (I love it when things feel made for me, as opposed to for shorter people that most things seem to be created for.) I was reaching over and making myself a second sandwich and needed a fork. I crossed over to the drawer and opened it to find a tray of cheerfully colored, perfectly mismatched yet matching patterned silverware. I looked down at the rows of forks and spoons as if they were different candies…which one to pick, which one to pick? I exclaimed how lovely they were and told Sean we needed to get some. (Sometimes I think I begin to resemble Hayley Mills in the Parent Trap, the Hayley that is woefully unrefined, when I am visiting Deb.) I asked where she got them.



No, that wasn’t a guess as to which area in France, just a smart ass nice because of course they were from a place I couldn’t just skip off to. I chose to make it a running joke for the rest of the afternoon. I think we left just shy of Deb saying,

“Amanda, enough with the France crap.”

To which I am sure I would have either said a rednecked, “Moi?” or “Merde.” You see I am just so giddy to visit I cannot stop myself. Luckily, we had not one distraction, but two, as this visit marked the first time Avey experienced Deb’s house.

Avery spent about an hour enraptured by Deb and her gleaming kitchen floors.

And Deb, being the consummate host, made time to ooh and ah
over the gargantuan strawberry Briar gnawed on for 15 minutes.

Avery became lost in thought…

Briar was similarly taken with something during our visit in ’05.
Come to think of it, Sean looks pretty jolly too.

After a while Avery started goofing off.
This photo so perfectly captures her burgeoning personality.

I’ll leave you with that squeezable image of baby goodness.