Als ich wisse das Morgen der Erde enden wuerde, immernoch wurd ich mein Apfelbaum pflanzen.

Even if I knew the world would perish tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree. - Martin Luther

"Factory work's easier on the back, and I don't mind it, understand, but a man becomes what he does. Got to watch that. That's why I keep at farmin' although the crops haven't ever throve. It's the doin' that's important." Madison Wheeler in Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon

Sunday, August 28, 2016


We had a fantastic summer.  At the beginning of the summer, both kids participated in the Blue Ridge Environmental Govenor's School and went to Camp Sequanota.  They had a blast and we enjoyed spending some time with our parents (The Woodsman took his mom on a road trip and I helped my dad paint an outbuilding at the farm).

Later in the summer we did some hiking, spent some quality time with two different groups of cousins, had a almost perfect week at the beach, and wrapped the summer up with an anniversary (19 this year) trip to the Adirondacks - without the kids.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the first full week of teacher in service, and next week all the crazy that is life with kids starts again.  I can no longer pretend that summer will continue forever.  Maybe that's a good thing - I probably wouldn't love and cherish this time and season apart as much if it never ended.

I hope your summer was as restful and renewing as mine, and that you have a great new year (I'm a teacher and a teacher's kid.  I don't care what the calendar says - the new year starts when school starts.)

Sunrise hike to Hawksbill (highest point in Shenandoah National Park)


This year was bittersweet.  Our school calendar is changing (starting August 1st next year) so no more August trips to the beach.  It;s hard to let that tradition go.  The beach just won't be the same in July.  We stayed at our favorite tiny beach bungalo again, and had almost perfect weather.  I cry every year when I leave and this year was no different.  I keep wishing we could go back and do it all again.

This is one of my favorite pics from this week.  They generally get along pretty well, but this week there was no fighting or fussing.   It was great to have all of that peace and harmony from the two of them.

The sunrise was outstanding and there were more shore birds than other years.

He's such a goofball.  He thought people would think - oh no, there's a head on the beach.
How did we wind up with an 8th grader - where has the time gone?


One of my favorite parts of this summer was seeing the kids spend extended time with cousins.  I really wished we lived closer.  They forged great bonds with family on both sides.  I enjoyed the time to reconnect too.  My 93 year old grandmother reminds me frequently to keep making memories - these cousin days were full of them.

My girl dotes on her younger cousins - she's still compensating for her disappointment in only being in a family of two.
The little girls return the affection because they enjoy having a big sister.  Smiles all around.

Cousins really like to play cards ( no worries - the beer jug on the table belonged to the adult cousins).


Early in our marriage, the Woodsman and I gave up buying anniversary and birthday presents for each other.  We travel instead.  We usually try to head somewhere North so that we can escape Virginia in August.  This year we went to the Adirondacks and spent three days enjoying the cold (high of 65 and a low of 37), paddling on the pristine (and motor free) lakes, hiking and sitting around the fire.  Coming back to full on summer (it was 85 at 9 PM when we pulled in last week) was tough.
Our view from our campsite at Lake Meacham

We're both fans of the Little House books so we made a visit to Almanzo Wilder's boyhood home in Malone, NY (site of the Farmer Boy book.)

A Pitcher Plant on a bog hike at Paul Smith's College

A lot of this area reminded us of Maine (the area near Baxter State Park).  There were loons,  little glacial lakes, bogs and mountains.  The only difference was that we didn't see any moose, but they said they were out there somewhere.

We love paddling in this area because the scenery is so beautiful, and because most of the lakes are too small for motorized craft so you don't have to worry about wake and noise from big boats.

Sunset v iews from our campsite

We hiked to the top of St. Regis Mountain and saw the St. Regis chain of lakes.

We then moved a little closer to home and found another gem - Brown Tract Pond.  It was smaller and very rustic, but perfect.  Another great end to a wonderful summer.