I recently returned from my every-other-year pilgrimage back "home" to VT, where I spent wonderful days and night with old friends and family, who I miss on a regular basis, even though I'm very happy here in my new "home" on the Olympic Peninsula.There are some friends with whom one picks up
just where we left off the last time...is it shared
experiences, shared years, or just a special kind of chemistry, that happens only occasionally in great loves, both platonic and not.
Tim, David, and I in Montpelier, VT, July 1987.
Tim and David and me and David, together
again, October, 2010. We've known each other
25 years, though marriages, divorces, children,
Major Life Changes. What could be more precious? Home is the place where when you go there, they have to take you in. I am lucky to have so many homes and friends...Do we get what we deserve? If so I am very lucky.
25 Germain St, Burlington, VT. I lived in this duplex, on a block-long street surrounded by cemeteries for 5 key years, with good friends, uproarious dinners around the rosewood table that's in the dining room behind me now...the first piece of real furniture I ever bought, in 1969, scene of so many happy times.Tim and his wife, Katie, whom I introduced in the kitchen here, now own the house, and keep it up more beautifully than I ever did. I was always distracted by making art. Another home, the old schoolhouse in East Ryegate, VT. The 6-foot tall beautiful windows have been removed, the color changed from our original red and gray, it looks even more shabby now, and is for sale again. I wonder if the bell
is still in place in the cupola...we used to ring it on New Year's Eve over the small paper mill town.
I painted, made fiber arts of all sizes, became a bit famous here...and was often miserable, sitting on the baled hay out back in the moonlight, wondering if I would ever get free of my abusive
marriage. Those of you who've read my book, DOLL MAKING AS A TRANSFORMATIVE PROCESS, know how I broke free.
There is something so special to me about the rocks and hills of Vermont...different from New Hampshire or New York, that don't stir me in anything like the same way. I drove and soaked up the scenes.
A friend of David's bought this quarry near Barre, VT, with a panoramic view and piles of sparkling gray granite--raw materials for a Fantastic Home! with many years of work ahead.
On the Olympic PeninsulaThe rock patterns in my current Home/backyard., there is often no rain all summer long, so gravel and beach rocks make a sensible, as well as artistic yard.The Hastings stone in the cemetery in Passumpsic, VT
. My father and his parents' remains are here. Is Home where one's people have lived? Ghost trails of past lives, mine and my family's, haunt the green hills of VT, and when I come home to Vermont, I am in the home of my ancestors.My grandfather's law and town clerk office was in the bottom window of the dark tower in Bradford, VT. I remember the crud-encrusted spittoon by the side of his desk.
When I was seven, I was considered mature enough to walk "down street" with a dime to spend at Hills on a new paper doll book. David and I had lunch in a Chinese restaurant next door. The restaurant was not in operation 56 years ago. David and his youngest, Theo, outside of Artisan's Hand in Montpelier. I used to escape to the coop's previous location to sell my wares, and be away from the Old Schoolhouse and it's dread for an afternoon.
I am a story person, it seems. I'll weave you more tales another evening.