Change Was Good / by Kenneth Benson

After a month on the road getting to Vermont and a few weeks to settle in, the change has been good. Everything has slowed down. No more rush to pack up and get moving, and showers as often as we pleased (the outdoor shower on the back of The Study is pretty amazing.)

Our home for most of our time in Vermont was The Study, a small 3 room cabin 50 yards down the hill from the main house.  Originally it was an actual study built to collect and examine the various mushrooms that grow in the area, it has been converted into a small but super cozy living space with a wood burning stove and screened in porch off the back looking out into the woods. In the evenings we would retreat to the study to read to Vega and put her to sleep and then just relax on the back porch until we were tired ourselves. The WiFi didn't reach and there was no TV to distract us so we would sit and talk or read. On rainy nights the tin roof would fill the study with the sound of the rain. As Hilda says "a million assaults on our coziness, thwarted every time".

Some of the daily routines included coffee in the morning, then up the hill to Pine Acres to say good morning to Mimi and Pops. Usually breakfast with them and then they, or any combination of us or whoever else was there, would take Vega and the dogs on a walk to the cabins in the woods. Not currently actual cabins but the stone remnants of the cabins that used to stand there when Devon was a girl. The return route diverted off of the road and followed the power lines and a long line of blackberry bushes ripe for picking. Most days also included a mile walk to the pond for swimming or as it got colder a canoe ride. We would do some chores here and there and spent some time working on the van. Vega was introduced to Little People and would spend hours playing with them or in the sandbox, or picking apples, and mushrooms. Carol is now an expert applesauce canner.

We had almost three months together as a family in Vermont. We saw the seasons start to change, vehicles bought and sold, we watched Vega go from riding in the stroller to the pond or cabins in the woods with occasional stints of walking, to refusing to ride and running the whole way. I had no idea a two year old could run a mile.  She took plenty of random and sudden breaks to drop to the ground and pick up sticks or rocks or whatever else caught her eye but would eventually break out running down the hill again. Vega turned two! She talks a mean streak too.

There were many visits from family. Lauren, Lola and Alice came for two weeks and Vega got some solid cousin time.  My Mom visited for two weeks as well and we took a few little road trips. One through Vermont to The Vermont Country Store and the Joseph Smith Birthplace monument, and another trip with just my mom and me to Palmyra New York so my mother could fulfill a life long wish of visiting the Sacred Grove. Dave, Aunt Linda, Grandma Priem and Sarah came to visit.  We spent some time with Lucien and Marty and got to know that part of the family a bit. But most of all Vega got to spend considerable time with Mimi and Pops (Carol and Don). This post cannot do justice to the generosity and hospitality they extended to us. It had always been a special place for Devon but it is now one for Vega and also for me. THANK YOU!