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Blog“Just Over the Hilltop”

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“Two, Two, Two Weeks in One” is the title of this week’s journal. Life has been hectic, anxious, and relaxing all in two weeks’ time. I will try to catch up the high-points of the last fortnight at the same time trying not to be too lengthy.

July is my favorite month of the year but not my favorite season. It has the fourth and the sixteenth in it along with those “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.” And crazy they’ve been. Well, maybe not exactly crazy but certainly spinning faster than I’d like. It started with a former customer of the diner from Longgisland (I thought it was one word as a child). He came in the drive on his beautiful Harley and we sat on the porch talking for a couple of hours. THE Pat D…. (as he calls himself) reminds me of my dad in his actions and accent, and he knows this, so gives me a hug “from my dad” whenever I see him. I’m so glad he was here visiting relatives and stopped by. What a special blessing.

well, maybe not exactly crazy but certainly spinning faster than I’d like

Our daughters, Karen and Kate, along with their families were here over the 4th of July to put a new roof on their sold house and garage in Potsdam. Thanks to David from Joyful Noise Construction the job is well done! That was a hectic and busy several days with picnics, running for materials and helpers, a treat at the Asian Buffet, and playing with the grandchildren up on the hilltop. Dick and I just got a little tired because we didn’t have to be on the roof or cook for everyone. The girls had everything under control.

Schoolhouse News

I hosted the West Potsdam Retired Ladies luncheon at the Schoolhouse and we had a great time eating and sharing stories of happenings since the previous meeting. So much fun and such interesting stories.

Dick finished putting up the new drop ceiling in the schoolhouse, has painted the walls in the craft area a lovely soft blue, and I began cleaning once again from the fine dust and insulation that fell from above. My method is to start in one area and work my way around in a counterclockwise motion, cleaning everything along the way. Yesterday we went to Canton to get our DBA. “Mom’s Cookies & More.” That’s what we decided to call this new venture and adventure which will be a convenience store with consignment crafts and my baked goods emphasizing cookies. Thanks to our granddaughter, Maygan, for helping with the name.

Plans changed

We had originally planned on being in New Jersey for the bi-annual family reunion this past weekend, but my mom had been having some dizzy spells and an MRI showed she’d had a mini stroke. Eliot, our oldest, just found out his extreme sickness looked like lyme disease and I’m afraid my mother-daughter emotion to see for myself how they were doing kicked into overdrive. We decided to go to Vermont instead of the reunion so I could see both of them.

My mom is looking good and is now walking without the walker. They tell her that her balance should return and at the moment she is without pain due to a cortisone shot. She is sharp as a tack and because of her off balance issue has decided to give up her car and not drive anymore. I’m so proud of her thoughtful conclusion to protect others and herself. That must have been a difficult decision to make. The building she lives in helps and watches over each other so she shouldn’t lack a ride when she needs to get out for groceries or appointments. Mom lives in a very special community of neighbors and friends.


We stayed at a lovely, homey bed and breakfast while in Vermont, the Ranney Brook Farm in West Townshend. I felt so at home and relaxed while there that the unplanned trip was actually a blessing in disguise. We ended up with almost a whole day to do nothing. And nothing we did. Meaning we drove around my old home area looking and stopping whenever we wanted “with no particular place to go.”

ate delicious “stolen” black caps from the side of the road on Route 30

We drove down washboarded roads along the West River, crossed the iron bridge to my childhood home four times just to hear the sound it makes as your vehicle crosses, toured Black Mountain Road, stopped to soak in the serene and natural beauty of Stickney Brook and ate delicious succulent “stolen” black caps from the side of the road on Route 30 in a traffic stop due to bridge construction. After waiting a while, I made a u-turn and we backtracked and went over the Upper Dummerston Road to Brattleboro. I had forgotten how nice it is to drive on a road that is banked properly and that feeling of natural flow over the road. Just wonderful.

We went on to Basketville in Putney where we had lived for seven years because I wanted some baskets for display in the craft area of the new store. I also found an apron and a New York cookie cutter. That was a very special day.

Family time

Visiting Eliot wasn’t as encouraging for his color is not good and he is so sick. Probably because I haven’t seen the early stages of lyme disease I was concerned more that I maybe should be, but I’m glad we checked on him. We are praying that the medicine will work quickly and completely. It was also good to see and talk with the grandchildren, Byron, Alysa, Maygan, and our great granddaughter, Kaylie. Lori has her hands full with caring for Eliot and she’s an extraordinary wife, doing an exceptional job. Thank you, Lori. And Ariel had the day off so he was able to come over with Maygan and Kaylie. Another special day.

“Stodge up” and “bumper kitchen” were two new terms we heard while in Vermont. My mom recieved a message on her answering machine asking if she might “stodge up” some baked goods for the Hospital Fair Days. Then an older couple we saw at the Dam DIner had just moved into a smaller house across the street from their home of sixty-eight years. Mrs. Steiner said they used a wheelbarrow to move and Mr. Steiner told me of their “bumper kitchen.” It is so small they bump into each other and the appliances while trying to use it. Sounds like a tiny house problem!

we meandered along the West River and marveled at its beauty

One of the things we decided as we meandered along the West River and marveled at its beauty, was that the rocks make the difference. Yes, the rocks in and along the river are polished and shine through the clear water as it makes its way to the Connecticut. Something about the clarity of the water and the solid foundation of the rocks made for a peaceful drive through southern Vermont. I’m very grateful we made this unscheduled trip. I came home relaxed and non-stressed.

If your summer has some beautiful unscheduled events, may you roll with them and find it might be just what you needed after all. I did. Lovingly, Sharon