Our trip to Montpelier went smoothly. When we exited the airport early Wednesday evening, it was quite warm (about 27 degrees C/low 80s F) and sunny. Everything smelled warm, green and growing. When we got home, we found that 2 different sets of neighbors had left us welcome-home gifts: a vase of fresh cut flowers and a basket full of breakfast necessities – milk, OJ, bagel and cream cheese, coffee, scones, bananas and blueberries that were still cool. They must have dropped them off only moments before.
We entered the house and received an enthusiastic welcome home from our dog. Then we embarked straight away on the task of reclaiming the premises. For the kids this means rediscovering all of the posessions they had not seen in 6 months. For Jason and me it means reorganizing the shelves and cupboards so they matched our specifications instead of the housesitters, grooming the dog, doing laundry, digging out the clothes we stored away and unpacking the ones we brought with us, sorting through 6 months of mail, mowing the lawn and trimming back the bushes that were threatening to overtake the place where I hang the hammock. We worked at that until we dropped from exhaustion and will continue to chip away at it for the next few days.
Thursday morning Mei-mei had us up at 3:30 a.m. By 5:30 we were back to reclaiming the house. At about 9 a.m. the kids began playing outside with their friends next door. They did that until 11. Then we walked downtown for lunch at The Skinny Pancake. The weather was absolutely steamy. It felt great. After that the kids were exhausted. We came back to the house to lay low for an hour or so. The kids said that they were missing Swedish so they watched a bit of Pippi. Then, to beat the heat and stave off exhaustion, we headed to the Montpelier Pool. The weather was perfect and saw so many friends (both youth and adult) who were happy to welcome us home. It really felt like everyone was there and that we had never left.
It was feeling so right and so perfect to be back in Montpelier, at the pool with our friends and neighbors on a hot summer afternoon. Then they pool staff announced that there was free Ben&Jerry’s ice cream available in the clubhouse. “Is this place for real? It’s too perfect to be real.” I thought as everyone came clamouring out of the pool for some chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. Of course it isn’t perfect but, all the same, it felt perfect.