We got back last night from spending one final long, glorious weekend in New Hampshire. We drove up Wednesday night and had nearly four full days to enjoy the quiet and peacefulness. It was cold this time--truly cold; it even flurried one night. The days were mostly cold and cloudy, and we were able to be outside far less than we'd have liked. We did get in a few nature walks; Lucia stumbled upon our fairy house from last time, still intact, and the girls collected pinecones and other treasures to leave for the fairies for the winter. They also hid in the trees near the pond, pretending to be squirrels and foraging for food for the long, cold winter.
The trees were nearly bare of leaves, and whatever was left in the fields was brown and dead. But the cattails were perfect for shredding into snow, and we found many milkweed pods to peel open and scatter. There were no frogs in sight.
But mostly we stayed indoors this time, and the girls had no shortage of things to do. We played Candyland and Memory. We worked on my Christmas homemade gift (which will remain a secret for now). Inspired by a book I'd brought to read them, in which a witch (without explanation) casts a spell on a castle and turns its inhabitants to stone, Lucia and Greta spent most of their time "reading their spell books" on the staircase, which involved removing many of the old books from the hall bookshelf and arranging them on the steps. They also liked laying out all the old wooden cutting boards to make a "boat." Greta spent some time sitting in a large wooden bowl, holding a smaller plastic cutting board and tapping it with a flashlight, pretending it was an iPad.
This is the kind of fun they have there. Low (no) tech, pure imagination.
It was so quiet. Winter quiet. There was the feeling of our time there coming to an end. This was the latest in the year that we've ever been to the house. We saw a mouse in the kitchen--it nibbled some of our bread--and now that we've closed up the house, the mice can take it over for themselves once again. It was with genuine sadness that we said goodbye Sunday night, after one final dinner at the pizza place, one final quick-change for the girls into pj's in the restroom before getting on the road. We will miss it so much until we return in May.