Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Last Trip to NH

Last weekend, we went to NH for my birthday--our last trip of the season, which meant we had to say goodbye until next May. Usually we get to go once more in November, but this year we can't. We were all very sad to leave.

It was a quick trip--Friday night through Sunday late afternoon--but worth it, as it always is. I love being up there in the fall--this October trip always feels so moody and final. It's not a place that's all that welcoming for outsiders once the weather drops, and there's the feeling of being ushered out, we who don't really belong there, we who won't be around when the snow piles up around the barn. It's time to leave the house, and the woods, to the ghosts--whose presence we both feel strongly, especially once summer draws to a close.

It was not only cold this weekend but rainy, but we managed to squeeze in the things we love. Saturday, we went to our favorite farm to pick pumpkins and run through the corn maze. We celebrated my birthday that evening, with champagne, a steak dinner, cake (leftover from Greta's birthday), and presents. For a birthday like this--or any birthday, really--I felt it was best to mark it as far from civilization and regular life as possible. Forty slipped in without much fuss.

Sunday we took a nature walk and the girls played around the pond--lower now, allowing them to explore places they usually can't reach. We spent time inside coloring in the girls' new Pusheen coloring books. We carved all the pumpkins, and roasted the pumpkin seeds. The girls spent a surprising amount of time pulling corn kernels from dried ears of corn they'd scavenged from the corn maze, then playing with the kernels in a way I can't quite pin down--feeding them to the jack o' lanterns? Feeding them to their Shopkins? Unclear.

And then we closed down another season with dinner at our favorite pizza place before getting on the road.

Until next year, lovely farmhouse.


Halloween 2016 was a great success. The chosen costume for both girls this year: spies. They wore black pants, black shirts, black vests, black boots, and black hats, and each had a black bag full of "spy tools": flashlight, red-dot laser, rope, calculator, old cell phone, notebook, pen. (Neither girl would wear the hat for her school Halloween parade, which made them look more like New Yorkers than spies.) For trick-or-treating, they added night-vision spy goggles I'd gotten them--blue-lens glasses with little lights at either side.

The day was packed very very full. First, Greta's parade at preschool. Next, Lucia's parade at school. Then trick-or-treating at the shops in the village. A quick dinner at home, then trick-or-treating around our neighborhood. The girls had so much fun. What a change from two years ago, when we barely managed to do all the houses on our street--this year, they would have gone on and on. (Last year, of course, we didn't trick-or-treat because we were at Trina's wedding--which L&G still talk about.)

All in all, a great great day. I have to say, though, that I breathed a huge sigh of relief when it was over. This has been a CRAZY month, with both girls' birthdays, Greta's birthday party, a trip to NH for my birthday, a trip to PA for my library event, and then Halloween. Whew. November is scheduled to the hilt as well, but it's not nearly as stressful for me as planning birthdays and Halloween. I feel so much pressure to make those things magical. There are so few of them in their little childhoods, and I want every part of them to be perfect. Another year of happy events all around--done and done.

And yes, that's me in a purple wig and witch's hat in the picture below, getting into the Halloween spirit. L&G were thrilled that I put on a costume, and Greta referred to me only as "witch" the entire evening.