|The Chronicles of
© 2008 Gail Hunter
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The final days at Pete's - preparing to set out with all systems "Go"
What a joy the washer/dryer is! Cor no longer trudges to the laundry room. I think he
enjoyed the chance to sit and read old magazines, but it must have been a drag. Now,
although the capacity is small, the machine is extraordinarily quiet and we can just pop in
yesterday's clothes as they come off. Voila! Fresh and clean.
The ice maker is OK also, thereby making happy hour Happy.
All I will say is Alan and Pete's made this two week fresh-up very pleasant. Alan even
brought us a cinnamon doughnut from Yanna's Cupboard in Jeffersonville, near his
home town of Cambridge. Delish! Right texture and I think I detected a touch of nutmeg,
but maybe not. I'm sure it's a chef's secret.
Cor and I are searching the thrift stores for a Fry Baby - to start experimenting with our
own cinnamon doughnuts. My dental hygienist (aka 'tooth fairy') is sending me her
grandmother's recipe, one her father has preserved and used for years.
The last time I had a fryer was in the early 1970s. I used hard fat, but decided it
absorbed too many flavors, so switched to liquid...easier to fry a piece of bread to clear
the flavors. As it was rarely used, I stored it on the top shelf of my pantry closet. One
day, I asked then-husband Paul to reach it down, neglecting to tell him about the switch.
You guessed it! Old cold Crisco all over his head, right on down to the floor, a yellow
and orange plaid carpet. He was very calm about it. I guess 'stunned' is a better word.
It was like cutting the umbilical. Our shakedown cruise was over and we were set loose to
fend for ourselves. Sure, we had ventured out on our own in February, but we were never
further from instant help than the phone. We can still call Pete's for Route 66 help, but
we are trying to show them "We Can Do It!"
Our first full-month rental is at the Mallett's Bay Campground on Lakeshore Drive in
Colchester, VT. We've selected a site way at the back, nearest to the pine woods. While
we enjoy the companionship of other new-found friends, we're still trying to get ourselves
at a point where we can relax for a whole day.
This location, near our ex-home of Burlington, gives us a chance to entertain old friends in
the manner we do best....very casual. Because of the increased handicap from my polio, I
have to count on guests to "pull it all together." Sure, I can cook stuff ahead, but when the
time comes to bring the dishes to the table, I'm a bust. Fortunately, nearly all our friends
are at least 10 years my junior and 20 years Cor's.
We've watched them all care for elderly parents, and wonder what lies ahead of us. That
is one reason for this Last Hurrah...we'll go as long as we can, and when it becomes too
difficult, hopefully we will have found the place where we want to remove the wheels and sit
back to enjoy the sunset.
I don't mean to sound maudlin, but facts is facts! Tempus fugit. We'll enjoy it while we can.
And so - to entertainment!
It was wonderful to have our new friends, Dennis and Carol Lane (and don't
forget Cara, the poodle) join us at Mallett's Bay. It was especially great that
they really loved the camp. First order was to have them meet our old marina
buddies, the Nerbers, Dions, and Kris Teply. Six guests are about all I can
handle now, so we split them up: Kris came with the Nerbers - and I can't
remember what I served them. I only know that Carol kept running back and
forth to their Winnebago to get more ???? What a metabolism! What a friend!
l to r - Phil admires Cara;
Carol & Kris set the table;
Time to dig in; and a little
after-dinner chat around
A Fire Ring - Something we weren't familiar with, but
have come to love. Most campsites have old tire rims,
mostly truck-size, set in the ground at each site. The
office usually has kindling and logs for sale, or you
can fetch your own.
This is when I wish I could play the guitar. The flames bring back old college memories of camp
fires and harmonizing, Clementine, the Erie Canal, Home on the Range, Wilberforce, to name
Ah, the days of wine and roses!
The short, sweet life of a marshmallow
Spear the poor thing on a sharp fireproof
skewer; hold in flames until it ignites; Let it
burn to a crisp, then get it all inside your
mouth. Carol demonstrates fine form.
After a week of doctors' appointments - our
once-a-year check ups (all OK) we continue the
party line, this time with Bob and Norma Dion
(also ex-boating friends) and the Lanes.
When we lived at Shelburne Senior Living Community, we were
pleased to know Bob and Rosemary Murphy. We escaped four yeas ago,
but keep in touch. They have escaped also and now live on Dorset Street
in South Burlington at The Pines. I asked Bob if there was anything they
don't eat. He replied they always love a cookout, so cookout it was. Here,
Cor and Bob clown it up with some Austrian hats which have been put
away for the summer.
My cousin, Anita Craven of Easton, NH was in town with her Rhodesian
Ridgeback for a big dog show at the Sheraton. She came by early so I put
her to work making the burgers...stuffed with gorgonzola. Cor fired up the
grill and we all sat back to enjoy an aperitif and learn about Anita's show.
Unfortunately, we were too relaxed and let the fire die down I moved the
burgers to the oven and overcooked them - but that's my m.o.
As we chatted, our next-site neighbor, John Doerr drove in on
his exceptionally classy Harley. He ambled over and sat down
to play us a piece on his two-barreled wooden flute-like Indian
instrument. It has a lovely, moody tone, almost ethereal.
Since we have several Harleys in our family, we began
asking John about his. He explained to Anita that his had a
few unusual features. "Hop on back," said John. Anita did.
All of a sudden she let out a big "Whoop" and her dark eyes
jumped. How was she to know John had a beautiful, black
leather, vibrating seat? And off they went for a short ride!
A small note about Cara's coif: The Lanes were very upset with it. They took her to
someone who claimed to know how to give a proper poodle trim. When they came to
pick her up, to their dismay she had pink nail polish and silly little pink bows in her hair.
Her legs looked like they belonged on a grand piano and her head resembled an
overturned bowl of spaghetti. They were not happy.
One night, by the light of
a lively fire, our neighbor
John Doerr put on a
of his Native American
Indian flutes, of which he has many. John is an Inca Shaman, and his flutes are part of his
whole relation with life. As he tells us, he doesn't play any set tune on them, they play
themselves. Above are a few. In addition to several single ones, he has this exceptionally long
one with notes at the lower end and the drone at the upper end. Next, he plays the buffalo or
bison horn - very low and haunting. For a finale,
John gave us a flourish on the double flute - very exciting
and much like patting your head and rubbing your belly at
the same time. Pretty tricky! Among the guests present
were Bailey and ..... a cuddly Alaskan Husky. Very intent.
You know that saying about New England's changeable weather? "If you don't like it, wait a
minute." Well, last week (July 20th on) it didn't change, and you wouldn't have liked that
either. Rain, rain, rain. We felt so sorry for all those poor people who came out with their
families and set up their pup tents in the woods. That water just must have run down beneath
them. There was no let-up. Kids bicycled in the rain. Kids went to the swimming pool in the
rain. Families huddled around the tables eating under their canopies in the rain.
Many packed it all in and left before the weekend was over. But two stayed on!
And I give the first prize for stamina and stick-to-itness to Fidge and Yves,
here for the week from Montreal. They arrived in the rain Sunday night;
couldn't set their tent up in the downpour, so slept in their car. Their
determination paid off - the sun finally shone!
The corn is ready! The corn is here!
Finally, young fresh tender ears of
Butter & Sugar corn right from the field.
Here you see Cor making his selection
at Brigante's farm stand in Colchester.
And we end the day with a cool ice
cream refresher at Burlington Bay!