Adventures in New England....


I am not sure which I was more excited about,
visiting family and friends, 
seeing the latest developments at Tahilla Farm,
 or the anticipation of donning my winter gear 
after a three year hiatus.

Either way..
I was busting with joy,
all the way from Saigon to Hong Kong to 
Chicago to Manchester, New Hampshire. 

Never mind that Mr. H booked me on the LONGEST flight EVER..
(significant cost savings, says he) or that I was ill mid-flight with eight hours to go, 
or that I arrived in Chicago to realise I was a day early and as a result..
had to take the only rental car left in the lot...
a red Mercedes...at four times the cost of what I had booked.

Never mind that within 20 hours of arrival I would be checking myself
into the Emergency Room at our local hospital feeling like I was at death's door.

I was in New England...
and that my friends was worth all that came before me 
(except the emergency room part).

It took a bit longer that anticipated to get back on my feet...but when I did,
I went running to the hills of Tahilla Farm where my winter gear awaited me.



and a whole lot of trucks. 


and more trucks.


and Mr. H's "Master and Commander" curved window
in progress and a whole lot more. 
Was I still excited? You betcha.



Ice covered winterberries...


and mossy covered icicles 


were as welcome a sight as the view peeping 
between our stone walls.


Even when the diggers arrived to lay the underground electrical wires, 
pulling apart our stone walls...I looked on in fascination.




There were many consultations 
with Sheldon the Architect and Tim the Builder
and then the serious dig began 
as I dragged a garden bucket around with me, 
unearthing remnants of the construction process. 
Forget that I looked like a half mad foolish woman...
I needed to connect.
And I did. 




 After all...I am a New Englander.
When the call comes to connect with the land, you have to go with it.
To this I say, to each her own. 


 I just simply took it all in...
in black and white


 and colour.

A stariing contest with the goats of Juniper Hill Farm, they won. 


 Before I knew it, my imaginings at Tahilla Farm were over 
and I was on the move again, heading north..
but not before the first snowflakes 
of a mighty storm started blowing in.

After the snow storm, Tahilla Farm by Tim the Builder


My anticipated two hour drive took six.
All the while, Miss Claire, my lovely daughter,
exclaimed what a beautiful sight it was to be driving in snow.

White knuckled from gripping the steering wheel
and cursing the snow gods..I felt otherwise.

With each passing Ford pickup truck, I wished that we owned one.
They glided effortlessly along the highway as my lighter weight
comrades in snow skidded and slid off the road.

It was steady as she goes for this driver
and my luck was with me for this is what greeted us.

White on white...with a flash of red, white and blue,
a beautiful sight in New England. 




I had died and gone to heaven (figuratively speaking).
We were in a New England winter wonderland with family for Thanksgiving.
From our last Thanksgiving in the USA in 1998 to our first since, in 2014.
I only wished that the rest of our clan could have been with us.


It is beautiful countryside...
what we (family) call the "Highlands" of New Hampshire.



On a clear day, you can see the mountains of Vermont.


Every experience is special...from the barn door...


to the welcoming fires that always burn bright in this hearthside.



On Thanksgiving day, we tucked into a 25 lb. turkey, 
cooked by my very talented sister-in-law 
and her sous chef in training, her son.
It was a day to remember...forver and ever.



My only regret was that it passed too quickly.

From the "Highlands" of New Hampshire 
we travelled to a little town by the sea in Massachusetts.
Two and a half hours of clear driving..a welcome relief.




If you have follow Collage of Life, 
you may recall that I hail from Cape Ann, north of Boston.
The days of my youth were spent by the sea, a place
where my family still lives.


Travel through the towns of Rockport, Gloucester, 
Essex and Manchester-by-the-Sea
and you will think you have driven into a painting.

always comes to mind for me.






As much as I love a winter's day in the woods, 
there is something wonderful 
about winter winds whipping off the sea. 
It is one of the things I love about New England,
you can have it all.


Before I knew it..my trip had ended. 
I spent my last night at an airport hotel struggling 
with the weight of my luggage
while taking in a winter sunset over Boston.


My flight to Vietnam was as eventful 
as my arrival into the USA two weeks earlier.
Mr. H heard all about it..
from Boston to Chicago to 
Tokyo to Saigon..on deaf ears.
When there is a savings to be had..he is all ears.



And there I sat these past days, in Saigon, 
in a jetlag stupor 
wishing I was wearing my winter gear and
feeling every inch 
of this Richard Diebenkorn painting when....

Richard Diebenkorn via

I received this photo from Tim the Builder with
three simple words..(always a man of few words).
"view family room"

Jetlag be gone!

"View Family Room" by Tim the Builder

Our imaginings are taking shape.
We have a room with a view..well almost.
This is where we hope to one day be sitting, 
in the "Lowlands" of New Hampshire,
with family from the "Highlands" of New Hampshire,
with the hearthside ablaze..and a turkey in the oven.
(assuming I survive the flight from Saigon).
:O)

And with that I say goodnight!
Wishing you happy days and good health!


Jeanne xx

Photos:
Photos were taken by me, in my travels
with the exception of two by Tim the Builder,
Tahilla Farm snow and the "view family room".
More photos on my Instagram page here.
The painting by Richard Diebenkorn
can be found here.

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