Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Vermont: And the Story it Tells

I have a story to tell. But I have never been good about putting it down on paper.

Many years ago when I worked in Serbia with democracy activists, I dreamed of taking my notes and writing a memoir. It would talk of the brave, young activists whom I met. The lonely days I spent there as a young American political consultant trying to bring about change under an oppressive regime.   The agony of war, still fresh from the Balkans tragedy that unfolded, and playing out on the lives of the people I toiled to help.

That book never happened.  And so this blog was born along the way.

But our house in Vermont tells a story.  Of days spent in Belgrade. A visit to the market in Senegal under a hot African sun.  Many trips to Bangkok to collect fabrics and carvings and amazing containers for beetle nuts.  Trips to the labyrinth souk in Cairo for beads and alabaster bowls and brightly colored glass pitchers.

Step inside and see what I've been working on.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Vermont: And a Single Girl's Life

About every other Monday, I put on a certain outfit. And a certain makeup. And wear a certain hair style.

And then drive for 30 minutes to the airport to board a plan to take me to there.  My Mac comes out. My IPad is revealed. I'm focused on where that plane will take me and what lies ahead.

There is "home." Well, not really. But it used to be and it's the city that I know. And find more and more to love about. Neighborhoods. Restaurants. Cafes. Coffee bars. Old friends.

Familiarity.  Comfort.

And so on Monday evening, I found myself at Anbar, catching up with my Polish/American friend, Agneiszka, who has traveled the work and seen to so much. And is interesting in her own rite.

We drank Croatian and Serbian wines. Talked about kids. Talked about travels.

Here's to those evenings.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Vermont: And Finding Happiness Everywhere

Here are just some of the things that made me happy and brought a smile to my face this weekend, reaffirming my belief in Vermont and our decision to move here:

1.  Spending time with Abby.  It was mommy and Abby time most of Saturday-- going to horseback riding and hitting the annual craft fairs.  Loved it.

2.  Craft fairs.  So unlike me. Very uncharacteristic.  But I do love these Vermont craft fairs.  I especially love paying people who typically undervalue their hard work.  I appreciate what it takes to knit a pair of mittens or make a beautiful wooden cutting board in many, many ways.

3.  Discovering a cool product.  Abel and Lovely.  Some Vermonters probably already know this cool  Charlotte-based company -- makers of yummy smelling soaps and cool t-shirts -- but I stumbled upon them at the Charlotte Craft Fair.  And met the lovely co-founder, Kristin.

4.  Curling up in our reading nook.  Now complete with our reindeer skin from Sweden,  lots of lots of throw pillows from all over the world, including Thailand and Senegal, and a perfect place for reading the Sunday New York Times.

5. Breaking bread with new neighbors.  We are just getting settled here and it's so great to meet interesting, fun people and have them over for dinner. Especially when they bring amazing apple and currant cobbler for dessert!