What I Learned in the Country

country house drivewayIt’s been a whirlwind summer, truly. When I said my posts would be sporadic, I didn’t realize a more accurate term would be non-existent. But it’s not all that surprising considering this very un-mathematical equation:

No school + not much camp + minimal babysitting hours + 2 kids = NO free time

I can barely compose a decent email these days. That said, I somehow managed my FIRST ever guest post! Okay, fine. The truth is I wrote it before school let out, but still.

Check out “My Momtourage” post at Stephanie Sprenger and Jessica Smock’s awesome collaboration, The HerStories Project, which is their collection of tales all about friendship and new motherhood.

Back to summer, we’ve been enjoying ourselves (minus the tantrums and sweaty walks home from the playground). But the best part by far has been the two weeks spent at our country house in Sullivan County, New York.

The timing was perfect since we may have missed the NASTIEST, sweatiest (+ smelliest) NYC weather (so far), by complete and utter chance. It was hot in the country, but not unbearable. And, there was this lake:

lake family

We were lucky enough to have 2 sets of friends visit us while we were there. One family came all the way from South Korea! Not just to see us, obvs, but still it was great that they dedicated some of their annual trip to hang out.

I could easily go on in annoying detail about our daily activities, but instead I decided on a List. I love lists. You wouldn’t know it from this blog where I tend to babble via paragraphs, but lists are very big for me. Sadly, they are usually very boring To Do lists, or worse, grocery shopping lists, but this one is way more exciting. Um, I hope. And here it is, in no particular order:

What I Learned in the Country 

I’m really, really, afraid of bears. I think I spotted one in the woods moments after we arrived, but I’m hoping all my clapping and loud whooping noises scared it away. It certainly scared my husband.

Freshly picked berries and peas taste best right off the vine.

fresh peas

Food tastes better when eaten outside (and with wine).

centerpiece

How peaceful it is to look up at the sky through a sunny maze of leaves while lying on a blanket under a tree.

Freshly picked flowers can last weeks. They’re so pretty, and super fun to pick.

fresh picked flowers

This one’s super obvious, but how good are roasted marshmallows?! And even better with good pals.

roasting mellows with pals

How wonderful it is to have dear friends who you can not see for two years and yet fall right back into a rhythm together.

lake long shot

Who knew lacrosse could be so much fun? And don’t even get me started on wiffle ball. Seriously.

lacross sillies

Kids don’t need so many toys. Not when a real tea pot is available.

tea time

Turns out baby pools and fancy sprinklers are also overrated. A garden hose works just fine, especially when a toddler is aiming at his mom and big sister.

I had no idea I was such a lake person. And a digging trenches in the sand at the lake person. So much more satisfying than at the beach where holes refill with every breath of the tide.

little guy and the lake

Farms come in all sizes and my daughter can’t walk without complaining whether it’s only 2 or 40 acres. However she did LOVE feeding the chickens and ducks.

root and roost farm

Root and Roost farm: 2 acres of farming goodness

Pigs can’t sweat. And they smell. No wonder they’re misunderstood.

pig big

Some turkeys are so ugly they’re beautiful.

turkey

I’m a city girl, mostly, but the country is growing on me. (Except for the whole bear thing.)

Wild daisies in our backyard.

These wild daisies grow in our backyard.

My daughter might be more country than I thought.

gardening girl

Her flower picking outfit.

Her perfect flower picking outfit.

And my son might be more sporty than I thought, especially coming from such unsporty parents (with the exception of wiffle ball).

little guy lacrosse

To be perfectly honest, the idea of two weeks holed up in an isolated country house with my nutty kids kind of terrified me, and a few moments were a bit touch and go, but mostly, it was wonderful. What a gift this house is to our family.

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18 thoughts on “What I Learned in the Country

  1. So glad your family had a fantastic escape in the country 🙂 I’m from a small town around the Sullivan county area, and love the fact that I was raised in that type of atmosphere. Fresh flowers keep for weeks? I must be doing something wrong 😛

  2. It’s good to have you back, you were missed! 🙂

    I love your photographs, they bring me back to summers in Norway. It looks so similar and I feel so far away just now! Thanks, x

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  4. Okay… I totally laughed out loud with your opening bear comment. Really. A loud guffaw that made my kids shake their heads in pity. All I could picture was the scene from “The Parent Trap”- remember Hayley Mills? When the twins tricked their future step mom into trying to scare off the mountain lions with two sticks… It made me giggle. Thank you.

    And I am in LOVE with your country house!!! What a fun place to escape to- no matter the time of year! I love lake beaches too… it always reminds me of a giant Zen Garden… you know the one with the sand and the rocks and the rake. Sigh. Perfect.

    I’m so happy to see you are having such an amazing summer… I love summer- it’s my favorite time of year. I’m so not ready to jump back into the hustle and bustle of real schedules and school! Let’s just live forever at the lake instead.

    • Jess, I love making you laugh! I am totally serious when I say that knowing I can get a guffaw out of you truly makes my day 🙂 And YES I remember The Parent Trap and Hayley Mills! My mom nearly named me Hayley. But Dana won, out. Robin was a close third. Don’t ask me how they came up with those.

      Wish we could have you all out to the country house for an allergy free vacation! Hey, maybe someday if you ever find yourself out east 🙂 I love a good Zen Garden, too. Maybe I should get one to tide me over until next summer’s lake adventures.

      I love summer too… but around this time I start to get sad that it’s nearly over. I think that’s why I ultimately prefer spring cause it means summer is around the corner!

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