As sad as we were to leave Alembic for the winter in Belgium, we were so excited to go home and see our families and friends. So on October 24 we boarded a plane and headed home. This would be the first time in five years Alembic was unattended for so long. Even last year, when we came home for two months, our friends stayed aboard her, adventuring and taking good care of her many needs.
Our French daughter, Marie, came to see us as soon as we arrived!
Bill followed through quickly on his plans to build a camper van. The van he chose had been a rental cargo van so the inside was pretty beat up, but the price was right for a one year old vehicle. He bought it in Maryland and drove it back to Maine.
We thoroughly enjoyed many nights in this awesome tree house, designed and built by dear friends Christian and Christine Slader.
Then it was home to Camp Weigel to set up for many guests, especially our granddaughter Sadie!!
Finally my parents got to meet Sadie, their first great grandchild. My brother Al and his wife Ann arranged the get-together at their home in Connecticut.
Early snow at camp set us up for a fantastic ski season.
Thanksgiving was at my brother Dan and his wife Jolie’s home.
Finally we had a calm few days to reroof Kenny’s garage. Of course Sadie had to be watched so I insisted on lots of breaks from the roof work.
Erica finally took some time off. She has been working full time in Colorado while earning her bachelors and masters degrees, but arranged to be with us in Maine for the month of December. So of course we put her to work. More importantly, we had plenty of time to begin the preparations for her upcoming wedding! Erica and Wes became engaged on Thanksgiving and are planning for a wedding on their fifth anniversary of meeting, August 25, 2019.
Lindsay came to camp to help us prepare for Christmas.
Bill and I began our sixth year of Maine Adaptive at Sunday River. We volunteer Mondays and Fridays to help handicapped people enjoy the joys of skiing. Every day, we get much more than we give. And I am still involved when the CBHS students come to ski. I used to bring a group of almost twenty every year to our camp for the week when I was teaching there.
Mt Abram continues to thrive as a little family mountain ski area with a huge heart. This is our sixteenth year skiing there and we can’t imagine ever missing a year. Management always arranges the most hilarious events and talented bands to keep every weekend lively. The village is full of wonderful folks from the newborn babies to the almost triple digit seniors. Everyone helps everyone have a great time.
It was difficult to leave the mountain on March 15 for a few weeks, but we were eager to get going on the van trip. We started off by meeting Lindsay in Boston to be with her on Match Day, when she learned of her location for residency for the next 3 years. She, and Dave, were thrilled to find out she will be at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Concord Hospital in New Hampshire after she graduates from Medical School in May.
After celebrating with Lindsay, we headed to Connecticut to begin the many stops to see every member of my original family. First stop was to see my brother Al and his wife Ann. Next was my parents. They were thrilled to see the finished van and I learned that Dad had always wanted to go across the country in a van. Too bad it’s a little late for him.
Then on to my brother Eric and his wife Sharon’s home. They have the most delightful triplet boys.
Next was my brother Paul and his wife Tara’s home. Paul arranged for my sister Marie and brother Charlie to come over with their significant others Bill and Nicki. Our final day started with a visit to brother Rick’s home and we had dinner with him and his son, Mike. The day ended with a stop at my niece Chloe’s apartment where my brother Dan was visiting. Two parents, six brothers, one sister, and many members of their families, all in a few days! What a whirlwind!
Setting off for Colorado was easy and boring, with twenty-four hours of driving. Luckily the van was working out well as a kitchen, bedroom, and lounge. Finally we arrived in Fort Collins and were greeted by Erica and Wes.
We spent the next week fishing in so many spectacular rivers.
When Erica and Wes had to do more University work, we set off for Moab, and stopped at the Shire on our return, a potential spot for the wedding. An extra treat out west was to make a stop at Vail to see Lauren, a dear friend from Mt Abram. When we met her, we were surprised to see Rob, the owner of Mt Abram! We had already said good bye to him back in Maine and were surprised find him here!
These two, Wes and Erica, have a lot going on as they finish up their degrees, plan for their wedding and hunt for jobs. So, to add to their tasks, they are now in charge of the van! Lindsay will come out to use it for a week, our niece Sarah will come use it for three weeks, and then Erica will begin managing it as a rental van!
Back home in Maine, Bill almost bought another van! We enjoyed Sadie a bunch more, celebrated her parents’ birthdays, and skied a few more times before flying back to Belgium to be reunited with Alembic.