July 4th parade in Randolph despite rain
I arrived at the Burlington Airport around 1am on July 4th and we drove home in a deluge of rain. Mark said it has been like this for almost the entire three weeks that I was gone, and everyone else has mentioned the constant rain too. December was in the car, and as she always does when I have been gone, she greeted me with total joy and lots of licks and wagging of her tail. I felt the same joy myself. It is so good to be home. Dylan and Mali came out of their hiding places and have been following me around ever since.
Dylan and Mali on different tables
July 4th parade is a big deal in Randolph and it goes right past our house. Last year we saw the parade from our corner, but since we were not occupying the house yet, we didn't have the front row seats on the porch. This year we enjoyed the view, as well as the shelter from the rain, and were joined by some friends. I think the rain kept some people and animals from participating in the parade (I missed the oxen) but it was still a festive event with lots of applause for the various floats and marching segments.
Chimney extension hiding insert, stove and this year's woodpile
Immediately on entering the house I could notice things that were done while I was gone. We had an insert put down the chimney for the kitchen woodstove, and the stove was moved over and now has a taller stovepipe, which brings additional heat into the room (we had a fire going last night). The people that did the instillation made a nice extension on the chimney that hides the metal pipe coming out of it. Mark also got another load of wood and stacked it himself. This year we have four cords, since we will only use the kitchen woodstove, not the basement one. Next year we will figure out what to do for heating this house more efficiently, but this summer the big renovation will be getting a new roof.
Mark and Dylan and Mali in shadow
The best part of yesterday was the potluck dinner that our friend Sara hosted at our house in the evening. Sara had three friends visiting from NYC, and she also bumped into a childhood friend who was visiting Randolph from Vancouver, so she invited her too--plus of course us and two other couples--which brought the festivities to 13 and by the end of the evening it felt like 13 people who had known each other for years. Sara and the others brought an amazing feast, and all we had to do was provided the space and plates. I couldn't have asked for a better July 4th celebration. I am so happy to be back in Randolph, VT!