We arrived on the first day of mud season.
April is holiday season for Vermont locals, the short month between winter ski season and spring when the melting snow looks to flee to the sea any way it can, rushing into brooks, streams and rivers. Our first day there the state was wrapped in a thick fog, which gave way to a freezing April rain. The earth had softened to warm pudding in gravel lots, farmers’ fields, dirt driveways, and the front yards of folks who didn’t notice what a nice low curve it had when they bought the place.
I spent a few days with my family up there at my late great-aunt’s cottage. It’s been on the market since last spring, but we’ve yet to find a buyer, and so it sits there, half empty, her stuff scattered among my uncles, aunts, and cousins. As it rained we spent the day inside, eating cheese sandwiches, doing the New York Times crossword and reading by the fireplace.
It was the first day all four of us had spent together in several years.