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October’s three-day holiday weekend is upon us. Columbus Day on Monday always signified the time to close the cottage for the winter. For years I would spend these three days switching screens for shutters and preparing the little lake house for its solitary stretch of winter. This year it signifies Peterborough New Hampshire’s 275th anniversary celebration. I feel a great affinity to this place. The paper ran a huge, two section special edition chronicling the timeline of the place of my maternal heritage. Plans include a parade and activities to satisfy the most jaded of tourists. Nature is responding with a glorious display of quintessential New England fall foliage and the store has a cooking demo, cheese arrival and herb & salt bar festival planned.  We kick-off Friday night with the “Soup Ladies” dishing up some samples of their excellent product followed by Saturday’s festivities including a live band on the patio and our monthly cooking demo.

I had planned on our original chef, Joe Stanislaw, to wow the crowds with his simple and delicious selections. Unfortunately, Joe is laid up following knee surgery. We have his recipes, Kim and I will cook up the menu, and we will serve the tasty bites in his honor.

If the cheese deli case doesn’t arrive tomorrow, I will still bring coolers and serve cheese because I have promised for far too long that we will have cheese! So much to get finished before the weekend madness sets in but I work best under pressure so bring it on!!

Meanwhile, life goes on about its own schedule. Wilson’s mom is coming home after a short stint in the hospital. She is coming home to die, in her own house, surrounded by the people she loves, with her patient Springer Spaniel at her bedside. I wish I could ease this pain but, it is his lesson to learn and her’s to teach.

These are the months of departures. Those among us who look ahead and see the difficulties of life through the winter months have a choice, and some choose to leave while there is still colors and warmth. The harsh beauty of winter requires extra effort that some realize they can no longer muster.   And that’s OK.  I can deal with the best laid plans needing a slight change…


8 comments on “The Best Laid Plans…

  1. Touring NH says:

    It sounds like you and the store have quite a busy weekend coming up! I hope the cheese case shows up and makes things a little easier for you. I’m sure you and Kim will do justice with Joe’s recipes! I find it increasingly difficult to deal with winter’s “harsh beauty”. I hope Wilson can find peace in knowing she is dying surrounded by loved ones. It is where she wants to be before she goes on.


    1. Thanks Laura. So much going on and so little time to stop and just take notice of the beauty we have this time of year.

      I am glad Mary can go home and have hospice. Wilson will get by but it will be difficult for him to not have her by his side all day…


  2. Doppleganger says:

    Often an unplanned change of plans results in something even better then the best laid ones…. Videos please, Mrs Bunyon, of your debut as The Vinegar Lady, Chef!


    1. I will try for photos at the very least!


  3. julieallyn says:

    Well said, Martha. I usually chide those who complain about fall because of what follows but perhaps they too are simply just no longer able to muster the effort. However, I’m only willing to cut slack to those who are older (my mother-in-law being one of them) while my younger sister (who tends toward negativity — just as my MIL does!) simply needs an attitude adjustment IMHO!

    Anyway, I welcome all the seasons. It’s just that two of them – summer and winter – sometimes wear out their welcome after awhile!


  4. I worked at the Peterborough Historical Society during the 250th anniversary and wow, was it busy! I hope you have plenty of cheese.
    I wonder if Wilson realizes how very lucky he is to be able to be at home with his mother until the end. My father died in the hospital and it isn’t a memory that I’m very fond of.


  5. Marie Keates says:

    Your autumn colours are beautiful. Our are just beginning and, for a while, I thought we wouldn’t have any. It will be tough on Wilson when he mother goes but it’s far better she is at home surrounded by her things and the people who love her.


    1. Yes Marie, Wilson will have a hard time when Mary is gone but there is a lesson there for him…


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