Unexpected Reunion results in Great Art Workshop

Facebook may be most known for absorbing colossal amounts of our time, but maybe it is best known for reuniting people who would have otherwise fallen out of touch forevermore.  When a facebook friend tagged me in an old high school photo, I smiled with nostalgia as I thought, “Hey, I remember that sweater!”   (I’m so deep, eh?!) But the true delight of the photo was being ‘friended’ by a few people who didn’t yet know I was on facebook.  One of those people was Arnie Casavant, the art teacher at my Alma mater (Oliver Ames High School in North Easton, Massachusetts).  I never took art, I don’t think, but he was also our class advisor. After a few “Nice to hear from you” volleys, consistent with common facebook protocol, our dialogue politely concluded.  Yet when he posted a picture of one of his own pieces of art,  our dialogue re-opened and we found ourselves discussing the possibility of his coming to teach a landscape painting art class at the inn.  (The first one is scheduled for July 13-15, 2012.  Details on the website.)  He and his wife drove to Okemo Valley, scoping out the potential painting sites in this art-rich area, and Michael and I visited with them in our living room for a couple of hours. What fun to talk through details of the painting seminar, but also to share some experiences we’ve all had in the 20 year space since last seeing one another (24 years really, in case anyone is counting!).  I’m not a huge facebook fan but am grateful for this chance to re-encounter a person from my past — and now of my present too!

Greven Field's "Green Monster" slain by Hurricane Irene
Flood Damage to Greven Field Green Monster
Solzhenitsyn Benefit Concert for Cavendish Ballpark (2012-4-3)

On April 6, 2012, Ignat Solzhenitsyn will be performing an evening of Beethoven, Schubert, and Prokofiev on the piano as a fundraiser to rebuild Greven Field in Cavendish, VT.  The field was absolutely demolished in August 2011 when Hurricane Irene flooded the area. Greven’s “Green Monster” (pictured above) was knocked down, chain link fences were lifted and mangled, bleachers and baseball gear literally floated downstream. (See some pictures below this post.)

 

Ignat Solzhenitsyn has generously volunteered to perform a benefit concert, with 100% of the ticket sales going to the Cavendish Proctorsville Baseball League.  This benefit concert was generously underwritten by the Cavendish Community Fund and Newsbank, Inc.  From Solzhenitsyn’s professional website…  Recognized as one of today’s most gifted artists, and enjoying an active career as both conductor and pianist, Ignat Solzhenitsyn’s lyrical and poignant interpretations have won him critical acclaim throughout the world. 

 

The benefit concert is on Friday April 6 at 7pm at the Green Mountain Union High School in Chester.  Tickets are $25 each or $20 for students.  Stay at Golden Stage Inn on Friday, present your ticket stub upon ‘check-out’ and we’ll deduct your ticket price from your room rate.

Flood Waters recede one day after Hurricane Irene

Greven Field, the day after Hurricane Irene

Greven Field, Hurricane Irene

dugout at Greven Field, the day after Hurricane Irene

Greven Snack Shack, Hurricane Irene Flood

Greven Snack Shack, the Day After Hurricane Irene

Spring is here…time for a Vermont Hike!

No better time for a Vermont hike…

This weather is incredible! Spring warmth has arrived but the bugs have not.  Here are two hikes we took this weekend that we loved…

 

Our own Backyard….

From the inn, we walked down Depot Street and up hill Pratt Hill.  Pratt Hill Rd takes a sharp right deep into (and still heading up!) the Proctor Piper State Forest.  If there’s a path here, we didn’t find it.  Our team of pre-teen trailblazers forged a new path as we debated if lichen is a plant or a mushroom, identified deer scat in the leaves, and photographed stunningly green moss on downed trees.  Our goal was to find our way back to the inn via the woods.  When we emerged on Route 103, we realized we had overshot our mark by 1/4 mile.  Not so bad if you ask me!  We backtracked slightly, found our bridge to cross the creek and were greeted by welcoming bahhs from Shayla the sheep.  The overall hike was probably 1.5 miles and other than the incredibly steep entrance into the woods (on a dirt road), I would rate it as relatively easy.

 

Eleanor Ellis Springweather Nature Area

(Just a 15 minute drive from the inn)

Ironically, we learned of this hike from a guest (who grew up in the area).  She and her boyfriend hiked these trails on Saturday and saw two bald eagles!  We didn’t even see a Robin or a Chickadee, but this might have something to do with the fact that we were rambunctiously traveling with a dog and a gaggle of kids.  Nonetheless, what a great place to hike.  Located on the Connecticut River Birding Trail in North Springfield, Vermont, these self-guiding trails are clearly marked and offer phenomenal diversity of forest, meadows, pond and flood plain.  The literature offered by the Ascutney Mountain Audubon Society details the types of trees, birds and other wildlife you may see on your hike.  We spent about two hours here and covered most of the trail system.  Pack a picnic lunch, borrow our binoculars, and be sure to make this an item on your Must Do list when taking a Vermont hike.

 

 

Welcoming Changes (2011-12-30)

One year ago today, Michael and I woke up on the living room floor of our spacious but barren, circa 1890 Victorian house in suburban Bridgewater, Massachusetts.  We dragged our mattress and pillows down the snow-drifted walkway and driveway, loaded them into the trailer with some straggling last minute things, and said our final farewell to our home of eleven years.  The weight of the emptiness in the house was a strong counterbalance to the anticipation that lay ahead.

 

By 11am, we were in the kitchen of Golden Stage Inn, meeting with the health inspector, getting our final Board of Health approvals.

 

By 3pm, we were signing documents at the bank.

 

By 5pm, we were innkeepers.  And we had a rather full house of guests awaiting cookies and coffee, dinner suggestions and wine glasses …and a full breakfast the next morning!!

 

Has it been a year already?  Has it been only a year?!  Time does funny things.  Regardless, it has been an incredible 365-day journey
for our family. The schools and the community are great. And we have hosted some of the most wonderful people at the inn.  It’s funny, really — we are supposed to be offering hospitality and kindness to our guests, but we find we are receiving such gifts just as often. We feel indebted to so many people for such a wonderful year.  To our community, to our guests, and to our employees, we send a giant THANK YOU.  One year ago, we bought a big, beautiful house.  But it is all of you who have filled this building with energy and warmth, turning this house into the inn of our dreams.

 

We’re fully booked tonight, on our one-year anniversary, but we hope to welcome you at our inn soon.

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