Slow Down and Notice

On our way home, we took the road that travels by an Amish farm because even though I am among those guilty of romanticizing their very human and imperfect culture, I always ask Adam to drive that way. Especially during gardening season. It appeared services were not held at their farm on this particular day, evident by the absence of the more than a dozen buggies we’d seen parked on a previous Sunday. Barreling down the dirt road toward us, three young boys dressed in crisp handsewn garments held up by suspenders, heads covered with straw hats. All three squished into a single radio flyer wagon, steering as well as anyone can steer one of those things on a hilly dirt road, reserved glee on their faces and a courteous wave for us English-folk passing by. A barefooted young girl aged three or four, dressed in a royal blue cotton dress and black head covering, stayed up on the grass jumping and running alongside them with less restrained glee as three year olds are so good at demonstrating. I hoped she would have a turn on the wagon. 




Our garden is winding down for the year. There is still much harvest to be done, but the inevitable die back of annual vegetables is happening quickly. The last few weeks I’ve been busy with corn and tomatoes, finishing up our bush beans, and just getting started on pole beans. Carrots have reached jumbo stage and early digging of potatoes indicates we’ll be set for winter eating and spring seed, with plenty to share, too. I’ve been tempted to pull our onions because they are so beautiful I cannot wait to see them all lined up curing, but they have another week or two to go before it is time. Cabbages and Brussels sprouts still to come, as well as winter squash. We could really use another two to three weeks without a hard freeze for the squash to fully ripen, but the patch looks promising so far. Overall the garden has provided far more than we could ever expect or need, and I will ease into hibernation knowing that by the sweat of our brow and strength of our tired backs, we are provided for. 


I recently sewed curtains with my daughter for her kitchen and got to thinking that maybe I’d like to sew some for our dining room. I struggle with curtains because they have a way of blocking (partially at least) the very best part of any room: seeing outside. On the other hand, I love beautiful fabric and curtains do provide texture and coziness. And with cozy season ahead, I might just have to go for it. Now the question is do I make them cafe style with a valance or two full panels per window? 



A few nights ago a pack of coyote barreled through the woods at a such a fast clip it was as if they knew their unimpeded, free-running days are numbered, with snow arriving soon than later. Nothing inhibits easy movement through the woods like snow. Unless you’re a moose, I suppose. Can’t imagine they are too bothered by it. It was fun listening to the coyotes; I attempted to imagine how many there were but was unable to. I will say it was more than I’d ever heard in one group before, especially with such an active, full-speed-ahead yelping and howling display. It sounded like the Iditarod was passing through! Adam and I both felt it was such a treat to hear, and we were glad that our own critters had already been locked up for the night. Turkeys have been back in the yard and Scout keeps escorting them back to the woods. Bear dogs can be heard in the distance and unfamiliar trucks have been seen on the ridge looking for unposted land to hunt. 

The weeks roll on, one into the next, and I try my best as I do with each turn of season, to slow down and notice the fleetingness of it all. Something about autumn though… I can hardly believe I get to witness the arrival of yet another one. 

22 Responses

  1. Even though my home is all white and sparse, I love color. The fabrics that you choose are beautiful and charming. Those dainty prints get me every time. Are they cotton?

  2. Thank you Heather, I love reading your blog very much. My husband work for Saint-Lawrence and Atlantic(on the Québec side) sometimes he brings trains to Island Pond, is there train passing near where you live?

  3. Oh yes, the “romanticizing” of the Amish lifestyle. We now live close enough to them also. We frequent their markets and stock up on the bulk spices and other fresh produce that they provide.
    I love the color of the new curtain material for your dining room, so many colors to coordinate with decorating other things in the room, you have that wonderful ability….red, blue pyrex bowls, green lamp bases. So nice that you had time to visit with your daughter.
    Thank you for sharing.

  4. Thank you for writing more often on your blog again, Heather. I missed it so much when you were here less. I just love reading your words and seeing your photos in this format, at a slower pace more easily digested, with fewer distractions than social media. Your curtain fabric looks so pretty. Like someone else said above, my home is mostly neutrals right now because I find that soothing to my frayed 21st century nerves, but those colors and prints are always so attractive to me! I can’t wait to see what you end up with.

  5. Heather- once again I’m delighted you plan to write more blog posts. Interesting to hear about the coyotes. We used to hear them yipping at night when we lived on our homestead. In Stanley Park in Vancouver B.C. The coyotes have become so use to humans who feed them that they’ve become completely emboldened and are now attacking walkers. People unwittingly have contributed to this behaviour by feeding them and taking photos. It’s hard to remember that these are wild creatures, and not cute tame pets. They’re having to cull them. So sad that their natural territory has been diminished by human development. Sigh!

  6. I so enjoy reading your blog–I always feel at peace while reading it. I can relate to the “romanticizing” of the Amish lifestyle. We live about an hour away from a large Amish community and go often to purchase vegetables and other items they have made by hand. Love the look print for your curtains, and your sewing basket and pin cushion are treasures!

  7. Thank you for the blog post Heather . I really enjoy the experiences and thoughts you share. I do follow you on Instagram and love the reels and photos. Unfortunately it has gradually become more and more full of advertisements and influencers. Not my scene really . I just love the photography. Anyway – from one follower in Victoria , Australia living in our seventh lockdown , thank you for sharing . Between you and Rhonda H. I have some wonderful reading 🙏🏼

  8. Hi Heather, I enjoy your writing and photography so much. You are gifted in your words and pictures. Your garden abundance is such a blessing and inspiration. Congratulations on a beautiful bounty and enjoy the change of season. Many blessings on your day.

  9. Life has been difficult over the last year and a half. It has been many months since I have read your blog, and what a comfort this post was. Your words soothe some of the frenzy that I feel. I’m so happy for you that you are there living your Vermont dream.