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Surprise visits feed my heart!

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

Tuesday Oct. 8, 2019

Dear Thomas,

There's a saying that old friends can pick up where they left off.

April & Don Stewart with April's brother Gene & his wife Short

Recently, Don and April flew up from Tennessee to take in the New England Fall colors. Our kids grew up with their children. We were in a dinner club and book club together...until we bought your house and moved to Vermont.

As best we could, we caught up between me cooking breakfast and greeting guests and Richard making drinks at the bar. Two days later, we hugged and promised to stay in better touch. I miss them already, that familiarity that comes with a shared history.

Carla Kirby visits Marilee Spanjian @iwvermont

A day later, one of my oldest friends, Carla from San Diego, California, surprised me and showed up with her husband. The first time I met Carla was 45 years ago. She was a new student at our high school. We became fast friends. But our lives went in different directions. It had been 10 years since I last saw her. As she was leaving, Carla said, "Do you remember, you taught me to drive in your yellow VW Bug?" Vaguely, I thought, as we hugged and also promised to stay in touch.

I didn't tell Carla, but that's not the story I remember most about her.

Just a month after we graduated from high school, Carla dropped everything to sit with me beside my mother's hospital bed. All through the night, we cried, hugged and reminisced before my mother passed the next morning.

Thomas, I'm so happy these friends made time to trek up to Vermont and drive back into the woods, to visit inside your house. My heart is full.

Until next time, your house’s faithful caretaker,



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