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Hancock Shaker Village.

Do you ever feel nostalgic for the most random times and places?

Sometimes I get nostalgic for things that may even have been rocky or stressful or even recent, or none of the above, or all of the above, but whatever it was and however it went, there was something so small or so big about that day that retains an innocence I may not currently feel. Sometimes it’s obvious why I feel nostalgic, and sometimes not at all. Our trip to Hancock Shaker Village at the beginning of this month was a mix of stressful and serene. A perfect mix, if you will. It had its struggles, and its victories.

It was the day after Cassidy’s shoulder injury, after I had met him at the ER with a very cranky Des and sent Scarlet off with a dear friend when I found a missed call from a traffic cop on my phone. That’s right. I had a voicemail to call a traffic cop who had helped my husband after he had fallen in the street, and who then kindly reassured me that Cassidy was on his way to his own phone to call me. Then we met at the same hospital in which both babies were born. The same hospital where I panicked and took a swollen-handed Scarlet to after the minivan incident. The same hospital to take Des away in an incubator-for-ambulance type contraption. This time I had to watch the nurse cut off Cassidy’s beloved The Who shirt because it would hurt too much to get it over his arms and his head.

In that first grim week or two after, I knew I had a lot of kid time on my hands. I wanted to give Cassidy space and time to rest.

So we visited the glorious Hancock Shaker Village on the most beautiful spring day after the injury. The road trip was about an hour and as I said on Facebook, driving through the Berkshires is barely driving. It’s “Pleasanting.” My eyes were glued to rainbow picket fences and mossy, moosey woods and tag sales and runners and lakes and tall trees and bright sun. I may as well have been in deep Maine at some points. The weather was cool but sunny so it felt totally warm and you totally get ice cream on days like that and you wear a t-shirt, even though the chill comes fast after the sun has set. It’s hopeful. Days like those. Before summer sets in with its hair-curling humidity and uncomfortable heat. It’s when you pore over your weather app to see at what exact hours you will get to be under direct sunlight. Ever read in the sun in August? I don’t. Anyway, I digress. It was hopeful and unknown. What would we find?


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I’m a sucker for light in dark places.

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I’m also a big sucker for baby animals. Baby anything, but it all originated with animals for me.

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Now this is a pig pile.

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And these cute chicks. Small enough to be adorable but large enough to be savvy and to run from the not-long-enough arm of the employee who was trying to reach into the incubator to grab one for Scarlet to hold.

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Insert Aflac joke here?

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And hey, that’s me. In the reflection of some awesome car.

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Things were rough for awhile after that day, for Cassidy. And of course that made it rough for us to see him in pain. He’s much better now. Probably not perfect, but much better. I’m not nostalgic for his pain, and I don’t want anyone to think that. AT ALL. I’m nostalgic for this breezy, silent day in which I could give the kids a perfect day while giving Cassidy some rest. And I know perfect is an overused word, but I mean it here. It was perfect. The nagging worries in the back of my mind were temporarily swept away.

Peace in the unknown – of what a day and a place would bring.

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  1. I am so sorry that he is still in pain. Pain is a horrible thing…but caregivers need breaks away too to recharge their souls. (I know, because I'm the pain in the ass…kidding…well I do have pain that runs down my ass to my toes…just in case you were wondering)I'm a sucker for light in dark spots too. Makes me feel cozy.Afflac.

  2. That looks like such a magical place. How wonderful you found a bit of peace while giving Cassidy some of his own to rest. I am glad he is doing better – I hope it continues to improve with time.

  3. Isn't it so nice that we can find some time to escape from all the crazy while reconnecting with nature? I am happy that Cassidy is doing better. As usual, great pictures! I love the ones with the light peeking in on dark places. Just phenomenal.

  4. What a winning idea to let him rest while all of you galavant off to Hancock! We have Enfield Shaker Village close to us, but I think yours is bigger and cooler. 🙂 However, ours does sit on Mascoma Lake, so the view is lovely. Just love your photos-they take me back to when our girls were little and we did lots of "local" road trips. Have you ever visited Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, VT? It's an old-fashioned working farm. A gorgeous and fun place, with interesting events in the summer. Plus, it is in Woodstock, which is one of the most picturesque towns in Vermont!

    1. I have been there in Woodstock! We got some cheese and a "Goodnight, Vermont" book in the farm museum store. I love that town. My husband took me there for my birthday two years ago, but the real surprise was that we were spending the night at the place we got married in Chittenden. So Woodstock was more of a stand-in but I thought it certainly stood its own as a great surprise.

  5. Oh, these photos are AMAZING!! THE LITTLE SPOTTED PIGLET!!! (but the getting a voice mail from a police officer about your husband being injured. MY GOD. That is a heart-stopping nightmare. You poor thing!) Sending healing vibes his way! –Lisa

  6. My favorite photo is the one of the car – love that we get a peek at the photographer! Hope Cassidy is getting better everyday and that he can join you next time.

    1. He's definitely on the mend! Dark space photos can be pretty hard to get the ISO right (as I went on and on about on Michelle's blog) but I do love when you can make it look like it did in real life. That was my challenge.

  7. Tamara the pics are AMAZING! You are so great at what you do! I LOVE the Big Sister hugging the Little Brother, so darling! Hope Cassidy gets well really soon!

  8. This looks like the most glorious place! I can understand the love and the nostalgia! Also, I could not help but notice that your Scarlet and my Scarlett favor very similar clothing!

  9. Gorgeous place – We love walking around a historic farm here. In part of it there is a village where everyone (who works there) is in character all the time. We rode out a tornado siren in one of the basements there one time, along with the rest of the big storm inside the house. We sang along to the piano playing and had a really lovely time.

  10. Looks like fun, I may or may not have been there before. We went on field trips to something called that when I was in school, but don't remember if it was that one or not – lolVery nice pictures – love the baby animals 🙂

    1. Oh that would be so cool if it was the same place! It seems like a great place for field trips. We were a bit late in the season. Next year we'll go when the babies are much more new.

  11. I absolutely feel nostalgic for the most random things! All the time! I love your photo's they are just breathtaking! And I want to get a little piglet now.

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