After the hard work of residency, I opted for a little down time before jumping right into my first packet. Hopefully, if any of my advisors are reading this - Tim, Ellen - they won't be upset with me for skipping school those first few days.
I had to get some psychic distance, honest!
And fulfill a twenty-two year yearning. I'm not exaggerating.
It all started with the Sound of Music. Like every other person my age, I watched that movie every single Thanksgiving throughout my childhood, and fell in love with Rold even if he was a trgic hero turned bad, and wanted to be Christine, and wondered what ever happend to the family. When my roommate at Notre Dame told me her family vacationed every summer at the Lodge the Trapps built in Vermont, I just had to see it. Somehow.
Somehow turned into a twenty-two year wait. And fortuitous luck.
When I found out the first residency for Vermont College was in July, I emailed Julie, trying to keep my excitement to a low but pretty sure I totally failed, to ask if her family was, you know, just maybe, on the off chance, um...going to be at the Lodge say, July 21-24. They were!
Sometimes fact really is stranger and more coincidental that fiction.
So, on Tuesday morning, after a night of celebrating the fact I'd survived my first residency, I met my old roommate in my new dorm. It was pretty surreal. Pretty cool. The perfect ending to my first stint back in college life.
When I walked out of the dorm, I felt drained. It had been an amazing residency, but my head was mush, full of stuff to sort. Stowe, Julie, the Trapps, the mountains, running, sleeping, chilling out, shopping...just being, rather than thinking, put me back on the road to writing. I filled up again, especially on Ben & Jerry's ice cream. The plant is about fifteen minutes from Stowe and Jules and I took a tour. They give you ice cream at the end! Perfect temperature, not too mushy, not too hard. And it was a new flavor. So delicious.
Hiking up to the Trapp family chapel was pretty amazing too. It's not often I get that far out into nature. Jules had me petrified of bears, but anyone who's read my post on the bear encounter in the Shenandoah's hopefully understands my paranoia about bears in nature. The only thing we ran into were gnats. Huge relief.
Then there was the shopping in Burlington. And eating at the Trapp Family Lodge. Tasty. Very very tasty.
But most of all, there was spending time with a person I'd lived together with in the closest of quarters for a year. Someone who knows as much about me as pretty much my husband because of that intense dorm living, and who, after all that, still likes me.
It. Was. Awesome.
I can't wait to do it again.
Whaddya say, Jules? I promise, you won't have to pose with me in the Ben and Jerry's ice cream lid again...probably.
Causes Stacy Nyikos Supports
ASPCA, Humane Society, Wildlife Federation