Classic.

There are two reasons for my choice of title:

1. Classic Vermont

2. The Brookfield Classic

Tucked into the mountains of  Vermont lies the  town of Randolph, where my sister is a minister at Bethany Church. My mother and I took a road trip up north to Randolph to attend the 2012 ( 20th annual) New World Festival, a 12 hour party that benefits Chandler Center for the Arts.  Chandler hosts artists’ exhibits, educational opportunities and live musical and dramatic performances in the historic Chandler Music Hall and Gallery located in Randolph.

I also participated in the Brookfield Classic, a grueling road race started in the late 70’s, by a man named Steve Morris.  I would really like to meet this man.  I would love to know what he was thinking when he and his friends mapped this route.  Uphill, uphill, and up more hills.  Come to think of it,  maybe I should be writing “up mountain!”  When the summit of the run is finally reached, one may think he or she is all set. Nope.  Next comes downhill running.  (There came a time when I had been running downhill for so long I wondered if I even had any knees left to keep the long bones of my legs together.) The other classic part of The Brookfield Classic?  No registration, no fancy bibs, no times.  Just show up willing to bike, run or walk 7.73 miles.  Oh yes, and bring along your children and a pot luck dish for all to enjoy after the race.

How do I describe my Labor Day weekend in one word.

Think, think, think.

I got it.

Classic.

Bethany Church is where my sister spends most of her time.  She does a lot of work with the youth of the parish.  I love the sign that was over the door.  Sometimes I wish I could hop in my car Sundays to attend services at this special place like my father loved to do.  The problem for me is that it is almost a 3 hour ride from my house to the church.

One of the most amazing things that I have noticed every time I have attended the festival is the absence of  “cellular devices” among the teenagers.  It is refreshing to see small groups of kids gathered and chatting together, looking at one another instead of the screen of a phone, iPod™, or iPad™.  This group of girls gave me big smiles!

This young man completely blew my mind as he sat among the festivities fully engaged in his reading, enjoying a watermelon slice.  I spoke with him for a while about what he was reading.  He just made me happy.  The book he is reading is about magic.

I don’t know what this magical potion is, but it kept children busy all day long!  I fell in love with the dress on the little girl in the top photo.  Classic Vermont fashions!

There was plenty of live music, dancing, and food!  I watched 2 musical performances.  One by Cantrip and one by  The Fretless.  They were awesome!  This year I did not do any contra dancing, but my sister and brother-in-law provided me with some entertainment in that department.  Artisans were selling their wares at the festival and I purchased a handmade felted wool hat, nice and warm and floppy for the cold days soon to come.  Also represented was the  Zienzele Foundation, selling  hand-woven Zimbabwean baskets.  The foundation works to keep orphans in school in Zimbabwe.  Mine is sitting on my coffee table as I write.

There was lots to do and see, and this annual festival is pure family fun!

As for The Brookfield Classic, I have photos to share with you…

Everything went well during the run until mile 2, at which point my 5-year-old nephew realized that he did not bring his water bottle, and decided that he could not ride his bike anymore.  I came upon my sister helping him push his bike uphill, and I took over until mile 3.5 when water finally arrived. (Note to sister:  water stations every mile next year.)  After the workout, we enjoyed a potluck lunch and awards were given out.  A great time was had by all!  Look it up.  The Brookfield Classic.  Maybe we will see you there on Labor Day 2013!

No worries, you only climb 807.09 feet.

Classic.

At the end of Beach Row.

I stand on the tip of West Egg and I can see what James Gatz saw while he gazed at the hopeful green light that illuminated the night sky over East Egg.  It is July, and I am at a party, an exquisite party.  I am merely a guest at this house. Unknown, like many others.  Nameless, I bask in the frivolity and gluttony of this extravaganza.  There are fireworks, coming from everywhere.  So much so, that I don’t know in which direction to look.  Some couples huddle in dark corners searching for privacy, others are dancing to the pleasing mixture of the orchestra and notes of  laughter.  It’s beautiful here.  A slice of heaven on earth.

“I got one!”  I am awakened from my daydream by the happy shouts of children who have found success in their hunt for crabs.

“Awesome!”  I reply as I hurry over to check out what’s in the bucket.  Oh yes, crabbing was a success, and F. Scott Fitzgerald would have to wait for another time.

A daydream it was, brought on by the spectacular surroundings that I found myself in on Sunday.

Point Judith, Rhode Island.  “A village on the coast of Narragansett Bay.”  I visited very special friends who have a summer home in Point Judith.  Bordered by state beaches that are wonderfully maintained, the home we visited sits at the end of Beach Row, and boasts views of the glistening ocean from every one of its windows.  The ferry to Block Island passes right by our deck and we greeted the waving passengers on their way for a visit.

It is old-fashioned fun, walking to the dock and, with butterflies in your stomach, jumping blindly into the murky green water of the harbor.  Or even better, battling the mighty waves of the Atlantic as they crash against you, taking your breath away.  Growing up near the ocean has always been something that I have appreciated, and days like this remind me of just how lucky I am.

I do believe, though –  once in a while –  everyone should daydream.

no crabs were harmed during the creation of fun on this day.

Ava’s chocolate-dipped strawberries

If your Hershey® bar melts in the hot August sunshine, have no fear!  Ava (6) showed me how to be creative.

1. Don’t be upset!  Just take the melted Hershey® bar:

2.  Squirt it on a plate and add fresh, chopped strawberries:

3. Swirl!:

4. Enjoy!!:

and remember…It’s all how you look at it!