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A Morning with Patty & Mark

by Tara

This morning, as I stood, hands warming by the woodstove, peeking out the window of Jenna's farmhouse, I was utterly content. The world outside was white, covered in delicate snow falling softly and amply from the sky. It was idyllic, a scene straight out of a vintage Christmas card, or a Frank Capra film. As the snow tumbled down, my mind was full of joyful, anticipatory thoughts.

Someday soon, perhaps today, Jenna's goats would give birth to their adorably dorky kids. New life would enter the world, and we'd (hopefully!) get to see it. As well, some neighbors on Maple Hill Road had contacted us, and we planned to meet this afternoon to see their maple sugaring operation. If the wintery weather and Tasha Tudor-esque plans weren't enough to make this My Favorite Weekend Ever, Jenna broke my reverie with some exciting news.

If we were interested, we could head to her friends Patty and Mark's house for breakfast, and possibly a one-horse-open-sleigh ride. I may have shrieked and fist-pumped like I'd just won the lottery. "WHAT! REALLY!? NO WAY, REALLY?! AHHHH!" I have dreamed of going on a real sleigh ride ever since I was a little girl!

Honestly, it feels like I have won the lottery. I regularly feel that this new home of ours (Veryork as Jenna likes to call it) is some sort of magical fairytale realm where all of my dreams come true. Goat births! Maple Sugaring! Sleigh rides! Just a few miles away there is a beekeeping store! And a sausage-making store! In my book, it really doesn't get any better than this.

Breakfast at Patty and Mark's was served at a long wooden table, in front of a roaring Rumford fireplace that warmed me to the core. While chatting about many subjects, ranging from historical cookery to our latest experiences being on national news, we chowed down. There were scrambled eggs with sauteed vegetables and bacon, along with buttery toast and jam. We washed it all down with large mugs of coffee clouded with swirls of Battenkill Creamery half and half. Yum!

After breakfast, Patty and Mark proudly took us on a tour of their barns. There, we met Patty's chickens (who are treated to constant classical music—they must be the most cultured chickens ever!), and Magpie, the cat. After the complete farm tour, it was time to go for a ride! Unfortunately, there wasn't enough snow on the ground to use the sleigh, but that didn't deter us.

Snowy Barn Patty's Horse, Steel Magpie the Cat

Instead, Patty hitched her horse (named Steel) to a wheeled cart...

Steel Pulling Patty's Horse Cart

...and off we went down the road! Yahooo! With snow in our faces, the sound of hooves clip-clopping on the pavement, and a cart full of cheerful friends, it was almost as fun as I imagine a sleigh ride would be.

Mark & Patty Driving Horse Cart Tara Riding in a Horse Cart

Patty and Mark, thank you for making our morning a memorable one!

Riding in Patty's Horse Cart
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I absolutely agree about the story-tale feeling of being in that area. Wonderful people doing amazing things, and it's just their normal life.
Posted by Elizabeth from the Berkshires on March 9th, 2013 at 7:31 AM
Sounds like an absolutely wonderful day. And all the positive and fun goings on are inspiring indeed! I'm curious about the sausage making store. Do you know the name? Would be fun to plan a visit sometime.
Posted by Zoe on March 9th, 2013 at 10:45 AM
Elizabeth - Yes, exactly!

Zoe - I don't know the name of the sausage shop, but I'll ask Jenna and let you know when I find out!
Posted by Tara on March 14th, 2013 at 8:34 AM