I’ve been coming to Kimball Hill for longer than I can even remember.

In August of 2011, after retiring from Cornell University where I spent 19 years in the Preservation and Conservation Department, I made a long standing dream come true and moved up here full time to this place that has always lived in my heart. I’m back in New England again!

My family spent summer vacations here when I was growing up, in the cottage that my great-grandfather had built for his 2 youngest daughters in 1926.

It was the highlight of my year when we packed up the big station wagon and headed north from Lexington, Mass. In those days, late 50′s into the 60′s, it took about 4 hours to get here – no interstate 93 back then so we took the slower route that went past Clark’s Trading Post where trained bears looked down from their platforms and you could send cracked corn up to them in a can on a string. They’re still there today.

One of the first things I would do when we arrived was to pick a bouquet of wild Sweet William flowers to bring inside.  Their clove-like fragrance was, and is still, one of my favourites.

Walking into the kitchen always brought the lingering sweet scent of wood fires from the old cook stove – something I always associated with this house. In those days there was only the cook stove and a small 2 burner hotplate so my mother did all the cooking for the 5 of us that way, and it was my sister’s and my responsibility to keep the wood box filled. I love cooking on a wood stove, but I have it easy compared to those old days – there’s an electric range in the kitchen now too.

This is the last day of a momentous year – a good time for reflection and for thinking ahead to the new year about to begin. This blog is something very new for me, the idea and set up a gift from my daughter. I can’t wait to continue sharing my thoughts, ideas, photographs, quotes, and opinions and whatever else strikes my fancy.

Happy New Year and may we “be the change we wish to see in the world” (Gandhi)