Tag Archives: Stowe

Your Happy Spot

YES!!! The whirlwind is over. The move is done.

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter, you know what we’ve gone through the last three months to downsize and move to Vermont.

All I can say is… Whew!! What a freaking process! Thankfully, it’s over. We’ve closed on the SC house and we’re now getting settled in Stowe.

Some may ask:

“Amy, don’t you miss your lake house? It was so big and beautiful. You had a million dollar view. Your kitchen!! Oh my goodness! You have to miss that kitchen. Your pool, your screened porches, your boat, your wave-runner…”

You want an honest answer?

No. I’ve hardly thought about it at all.

Do I feel bad about that? Nope, not one bit.

It’s proof this move was EXACTLY what we wanted. This place, here, in our small Vermont home, is where we are truly happy.

It doesn’t discount the fact we loved our home in SC. We have MANY, MANY wonderful, fun, loving memories there. It was good for us for the time we were there, but there comes a time when you have to take stock of where you are.

Is your current place in life making you 100% happy? And the question isn’t based on material things; it’s about where your heart is.

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If you’re at a point where you’re ready to ask yourself that question, you have to be ready to answer it honestly. Don’t try to fool yourself so you don’t have to do anything, so you don’t have to go through everything it will take to get to your spot of happiness. If you do that, you’re not ready to find your spot.

However, if you are ready, and you ask, “Am I in my place of happiness”, and you answer, “No”, do something about it. No excuses.

I hear so many people say, “I can’t do anything about where I am. I don’t have enough money. I have family. I have children. I have this. I have that. I don’t have this. I don’t have that.”

Please, trust me, there’s always a way to find your happy spot. Always.

It takes time. It takes a plan. It takes guts. It takes work. It takes heart. It takes getting off your ass and doing something about it. Period.

It doesn’t matter if you want to upgrade or downgrade, IT IS POSSIBLE.

For us, we wanted to sell everything and come to the mountains of Vermont. And, I can’t lie, I’m as happy as I’ve ever been in my life. I’m so happy we took the leap. I’m so happy we went through the whirlwind and let our hearts guide us.

Life has a lot of moving parts, especially as we get older. Take stock. Take control. Find your happy spot. And, no doubt, do it sooner than later. Every day, week, month, year you wait, you’ll miss out on so much of what life has to offer.

If you’re still not sure where your happy spot is, take time to listen to yourself. Take time to pay attention when you get goose bumps. Take time to recognize where and when you laugh the most. Take time to feel your heart skip a beat. Take time to feel yourself exhale and smile, versus the alternative.

It’s not necessarily about physically moving. Sometimes, it’s about making some big, and probably, very difficult decisions. But, guess what? It’s so worth it– so, so worth it. And so are you.

Your happy spot is THE only spot to be.

Until next time…

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Filed under January 2011

Cha-cha-cha- changes…

My life has had many ‘bottom of the mountain’ and ‘top of the mountain’ moments– hills, valleys, twists, and turns. Needless to say, I’ve never been scared of change. To me, life isn’t about staying in the same place, doing the same thing, and never switching things up.

Life is meant to be lived fully, experienced completely, and embraced wholeheartedly.

If we crawl under the covers and hide every time life throws us a curve ball, we’d never get out of it what we should. Shifts in life shape us, make us who we are, and give us the stories that make us laugh, cry, smile, and reminiscence when we tell them.

All this being said, yes, I have changes in my near future. For those who are my Facebook friends, you’ve probably already seen it. For others, here it is:

My husband and I are selling our lake house in South Carolina and permanently moving to our home in Vermont. No more going between– no more back and forth. It’s time to downsize. It’s time to simplify. It’s time for a change.

I don’t feel sad. I don’t feel lost. I don’t feel scared. I feel it’s right.

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Chris and I talked about it in great detail, and even though we love the water, and we love our lake house, it’s time to let it go. We built it with love, and we will let go of it with love, knowing another family will create many memories there– just as we have.

Life in Vermont is what we crave. It’s nature, peace, serenity, and simplicity. We look forward to getting down to basics and enjoying life without weight. We’ll be able to get outside and enjoy nature in ways we love– hiking, biking, snowshoeing, etc… We can also get more involved in the community of Stowe like we want to.

From my hike this morning.

From my hike this morning.

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From my hike this morning.

From my hike this morning.

From my hike this morning.

It’s going to be a big change and the process of such a big move won’t come without its obstacles. The sale of our house in SC could take a month or it could take a year– who knows– but, in the end, with a smile on our face, Chris and I will stand on our deck in the woods and cheers each other with a big ole glass of wine, knowing it’s where we want to be.

The lesson here?

Don’t be scared to take a huge leap of faith to get where you want to be. Don’t let the process of the “sale” make you postpone your dreams. Life is all about changing and growing, and it’s not to be feared, it’s to be embraced.

Life is short. Go find your dream. Go places you wan to go. Go get what you want. Don’t let anyone, or anything, stop you.

Life is meant to be lived without reservations.

Until next time…

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Filed under July 2015

Mud to Magic

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APRIL–MUD SEASON FOR STOWE, VT

As most of you know, especially those who’ve followed this blog for while, my writing haven is in Stowe, VT. We’ve had a home there for seven years, and aside from spending a large part of winter up there, we usually go up for a month in the summer, but this year will be different. Yep, we’re actually going up during mud season. All the snow is melting, and our dirt road will be a sloppy mess, and everywhere else will probably be the same.

Why in the world would we go up during the messy, mud season?

Simple answer: Because we want to. Plus, with the temps on the rise up there, the mud shouldn’t last too long.

Our house in Stowe is a haven no matter the season, no matter the weather, no matter the mud.

After being gone for a few months, I’m missing it so much–the smells, the woods, the local food, the wonderful maple syrup that’s dripping into buckets as we speak, the quiet, the peace. Vermont hits all the senses at once and it’s simply amazing. And after a tough last month, it’s exactly what I need.

Taken from Mountain Road looking toward the village.

Every time I prepare for the travel up to Vermont from South Carolina, people ask me about the drive. So here’s how I do it:

I load the passenger seat with bad-for-you snacks, which includes: sandwiches, chips, cookies, candy, and of course, a thermos full of coffee. In my opinion, when it comes to a very long road trip, calorie and sugar intake don’t matter. I mean, come on, I never allow myself to have Pop Tarts, Oreos, Cheetos, and, Sour Patch Kids, much less all in one day, so a road trip is the perfect excuse to indulge on some junk.

My dogs, Winston and Churchill, are always good little boys on the drive up. They chill in their super-cool doggie car seats, while watching the traffic go by or sleeping. We stop a lot along the way and make it a fun adventure. I leave around 2:30 in the morning and I arrive by 9:30 at night, which makes it’s around an 18 hour trip. I like to get it done and over with in one day. With the aid of all those snacks and coffee–plus, talk radio, audiobooks, and music–I’m good to go. Honestly, I enjoy it.

Winston chillin' on the ride up.

Winston chillin’ on the ride up.

Churchill being cool in his bed.

Churchill being cool in his bed.

Once I’m there, I have major editing to get done, and Stoweaway (the name of our house), always provides the motivation and inspiration I need. This time of year is perfect for raising the windows and letting in the fresh mountain air. I’ll take strolls in Stowe Village, which is my inspiration for The Christmas Key, and I’ll stop to write at Black Cap Coffee or Cafe on Main. I’ll, no doubt, take a look in Bear Pond Books to see what’s new on the “Vermont Writers” shelf, imagining my book there one day. With a November release date, it a wonderful feeling knowing that’ll happen sooner than later.

Bike rides on the Stowe Rec Path is a great way to get exercise, but taking a break at a picnic table to jot down story ideas is the best part of the ride. Hearing The Little River run over the rocks and listening to the sounds of nature does wonders for the imagination and storylines. And, by the way, Edelweiss Mountain Deli is a great place to pick up a delicious sandwich to take with you on a hike up the mountain or a ride/walk on the rec path.

After a long day of writing, walking, and biking I love to cook in at home. That means a stop at Stowe Seafood to get either a nice piece of fresh fish (any kind you can think of) or a beautiful steak. Seriously, this place is pure awesomeness!  They not only have fish and meat, but a selection of wines, pastas, local baked goods, and many other yummy delectables. It’s one of my favorite places in Stowe to shop for dinner. I’m also very excited to try out Commodities Natural Market this trip. They weren’t open yet when I was there this past winter. I hear wonderful things and I’m sure I’ll be there frequently.

We’ll also be celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary while we’re up there, and Stowe is a wonderful place to plan a romantic evening. We’ll probably go up to Hourglass at Stowe Mountain Lodge for early cocktails, and then work our way down to the village, where we may hit La TrattoriaThe Roost , Sushi Yoshi, and The Whip. We’ll end up at the place where we’ve decided to enjoy our anniversary dinner, PLATE, which is a new place on Main Street in the village. The ambiance, cocktails, and food are spectacular! Then, after indulging in a rich, fabulous dessert (at least I will), we’ll go back to Stoweaway’s four season room and have an aperitif by the fire. That, my friends, is perfection.

Stowe, Vermont–a special, special place where I can mix a lot of work with a lot of pleasure.

I leave Wednesday and I can’t wait! This trip is all about renewal, writing, editing, and love–my favorite things. I plan on turning all the mud into magic.

Until next time…

Everyday meditation:

Love life. Be Kind. Be genuine. Eliminate the negative, false, and vain. Peace, love, and happiness to all. 

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Filed under April 2015, Monday Blogs