We just returned from a four-day getaway in rural Connecticut – 2800 miles east of Southern California’s smoky skies, and light years away from the construction zone that is our kitchen.


Gone, the jangly sounds of contractors and fire trucks screaming down the streets. In our cozy countryside hideout, Mother Nature serenaded us with whooshing, whistling winds, honking geese, and percussive rain drops spattering against the windows.


Erased, all memories of Orange County’s smudgy, ash-laden air. On our daily outings, we took in cleansing breaths of mown alfalfa, autumn apples, and forest-floor leaves.


Fiery-red maples and burnt-umber oaks lined the banks of the neighborhood pond — a sharp visual contrast to the fire-ravaged, blackened hillsides we have at home. The trees wore their fall foliage like a second-season coat: shabby around the edges and somewhat faded, but beautiful, nonetheless.


I have romantic notions about spending the winter in this lovely, peaceful spot. For many reasons, it’s not practical (chief among them: I’m a Weather Wimp Extraordinaire). But I’m comforted by the fact that I can return to this hilltop retreat any time that I want, even if it’s only in my thoughts.


  1. Gorgeous! Glad you were able to escape for a bit! As a born and bred Californian who spent approximately 15 years in the midwest and back east (and overseas), I can attest that there is something very magical about the changing of the seasons. I loved fall the best, but even winter with its pure white snow was special. Until I had to shovel and snowblow constantly. Until I had to drive on scary icy roads. Until it was April and still snowing. 😉 I’m happy to be back home in CA.

  2. Oh wow… color me all kinds of jealous. It’s so amazing and so beautiful. Glad you were able to escape for a while. And why would you be worried about the weather when you have those snazzy fur-lined sandals? 🙂

    Welcome back and I’m glad you had a wonderful time away in such a wonderful place.

    • It *is* amazing there — incredibly, awesomely beautiful. And you’re right, of course…those sheepskin-lined flip-flops are all I’d need to keep me warm. lol

      Thanks for blessing my blog last week with your thought-provoking responses. I value reasoned debate so much — it’s essential to a democracy, of course, and among friends.

      • Well sheepskin-lined flip-flops are all one needs for warmth and happiness. Not to mention that you’d be looking snazzy. Let’s send a pair to everybody on the planet. Perhaps with those strapped to our feet, we won’t feel the need to bomb other people. Send Bush 3 pairs. 🙂

        Well, I think my posts to your blog were… something provoking. lol… I definitely let my emotions get the better of me. I value reasoned debate as well… I value it very much. Sometimes I’m a little too emotional for my own good though. Sorry again. I hate it when I do that… much embarrassment. 🙁

  3. Beautiful photos Melodye. I’m glad that you could get away from all the smoke and ash and let Mother Nature revive you.

    What part of Connecticut was it? Near Sharon by any chance? One of these trips east you’ll have to head north just a bit and come to Vermont.

    • Exactly there. Sharon, CT. How did you guess?

      I’d love to come to VT…we were just talking about taking a more extended trip so we could visit more sites/people/states on your side of the continent!

      • I remembered you mentioning that Sharon was also your stomping grounds.I used to hang out there when Reverend Stimpson,Linny, and the kids lived there. They had moved down from my hometown in Vermont.

        It would be great if you included Vermont in your travel plans. I’m just a tad biased but I think there is no place like it…I just wish it would go back to being dirt roads and working farms, instead of strip malls, summer places, and condo heaven.

    • Oh, me too! It’s so incredibly beautiful and restful…very different from where I live in so many ways!

      Love your icon, by the way! I saw Kim’s review earlier today…your book sounds fabulous! 🙂

      • Thank you so much. My family is from New England (although I was born in the dirty south). Every summer, I’d throw my sleeping bags and stuffed animals in the back of the station wagon (wood-paneled…this is the 70s!) and we’d zoom up the east coast. There’s something Zen-like about the mountains and maples. So glad you got to chill there.

  4. Never been there but it looks beautiful and one can get filled and recharged with mother nature. Some would say there is nothing out here like you have posted but when you are out in the quite country side with only the breeze blowing ever so gently, one can get close to mother nature where ever you are.

  5. That place looks beautiful. It must have been nice to get away from all that SoCal stuff right now. Have you guys been having earthquakes down there lately? I felt one on 10/30, one yesterday, and in between 10/30 and 10/31 earthquakes there have been 30 aftershocks here. Blah.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *