I love my job in so many ways! While driving around the state puts a lot of wear and tear on my car and I spend too many hours sitting, the scenery and the places I get to see are sometimes breathtaking and always engaging. My most recent drive through the Woodstock area yielded freshly mown hay and the chance to see a bailing machine wrapping up the large round “marshmallow” bales - something I’ve never seen before! The drive into Pomfret is lined with ancient maples, sunshine flooded meadows sprinkled with cows and sheep. Living most of my life in Vermont I still discover roads I have never been on. There are always corners and turns that I’m discovering anew.
I do some of my best thinking in the car. With Tiger riding shotgun I cherish this quiet time. I am stimulated by so many things that I see, tidy yards with interesting plantings and fence applications, the stylized Vermont architecture from a variety of periods in our history, stonewalls, either carefully crafted or loosely stacked, and an endless supply of views. I am fascinated by the way that people in Vermont live their lives. Yankee ingenuity, creativity and a certain sense of sticktoitiveness (that's a word right?) is inspiring to me. It drives my creativity and motivates me to constantly upgrade and improve how I live.
Another place I find motivational and inspirational is on my lawn tractor. I know this is some people's drudgery, but for me, mowing the lawn is an escape. A short escape from the phone and my computer and a brief time to daydream a little bit. Time to put my pending work out of my head and spend time thinking about what my next creative adventure might be. It might be a business idea or something new at Cobb Brook Farm.
Mowing allows me to visit each inch of the property. I get to inspect the flower gardens as I go by and with frequent stops to take photographs of whatever is in bloom. Combinations of flowers and colors, heights and textures. You get a very different perspective of the property from the lawnmower. As I mentioned, it’s a great time to think about where another hosta will soften a corner, where a peony bush should be moved to or a lilac needed.
Our most recent addition on the property is a bluestone terrace with two fieldstone benches and a great rock fire ring. After a delightful evening spent at a friend's house sitting around their fire pit I was mowing one day and realized that there was a space in the lawn that was completely useless. Flat and vacant and just more grass to mow. It's located outside of our office. Careful planning and patience has now become a space that is more delightful than even I could have imagined! Thomas Stonework has all the credit for the layout design and installation.
I expect that because I am constantly coming up with projects it most likely drives my husband Chris crazy, but in my mind they aren’t just busy work. Each thing I plan to tackle is a way to improve our way of life, make things look better and be more functional. You have heard the saying “form follows function”? I live by that!
My brother Peter just purchased a small excavator and dump truck. I’ve already spent a lot of time daydreaming about the projects that he can accomplish at Cobb Brook Farm to improve function. For instance, I was mowing a wet spot in the pond field recently and thinking why couldn’t we have a smaller pond where this wet area is tricky to mow? Uphill slightly from the bigger pond it could feed into the main pond and solve the mowing problem. See? Always thinking and creating! Stay tuned for our next exciting project at Cobb Brook Farm.