Here we are, on the winding Gousty lanes, exploring with our dear friend Jill, traveling back in time together. There is a timeless quality to the lanes going up and down the hills, connecting old houses. Old houses like old friends talking, remembering, as we do, our shared history.
I love watching my girls as they observe the friendship between Susie and Jill, dear friends who spent years raising their children together. My girls love to hear them bantering stories back and forth – stories from when I was the age of my daughters. I see my girls imagining Grandmommy when she was my age, with little ones like I have now. Imagining me as little like them. Imagining me with Jill’s daughters and the worlds we created and the words we invented. And how those little worlds and those words live on in the stories our mothers tell all these years later. Walking together.
Her bouquets are so delicate.
Delicate Gousty beauties.
Beauties from the field and forest and garden.
Gardening on the edges.
I told her that if she opened a preschool, it would immediately fill with the happiest toddlers in the neighborhood! These boys adore her and the endless games she invents for them. Today, they were her “Natural Boys,” following her around everywhere, listening to her every direction.
The girls and I were talking about what we love about living at Gousty and what we love about living on our hill in Suttons Bay. We miss our gardens in Suttons Bay, and we miss our light-filled rooms on the hill. We like being able to hop on our bikes and ride down to Little Bees. And we miss our dear neighbors.
But it doesn’t take much explanation to get to the heart of our love for Gousty. Every time I walk through the “tunnel of love” I am simply filled with the feeling that there is no where else in the world I would rather live.
Then I turn the corner and see the beautiful land that my parents have tended and loved and lived on for 26 years, and well, this is it.
(Top photo by Aunt Kim!)
It’s puppy paradise around here. Aunt Kim and Cousin Cora brought home one of Theo’s sisters, Chole! The girls are certain that the two pups remember each other from their days as litter mates.
And cousin Frances has a puppy too! Humphrey came over for a puppy play date and the two little doodles wore themselves out with tumbling around and around all over Gousty.
We are reading so many good books this month! Being at Gousty is bringing out the reading in all of us. The stack of books that Amabel has read to herself this month is even higher than the stack in this photo! Many of the chapter books that I read as a child and adolescent are in this house (the actual copies!), and I love coming into the living room to find her curled up on the couch with one of my old books in her lap.
I don’t think I could manage two toddlers my own without the help of two very nurturing little girls because moments like this only last for about two seconds!
Misty Gousty walks with James and Maia. Watching all the little leaves unfurl. Hens exploring the forest. Wallace maintaining order with a long metal rod. (Where did that come from?) Greenhouse full of baby plants. Rock wall sprouting lilies of the valley. Oh, spring. I love you.
Our little baby dog, Theo, is surrounded by so much love! I knew that the girls would adore him, but I did not anticipate how entirely they would devote themselves to him – waking up to take him out in the wee morning hours, feeding him, training him, brushing him, keeping track of all his puppy needs. Watching them nurture him is truly a joy. And Wallace says, “Good boy, Feo.”