July - October: Where I've Been

Well, I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog and it’s been a pretty different 4 months for me so let’s just jump right in. Actually, let’s backpedal to January briefly. No, farther back to October 2018. This was the moment, while hiking in Pennsylvania, that we decided that we were tired of waiting “for the right time” and were ready to move to Vermont. Obviously we didn’t pack up immediately and go, but it started us on the journey that has led us to today. The winter and spring were full of traveling and house work, among our daily jobs, to an exhausting level, leading me to the decision to quit my job in July. It was an excruciating decision because I loved my company and the people I worked with, but if we were serious about moving I needed the time to figure out that transition.

So that’s what I did! I was also able to have the time to go to Philadelphia for the Alpha Rho Chi strategic planning session, go down to Chincoteague Island for the Pony Swim, visit my parents for a week in Pittsburgh and go to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, see friends in DC, and start to really feel physically well again, having some time to breathe. It did seem like the process of moving was going nowhere, though. Job applications that went unanswered, house not selling. Through the process of my morning journaling I thought about that predicament of time versus money. There always seems to be one or the other. What I really needed to do was BE in Vermont to be able to meet people and make connections, but since I wasn’t working, how could I afford to do that? Then it came to me, from somewhere in the depths of my brain I remembered - WWOOFing. Where you trade your time and work for room and board on a farm. I signed up on a Thursday, reached out on Friday to several farms, and by Monday had a phone call with a farm in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom and set a date to go. Two weeks later, in mid-August, I was driving north.

For three weeks I lived and worked on a homestead 30 minutes from the Canadian border, helping care for the goats and chickens, working in the garden and compost, and learning as much as I could about the land and the soil and various garden techniques and herbalism, while doing tons of baking and exploring the region. I jumped in glacial lakes, spring-fed ponds, and freezing cold brooks. I attended the 50th anniversary party of a commune and saw the famous Bread and Puppet Theater. I met more people in three weeks than I have on my own street in over 5 years.

When my time came to an end, I journeyed south, camping in a state forest where the rain pounded on my car all night, keeping me awake, hiking Camel’s Hump, and voyaging over to Burlington where I met some fellow landscape architects, hung out with my cousin and listened to her band, and dealt with a cracked car radiator prior to picking Todd up from New Hampshire then going to the Grand Point North Music Festival.

I was home for just two weeks before taking off on a roadtrip back to the northeast, including New York City, Long Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. Four states, three job interviews, one wedding, a bunch of cousins, new friends, old friends, trains, buses and ferries.

Now that I’m truly back again, I’m working on those next steps and trying to enjoy as much of Baltimore as I can. I doesn’t feel like it’s been nearly 4 months since I left my job; I’ve had so many experiences since then and photographing and freelance designing and planning for the next phase have kept me incredibly busy. My mentor gave me the task of writing down everything I have done in this time, and I am pretty amazed by all I have done. I’ve managed to complete a bunch of bucket list items too.

I’ve got a bunch of posts planned (since I’ve shirked blogging for many many months) and will reveal more of my future soon!

(Galleries groupings: July, August, September, October)