My father had not been feeling well for quite some time. I made the decision to fly to Vermont to be with him. The last experience flying to Vermont was two years ago and flying with two kids. Susie was five years old and Jeff was two. My last blog told the joy of flying with two little ones!
After my father retired from his parish as a minister he worked at a newspaper company for a few years, then he applied for a position at the Trapp Family lodge as night watchman. He was happy living there. Everyone was friendly and seemed to enjoy working at the lodge.
Everything was falling into place for our flight. A year earlier I bought the beauty Salon that I had worked in for the last six years.The five employes stayed on after I bought the salon. I trusted them and left one person in charge for the week I’d be away.
Susie was seven years old and Jeff was four.The day before we were to fly out of San Francisco airport Jeff was clearly uncomfortable and was pulling on one ear. An appointment with his doctor confirmed my fears, Jeff had an ear infection. Flying with him was out of the question.
John was now working days instead of nights at United airlines. He was ready to take his commercial pilot exam which meant the end of my flying on a free pass from United Airlines.
John encouraged me to continue with my plans to go to Vermont. He said he would be there at night to care for Jeff. The babysitter that I had was on vacation from school and could come to the house to care for Jeff during the day. Her mother would be home and they lived next door. I decided to make the trip.
As our plane landed at Bradley airport the next night we were met by my friend Carol. Her daughter Lori and Susie were both seven years old. The next day we headed out with two seven year old girls in tow. Our destination was to visit with my father at The Trapp family lodge in Stowe, Vermont. The Highway 91 trip from Connecticut to Vermont was not completed until around 1967. We took Old Route 5. It was a long trip.
We were to meet Mrs Trapp at 2:00 pm on monday at the Lodge. Traveling with two seven year old girls meant bathroom breaks and meals, the trip took longer than expected. We pulled into the lodge parking lot at 3 pm and were greeted by Maria Trapp as we entered the door.
She was not pleased with us being an hour past the scheduled time. I was just about to say traveling with two small children was difficult. Then I realized who I was talking with! Maria Trapp traveled with her seven children on their tour bus around the united states as the Trapp Family Singers and at times with a wee baby on board.
Writing this post prompted me to read “A Family On Wheels” for the second time. It’s a delightful story of adventures of The Trapp family singers.
After our first encounter with Mrs Trapp I was to know her as a warm and delightful person. She was punctual and expected others to be also. I learned that at our first meeting and respected that for future times..
My father was feeling better and showed us around the lodge. We met the chef who my father was friends with. He was friendly and let Susie and Lori hang around the kitchen while he cooked. He gave the girls little jobs to do which made them feel important.
My father told us about the traditional live Christmas tree which was decorated with wax candles that were kept lighted. Everyone sat around the tree like a family, Mrs Trapp liked to be called Mother.
A couple of times we ate with Mrs. Trapp in the kitchen. I remember one time when we were at lunch she enjoyed eating a raw corn on the cob, it was young and juicy. It looked pretty good.
The four of us had a room on the first floor. Susie and Lori had bunk beds.The girls loved the freedom to roam around the lodge. They were fascinated by the Highland cattle in the pasture. A large garden provided fresh vegetables for the chef to cook. The girls would pick a few cherry tomatoes to eat for a snack.
After four days our visit with my father came to an end and we had to say our goodbyes to everyone. I was sad leaving my father not knowing when I’d see him again. After a time he became quite ill and was no longer able to work at the lodge. At that time he went to live with my older sister who lived in Wisconsin.
Eventually he succumbed to cancer. His body was flown back to Vermont. Mrs.Trapp was to attend his funeral,but was sick with a cold. His body was laid to rest in Addison next to his three young children.
Back home in San Jose,California John now has his commercial pilots license. He flew cargo planes to other countries for a few years before flying passenger planes. He would be gone weeks at a time. Back home he needed downtime to rest up for the next trip.
After being home a year from Vermont I filed for a divorce. This marriage lasted just under ten years. We no longer had a relationship and it was time for us to go our separate ways.
Just recently I made the decision to take some time off from writing on my blog. But, I will be back and will pick it up at a later date.
I have discovered an interest the history of Vermont and sharing it on Medium. I’m fascinated by the fact that Vermont established its independence between the year 1777 and 1791. Vermont was truly independent with its own coins and postal service.
This is goodbye for now. Please join me on Medium for stories of Vermont – a new beginning the first of March.
Until we meet again!