After the wedding, I was able to dedicate some much needed quality time with Claire. It had been way too long since we had seen each other and at this point of the weekend I needed her more than I could’ve ever imagined. We stayed up late and game planned for the next two days.
On my agenda – apple picking with the newlyweds, family, and friends, a special celebration for the Cooley family (we’ll get to this a little later), and exploring Petersham and the surrounding towns.
To think I almost didn’t go apple picking! I was so mentally and physically exhausted, I wanted to stay home in bed and sleep. Luckily Claire, Marsha, and Ann were very convincing that I needed to experience apple picking and the apple cider donuts at Red Apple Farm. Boy was that the best decision ever! Not only did I get to spend time with the beaming newlyweds, I ate my weight in apples picked straight from the trees, gorged on cider donuts, and went on a hilarious hayride! The best part was being reunited with a few of my favorite Northerners! Everything about the Roberts make me so happy, so it was great being able to spend time with all of them.
After apple picking, I had to buzz back to Petersham for dinner with Claire’s family. Little did I know that her parents were coming up on their 65th wedding anniversary and since Claire was home, they had decided to celebrate while she was in town. Guess who got to go along and meet all of the Cooley clan and celebrate such a momentous milestone….THIS GIRL! It felt like I was right at home, all of Claire’s siblings knew who I was and welcomed me with open arms.
Claire even gave a thoughtful speech commending her loving parents for 65 years and 5 kids they nurtured. Grandma Cooley (she said it’s alright that I call her that) made sure to break down exactly what those 65 years have amounted to. Unfortunately, I can’t recap that because Claire owes me a Cooley family tree.
There were no words for me to describe how surreal it was for me to be apart of such an intimate moment, but I can say that I am truly honored that I know Claire and her family.
After a long night of family time and rooting the Patriots on to a win (yes, when in New England you root for the Patriots), I headed to bed for my last day in and around Petersham. Claire, Albert, Grandma Cooley, and I took a nice country ride around the towns sharing memories, childhood homes, and enjoying the start of fall in New England. I got to see the church in which Grandma Cooley and Grandpa Cooley got married, where Claire and Albert set up shop after first getting married, and so much more. To make the trip even more special, we managed to convince Albert to take us for ice cream! Oh and it was the most divine ice cream I have ever had!
After a full day, we managed to get back to Dallas at a decent hour. I had never been so happy to be back in my own bed, but I couldn’t help but feel fulfilled after such an amazing trip. I’ve already told David that I need to take him up there to see the beautiful little town.
Petersham, thanks for doing right by me!