When my siblings come to Squabetty each year, it’s a time of intensity – projects we have been talking about and planning since the previous year, nurtured over the colorful days of autumn and the cold winds of winter, become reality. We work hard and long, taking care to honor the integrity of the old place, yet adding fun twists to the modern lives we live. The hard projects are cutting into the stone barn foundation to make a ramp for equipment or remaking an old sliding door, using the turn of the century parts and calculating how to make it work with the unevenness of the multi -century old building. Perhaps it’s digging out the old well to make it deeper or crawling under the barn, jacking it up to remove rotting wood footings and pouring new concrete ones. And then there are the fun projects – adding a maple tap spigot and valve to an old shower head above the sauna rocks, or creating a whimsical sign post to places near and far. Regardless of the various projects underway each day, time at the old homestead allows us, as an extended family, to be together. For us, that’s one of the special qualities of Squabetty – it brings us together – the east coasters and west coasters – for a very, very cherished time, each year.