THE LAND OF NOD
From breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay,
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.
All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do —
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.
~ The Land of Nod, Robert Louis Stephenson
We are in the eye of the storm, experiencing a respite between the busy summer season and the month of October when the leaf peepers will descend upon us.
Driving home from the grocery store, I noticed the window on a church I have always admired. I love the way its steeple looks on a foggy day, the weathervane taking on a polished golden sheen when set against the dark gray sky.
Today the sky was blue and it was the window that popped out at me, reminding me of the logo from the CBS Evening News when Peter Jennings sat in the anchorman’s seat. I asked Rich to pull over so I could snap a photo.
We had some time before check-in so we wandered down the country lane behind the church and stumbled upon a hidden gem.
Along the Blackberry River is the Beckley Furnace, a part of Connecticut’s manufacturing history when iron ore was mined here during World War One. It is now a historic site with a wealth of information, and a lovely place to have a picnic.
Two days later, on Saturday when my nephew and his wife were visiting, we picked up sandwiches at Haystack Pizza, less than a mile from the Inn. It is our go to place on nights we don’t feel like cooking which is just about every Saturday night when we have a full house. Their spaghetti and clams, chicken marsala, and other Italian entrees easily feed two and are to die for. My daughter’s dinner request her last night at home before going back to college was the Italian grinder, which I ordered for the picnic. The owner is a doll and always gives us a free bowl of soup. Today’s soup of the day was chicken cacciatore. A spicy, hearty treat on a gray September day.
By the time we were settled at the picnic table by the dam, dark clouds threatened to disrupt our afternoon plans, but we managed to finish eating and snap a few photos before making a mad dash for the car.
Just down the road from the Furnace is the lovely little vineyard, Land of Nod. We sat in the car waiting for the rain to lighten up but it wasn’t happening so we ran for the door and joined three other people at the cozy little bar.
Our host, Rick Granger, is a wine and music aficionado. Marshall Tucker was playing and as we sampled the first of ten wines, the Flyfisher, a crisp light white, we all agreed Doug Gray has lost his voice. He just can’t hit those high notes anymore.
The music moved on to The Band and the Allman Brothers, and we moved from whites to reds to fruit wines. Rick married into this wine family years ago and they are a Certified Bicentennial Farm dating back before the American Revolution. They also make maple syrup and yarn, and offer fly fishing classes. As we delighted in each wine, Rick offered food pairing ideas and we sampled chocolates with the fruit wines which markedly changed the taste and complexity. I had a hard time deciding which ones to buy but left with a 2011 Bianca, a light bodied white with hints of honey and pear, and a Blueberry-Raspberry Medley Wine which is indescribable when served with chocolate. I could have bought more but as I said to Rick, “I live just down the road.”
It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon and just ten minutes down the road from the Inn so even the innkeepers were able to relax between breakfast, room cleaning, and three o’clock check-in.