Home Comfort

What's left of the old Packers Corners Farm that I remember from the 'seventies when we wrote and illustrated Home Comfort: The Day Books of Total Loss Farm? Most of the structures still stand--the barn and the outhouse are not used anymore, nor the Garden Apartments. Verandah's former home, Chez Poulet, now houses Jodi and Eric and their baby, Durin. A bunch of small cabins dot the land--Tanya and Nick and their baby, Axis, live in the one behind the Garden Apartments. Yetti lives part time in the new cabin near Chez Poulet.The living room at the east end of the main house still stands, but it no longer has a loft, and the walls and floor are attractively resurfaced with white-painted drywall and beautifully finished hardwood floor planks. The stove runs on gas instead of wood, the water from the tap is still delicious and pumped from a spring. The western half of the house is relatively new. Richard Wizansky still lives on the land; the home he built with his partner, Dr.Todd Mandell, stands a mile down the road. Verandah's daughters have moved away and Verandah herself is seldom home. Still, there is much for the archeologist to peruse.

The old stove after which the book was named still stands on the outside porch.

New and old halves of the main house

The old Garden Apartments--abandoned, but still beautiful

The actual corners that comprise Packers Corners--a crossroad of two dirt roads

Dense forest lines the sides of Packer Corners Road

An old organ biodegrades on the east side of the main house;
I appreciate the surrealism in this image.

A wreath of twigs on the front door; honeysuckle
reaches for the coat of the visitor.

The living room, with its exposed beams and old furniture

The dining table, home to Webster's Unabridged Dictionary

The furnace

The room where Emily lived still holds her memorabilia.

Collage in the upstairs bathroom

Verandah's room has its own dictionary, Corinthian capitol, down comforter

That bust of Longfellow that was in the group shot on the back cover of Home Comfort
ended up on Verandah's desk in her sunny office.

On her office wall, a poem in tribute from one of the many
elementary school classes with whom she created poetry.

On her desk, an invitation to the wedding of Eli Gould and Jessica Thurber from last June.
Eli was born and raised at the farm; his father,novelist/actor/university professor
Peter Gould, lives in Brattleboro. The invitation creates a window into Vermont life,
so I reproduced it here.


I dined with Richard and Todd that night. We're talking about resurrecting the
Kajamunya Tales, which Richard wrote and I illustrated for Home Comfort,
as a separate book of its own.