The area is still fairly rural, however, and B's sister lives in a stone house with three-foot-thick walls from the 1700s, with three acres, a huge red barn, and a big front yard and smaller backyard given over to vegetable gardening.
We stayed in the annex, an attached part of the house where her husband's parents lived for over 30 years, until they died. (They chose "shared housing" long before it became popular in current retirement thinking.) The annex has a kitchen and dining area downstairs, and a large bedroom with a half bathroom up the creaky, narrow back stairs. You have to sneak back through a bedroom in the main house into a hallway bath to take a shower.
We visited with members of the family, plus a young man from Tennessee, originally from India, and a young woman working in Los Angeles, originally from Iran. They were friends of B's husband's brother, who's a high-school teacher and somehow makes friends with almost anyone he meets in the hallways -- and often, as in this case, keeps up the friendships long after the kids have graduated. These kids were traveling back to the East Coast for a vacation. They were staying with their friend, the husband's brother, for a few days, then heading for a day in New York City and a day or two in Washington, DC.
Anyway, around sundown I went out back and took a photo looking west. For some reason, it just seemed a brilliant finish to a holiday week, and put a period on the year . . . and a decade as well.
It's hard to believe we're heading into 2020. Each year, each decade, seems to go by faster and faster. Is that the theory of relativity? We have to grab onto them, as best we can, and hold them close.