The invitation from our neighbors came across by text last night: “We’re picking grapes tomorrow, starting around 11 AM.  We will probably be there until at least 4 PM. Come on up if you want!”  

We ventured over this afternoon, taking a very scenic route down the road, past our pond, up the hayfield, across through the cow pasture and over a hill.  We joined another fifteen or so people already carefully clipping the green clusters and stacking them in buckets.

It was mostly our neighbor’s family members helping with the harvest, people who see each other regularly.  We felt privileged to be invited; everything is kept small these days. It was only due to my walk near the vineyard last week and our discussion there that they extended the group to include us.

Two hours learning all about wine grapes and their history in Vermont, explained with enthusiasm and clarity by our friend and neighbor… two hours in the soft September sunshine, giving a neighbor a hand… two hours catching up with others we don’t see often enough… all this because a pandemic means walking with friends near our neighbor’s vineyard.  One more silver lining.