Yesterday, pouring rain outside, white winter snow turning black with spring mud. Trees fading into the white mist on the hillsides, sap buckets barely visible. Sap gathered during a break in the weather. A late night boil, half-moon high in the sky. Inside the sugar-house, sweet, enveloping steam coming off the evaporator, a wood fire burning, keeping the sap at a steady boil – and the night chill out. And at the end of four hours, a taste of sweet maple syrup from our own trees, bottled, a taste of Vermont and home for us and loved ones far away.