Children are in awe of so many of the things that adults take for granted—a good reminder to appreciate the simple treasures in life that are all around us.

Our daughter, Lael Gibbs, is the owner and founder of The Roxbury Local, a shop that features products that are made in Connecticut by local artists, chefs, carpenters, and entrepreneurs. Available online only, the products include home decor items, food, clothing, jewelry, and other distinctive pieces—all with stories behind them. Take a look—The Roxbury Local happily ships anywhere in the US.

In addition to offering these products, the site includes a blog written by Lael about their family life in beautiful Litchfield County, Connecticut. Her latest post, The Summer of Sunsets, is below.

Posted by Lael Gibbs on 

Things are back in full swing here at The Roxbury Local. New products and vendors are being added to the shop. The website has been given a miniature aesthetic renovation. And work has begun on putting together our collection of holiday gift boxes. 

We have spent the last few months, like most, focusing on creating a rhythm and a balance that would give our family a sense of normalcy while it felt like everything around us was changing. We found a lot of comfort in the things that were familiar to us: family dinners, watching movies, and continuing the renovation projects on our home (those are certainly consistent and never-ending!). During the summer we also welcomed our son, Alex, into the family; which has definitely made us enjoy our extra time at home more. 

Welcome Alex!

And while the comforts of familiarity gave us a sense of ease, we felt that the extra time at home was also an opportunity to do the things that we “never have time for.” We sat around the firepit and made s’mores, Brian and Sam took a camping trip in the backyard, we made dandelion jelly for the first time, and I re-read some of my favorite childhood books that have been lining my bookshelves for years. 

On the days when we were feeling stir-crazy, Sam and I would get in the car and just drive around the local roads. We turned it into a scavenger hunt, trying to find farm animals, flowers, and certain house colors along our route. It became a fun little game for us. 

During one of our after-dinner drives, we stumbled upon several cars parked at the local airfield. Sometimes the airfield is a landing spot for small planes, hang gliders, or hot air balloons; and since we weren’t on any schedule, we decided to stop and see what everyone was waiting for. As it turned out, there was no aircraft about to land, everyone had pulled up in their cars simply to watch the sun set over the field. Sam and I sat that night and watched the sky turn pink and purple, and eventually a deep dark blue. I let her come sit in the front seat with me. We chatted about the pretty colors and what she wanted for her birthday; and then we started making plans for the next day, and that eventually turned into a list of things to do for the upcoming week. 

After that, we went back to watch the sunset almost every night. Every time I would let Sam come and sit in the front seat with me to watch, sometimes we brought snacks, sometimes Sam brought a few dolls to watch the sunset with her. We played eye-spy and continued our scavenger hunt using the cars and houses around us; and we always talked about things that we wanted to do in the upcoming days and weeks. And all of a sudden, this simple act of nature that happened every night, sometimes unnoticed, became our favorite activity. It gave us something to look forward to during the day and things to look forward to in the future. In an odd way it gave us the sense of rhythm that had been looking for during the shutdown. 

Now, as life continues to slowly return to normal, we are getting back into our regular routine and some of our regular activities. Sam and I still try to get back to watch the sunsets here and there, but we still talk about the games we played and the conversations that we had there; and I am incredibly thankful that we were able to find something that kept us thinking positive and planning ahead during a time of uncertainty. And now as the fall and winter months roll in and there’s a new hint of uncertainty as we all start moving activities indoors, I feel better knowing that we can always go back and watch the sunsets. And how pretty are those winter sunsets? 

Photo by Lindsey Victoria Photography

Copyright 2020 – 2023 The Roxbury Local; Reprinted with Permission