I approached these Vermonters, these mostly childless brothers and sisters, like a kid.  I tried not to appear threatening.  I was their daughter, trading recipes, talking about the past.  Sometimes I’d sit in those rooms in that long silence until I almost fell asleep in my chair.  Nothing happened.  Ethel Clough would let the cats in and ten minutes later let one out again.  She looked at the cut on her finger.  Ubert warmed his hands on the stove.  Maybe there’d be a word about the weather.  They were in their seventies and eighties.  Both were born in this small house and both had probably slept every night of their lives in the same beds.