Robyn grew up in rural Pennsylvania with young, enthusiastic “do-it-yourself” parents. Together they built their family home, a project that spanned several years and to this day is still considered a work in progress. They had a large vegetable patch where her father often chased bunnies away, his fist in the air, a stalk of half-eaten Brussels sprouts in his hand.
Robyn’s mother, Rosemary, was a Master Gardener, a title she received through the Penn State cooperative extension. This status led to the installation of a red rotary phone in their family living room, which often rang off the hook in the springtime with all sorts of gardening questions. Robyn can remember her exasperated mother hanging up the almost-hot receiver after a 45-minute call, saying “How did I ever become an expert on this stuff? The schemes my sister gets me into!”
Growing up between the Pocono mountains and Pennsylvania’s largest natural lake, Robyn became an avid skier on both snow and water. Her love of skiing led her to an infatuation with Vermont. So when it came time for college, it was completely natural that Robyn would end up there in “God’s Country,” surrounded by the Green Mountains.
Until then, Robyn had never heard of Martha’s Vineyard. A bunch of her college girlfriends spent their summers on the Island and convinced her to come visit for the weekend. As often is the case, that weekend turned into a lifetime.
Robyn did try to ditch “the rock” several times—once for agricultural school in California, another for herbalism school in Vermont and once more for a master’s in education in New Hampshire. But once the island and its salt—and dirt— got under her fingernails, it was hard for her to have any other dreams.
As for her marriage to Simon, it started with love at first sight. When Robyn saw his warm smile and kind eyes peeking out from under his baseball cap as he was walking up the dock towards the little fishing boat she and her friends were aboard, time stood completely still. And it continued to do so the whole morning and into the late afternoon as they fished, chatted and drank beers.
After they came back into port and Simon got off the boat, Robyn immediately turned to her good friend Daniel and eagerly asked, “Dan, who was that guy?” Dan rolled his eyes and laughed and said something like, “Are you kidding me, Robyn? That’s my brother.”
Robyn and Simon married in 2011 and she is now the flower manager for Morning Glory Farm. On June 25, she gave birth to Alden James Athearn, who joins sister Rose and brother Ignatius.