Sunday, May 20, 2007

V is for Vermont

There are no billboards here.

There is asparagus, in a cooler at the farm stand, $2/bunch, honor system.

There are Chuck and Dave, back from their winter haunts, already hitting the art openings, already absorbing tales from the cold season.

There’s a pair of orioles at my suet cake, fighting with downy and hairy woodpeckers and a gang of starlings.

The hummingbirds are fierce fighter jets on the way to their feeder.

An indigo bunting showed himself to Tim, but I saw only the blue flash of its tail feathers.

The rose-breasted grosbeaks make me gasp every time.

There is no McDonald’s in the state capitol.

There are lots of rich people here—retired people, the always-rich. Some of these people work very hard, even though they don’t have to. A lot of them are successful artists.

There are lots of poor people here.

There are mountains. When I drive to the next valley over, I feel like I’m in paradise.

There are slate piles in my town, what with living in the Slate Valley. It is not destination Vermont. But it is Vermont.

Paul, Lynda, Kristina, and Nolan moved in next door a couple of years ago. What a stroke of luck.

In summer, we go to Sioux, Duke, and Aidan’s swimming hole. We drink champagne on their porch.

In winter, if I’m lucky, I cross-country ski.

In spring, I sign up to edit big textbooks. It keeps me slaving away indoors but helps pay the bills so I can stay here awhile longer.

I want to stay here awhile longer.

In fall, there are 10 perfectly colored days. We cannot tell you in advance which ones they will be.

Another Paul looks after all of us. He paints my house—a little every year. He advises us newbies on how to maintain property in this clime. He sold his house to my sister. He traded that perfect porch for a perfect screened-in one, surrounded by woods.

The year I moved here, I was advised to lock my car only in summer, so that it would not be filled with zucchini.

There are civil unions here. And Jim Jeffords was our senator.

There are lots of cows. We have the highest cow-to-people ratio in the United States (allegedly 1:2).

A rail trail, the Delaware and Hudson, runs behind my house, just on the other side of the creek. It trails by lots of cows and lots of birds.

There’s a general store built over a brook. Look through the deliberate opening in the floor. Sometimes there are trout in the deep pool.

There are cedar waxwings working the hatches above the rivers. Common yellowthroats, those masked bandits, tease us from the stream bank’s tall grasses as we fish.

There are no billboards here.

12 comments:

Sewa Yoleme said...

I am in awe of you.

Sewa Yoleme said...

I just read your post to Mom, and she asked me to tell you that she always enjoys your writing immensely.

Indigo Bunting said...

You both are way too kind. I almost didn't post this cuz I felt it wasn't polished yet, but was feeling a need to get back to this blog. If I really wait til I think it's good, I'll never post anything.

Helen said...

I love the idea of having a window onto the brook from the general store's floor. Does anyone use it as a fishing hole? And is there a state law against billboards?

Indigo Bunting said...

Helen: It's cool. It's kind of a box built up to above-waist level. In the winter it's covered with plexiglass, in the summer it's covered with a grate. You'd need a long line to fish it. I have no idea if it's been done from that vantage point.

And yep, state law. (My understanding is that the others are Maine, Alaska, and Hawaii.)

Preston said...

My goodness. Have I been to this blog? I don't know if you noticed, but you are going through the alphabet! If that's random, then that's random genius, I say! *wink wink.

Dang it, woman. I wish I'd come up with some of these ideas! Yeah? Well, I'll do one with the Greek alphabet, how about that???

Deloney said...

Vermont, va va voom.

(I should run the Dept. of Tourism.)

Indigo Bunting said...

P: I would definitely read your Greek alphabet blog.

D: Indeed you should! Va va voom!

Cedar Waxwing said...

What a wonderful post! I'm ashamed I've been too busy and self-absorbed to come over and read it - it certainly would have cheered me up - and it did!

This cedar waxwing wants to move to Vermont. Any houses for sale? I hate billboards.

My daughter tells me now she wants to be an editor (and writer and artist and interior designer and fashion designer). I told her to contact you for the lowdown.

Mali said...

Wow this is fantastic. I've got sooo much to read after 6 weeks away. Will catch up with the rest of your posts in time - but it is not to be rushed. Reading your blog is always a treat to be savoured.

Bridgett said...

This is a commercial for Vermont. This makes me want to go out and buy Vermont. Take it home and grill it and serve it for dinner and wipe my counters down with it and drive it to church and show it off to my friends.

Wow.

Indigo Bunting said...

Mali: Welcome back!

Bridgett: Now all I have to do is stop working long enough to remember I live in Vermont and make some attempt to enjoy it. (Things have been a tad crazed lately. And today I'm off to Boston for a few days...)