30 Aug 2012

@THISISVT: Okay, here’s a good one: how does living in #Vermont make you a better person? I’m calmer. More appreciative. You? #VT

What I like best here — so far, since I’ve only been her for two months — is that there is no showing off, no keeping up with the Joneses. I’m free to be me and to not judge. I don’t care what kind of car my neighbor drives, what their house looks like, what style of clothes they wear, or how much shiny stuff they own.

There are windows on all four sides of my house. When I look out my windows, I see Vermont. I see rural Vermont. I see the poorest corner of Vermont. It is where I live. Home.

When I lie in bed, I look out the window and I see the veterinarian’s office and home. A nineteenth century farmhouse, complete with barn and outbuildings, refitted for a different type of workplace/dwelling. The building is white with red trim, mostly hidden behind the big maple in our front yard. I know I’ll be seeing more of the house in two months, after the tree turns red and the leaves scatter around on the lawn and in the street.

Bedroom view: Maple tree and vet's office

Bedroom view: Maple tree and vet's office

When I sit in the parlor or on the front porch, I look out the window and I see a single-wide trailer. My husband wants to plant a hedge and hide it. Why? It is home to my neighbors — and their horses, who live  behind the trailer and prettify the scenery and scare my suburban-bred cats with their neighing.

From here I see… 1

Porch view - Trailer and horses

When I am in my studio, I look out the window and I see my woodpile, an old swing set and seven apple trees in my back yard, and the Orleans County Fair Grounds, separated from my property by about 30 acres of fallow fields. The fairgrounds plans to buy this land for a parking lot and campgrounds, unpaved thank goodness, and I plan to buy two or three acres directly behind my house to have a buffer zone for the once-a-year event.

From here I see… 2

View from my studio - The back yard and the fairgrounds

When I stand at the sink in my kitchen, I look out the window and I see another nineteenth century farmhouse, the Hansen’s farm. The main house, hired-man’s quarters, garages, and barn all attached in a row, in that uniquely English (and New England-ish) style. Between my house and the Hansen’s farmhouse is a hay field and an unused, unpaved, deeded road now invisible under a garden of grass, thistle, and milkweed — that magical attractor of Monarch butterflies. Behind all of this, I see Intersate 91.


Kitchen view - Hansen's Farm

Kitchen view - Hansen's Farm

When I look out my windows, I see the past and the future. I see my new life and the lives of those who have lived here before me and the lives of the children playing outside and gathering at the County Fair.

When I look out my window, I see Vermont.

When I look out my window, I see the world.

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