Oh Vermont! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
A wet muddy-brown spring brings the purple, red, and yellow flowers to bloom. In summer, sunshine and rain collaborate to create myriad shades of green. Autumn bursts into a fire of red and orange leaves. But a white winter is my favorite season in Vermont.
Before we moved to Vermont in 2012, my husband Dominic had only seen “real snow” once–when we drove up to the mountains in Colorado just after a big storm. The whole landscape and each branch of every tree was covered with that powdered-sugar coating of fresh, fluffy snow that you only expect to see on Christmas cards. In Colorado, this sugar-coating melted away as soon as the sun came out, the high altitude cutting through the protection of atmosphere and ozone. In Vermont, the white stays around and a fresh dusting of snow every day keeps the winter wonderland beautiful. If I had my way, I wouldn’t see the ground between Thanksgiving and Easter.
I knew Vermont was white for almost half the year long before we moved here. My mom took my sister and me to vacation on a dairy farm in Randolph Center almost every year through the 1970s. We visited in every season. “You missed summer,” our friends would say when we visited in July and brought our bathing suits. “It was last week.”
“Have you been to Vermont?
When we were visiting the North East Kingdom looking at houses, the locals gave us quizzical looks and asked a slightly different question.
“Have you been here in winter?”
We were moving to Vermont for winter, for cold, for a white Christmas, for cabin fever. For the peace and quiet that only comes on a winter morning under the stillness of a fresh snowfall.
I was telling the truth, at least. Dom could only guess what we were getting ourselves into.
I’ve always loved snow and I never outgrew the love of snow that I had when I was a little girl. Because I work from home (when I’m not on the road teaching), I don’t have to drive in the snow if I don’t want to. I live about a quarter to a half a mile from the grocery store, the drug store, the post office, and the village cafe, so I can get wherever I need to on foot–wearing boots or, if need be, snow shoes. But that’s rarely necessary because the state of Vermont knows how to keep the roads clean even in the snowiest weather, and I live down the street from the road maintenance facility, so our road is plowed first any time there is white stuff falling from the sky.
So here we are, living in Vermont! There are several reasons I want to write a journal and blog posts about our life here in Vermont, but one is the real spark: I want to be open and honest and realistic about my life. It may look and sound beautiful to you from the outside. My photos of the landscape and fall colors and old farmhouses look so pretty. The idea of living in a rural area and a small town sounds romantic. But the reality is not always as pretty as the pictures, and I don’t want to be envied for a life I am not living. So as we proceed, you’ll see the beautiful and the ugly. You’ll get to read about the easy and the difficult. I’ll tell you about the joys and sorrows, the benefits and struggles, the ups and downs of this Vermont life.