Monthly Archives: July 2014

Sometimes the DOT Can Read Your Mind

Rough RoadAnd when it does, it’s usually not that good.

[Note storm blowing in for emphasis, just in case you were deluding yourself.]

Making Hay (lit. and fig.) While the Sun Shines

Susan M. Carter Flikr.com

With last week’s cosmic Soopermoon and unexpected low humidity, Vermonters were feeling their oats—a horsey expression referring to “hot” feeds such as oats that provide extra equine energy. Carbo-loading for ponies.

We’ve been flat-out frolicking. As we bike, swim, and tool about our gorgeous state via horse, cycle, and golf cart, we inhale gnats and drink in the astounding natural beauty of the Land. No matter our troubles, her scenic landscape’s backdrop to our drama grows, flows, and enchants mightily. The Creatures of the Land also sparkle. Musicians strum, hummingbirds hum, and stories fill out ears with delight. Campfires! Charades! Laffs!

forktender.wordpress.com

forktender.wordpress.com

Deliriously happy, we pack on summer blubber by way of chips and macaroni salads (hot feeds), with dripping cones, toasted marshmallows and extra mayo all around. Chomping chewing gum with the ferocity of a jungle cat, I wear a bikini as a disturbing incentive to avoid the snack bar lakeside. Unsightly, but y’all don’t look that slender, either. As a friend’s father happily observed, “There are no Beautiful People at Silver Lake.” It’s Vermont. We just don’t care.

With little rain, the long and sunny days demand movement. Soopermovement. Early we rise, to tend gardens and hit balls, knowing that pacing oneself now is not an option. For soon the air will grow cold, leaves will float down the brooks, and the Tunbridge World’s Fair will be upon us. Is this year’s theme The Year of the Insect?? Giant horseflies take meaty chunks from us daily. I hope they are having a good time.

The tourists are. As they cram our roads with Corvette Clubs, motorcycle brigades, and kayak-lidded vehicles, they stuff our coffers with (hopefully) enough wampum to get us through what friend Sassy calls “the dark months.” While we lament oftentimes the physical and financial hardships of Vermont, visitors envy our visual bounty from the windows of inns and restaurants. Let us see, as they do, that the grass is in fact greener here. There’s a heck of a lot more of it.

With all our rivers, woods, and contradancing, we get physical without pricey gym memberships. Fishing and tennis are almost no-cost, and you can’t live here without knowing someone with a canoe or bike to borrow. We get our ya-ya’s out for next to contranothing. People everywhere need to get their ya-ya’s out because life in Modern Tymes is vexing. Tech nuisances drive us batty, our free time devoured by the modern bane that is overcommunication. Which disPinterested, Twitterless, Linked Out Facebidiots like me don’t do much of, yet it’s still exhausting. Many here lack—or shun—the [devil’s!] tools needed to overcommunicate, a source of ruin. Good for them. It seems to me that the more we communicate, the more we worry. More people to worry about, I guess. More worrisome details shared. Just. More. Worrying.

I told my friend Kay I was glad in some ways I have no kids, so in our “sandwich generation” years I am open-faced, with only parents to be concerned about. Her reply:

“One thing better about parenting elders than parenting kids is that people are not competitive about their aging parents.  Imagine if they were.  ‘My mother got into Green Mountain Golden Years Assisted Living.  It was her reach facility, but she got in!  Her safeties were Maple Heritage and Mellow Manor Northeast Kingdom.’   ‘Well, my mother was sent to prison and it’s not costing me a dime. Free dental!” We could brag about who has lasted the longest without a walker.  That would be like lettering in track.   Blood test results as SAT scores…’My dad’s combined LDL and HDL were under 250!’  ‘Wow, you must be so proud.  I’m going to make my dad take it again. Surely he can improve over last time.’ I feel a Roz Chast cartoon coming on… ”

A toast to Green Mountain splendour, hay-makers, canoe-loaners, tech-shunners, shenaniganers, parenters, summer fatties, and sooperfriends who supply laffs. Thank you all. Good day.

 

If You Save Packaging Materials

Handwriting never changes much.

Handwriting changes little over time.

…you never know what you’ll come across.  Padded envelopes with the return addresses of total strangers (past lovers whose names have been forgotten? eBay sellers?), tiny unopened gifts, or — the best — cryptic notes written on wrapping paper that you just can’t decode, like this one.

Horse people are weird, but... PETER MANNING?

Horse people are weird, but… Peter Manning?

I know it’s from Gina by the handwriting. Did it go with Peter Manning, at right? I don’t think so. What else could she have sent me that seemed absurd? Any number of things, really. Which is why I so anticipate her boxes.

Mailing random gifts is a lost art. Let’s mail a bunch right now, keep the USPS in biz. Do it.

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