Monday, February 04, 2008

Rural Vermont


It was almost 30 years ago when I moved to Vermont from a town south of Boston. I desperately wanted to get away from the masses of people, the noise and the pollution and live somewhere where the air was pristine and you could drink the water straight out of babbling brooks. Since my children had left to start their own lives and I had a friend living in a small Vermont town, it seemed the opportune time for a change and, after selling everything that wouldn't fit in my car, I struck out for the Green Mountains and a new life.

The beauty and charm of the state of Vermont has never ceased to delight me and I love living here. What's more, it wasn't long before I discovered that rural life in the mountains had some rather unique attributes. For instance, there are probably more dirt roads in this state than there are paved ones and a popular pastime is back road cruising. This requires taking enough time to very slowly traverse the roads that wind through the mountains and to appreciate the exquisite beauty they have to offer. Lush and green, the mountains here share the land with crystalline lakes, clear, cool rivers and sparkling brooks. Three to four hours is required for a proper cruise and to ensure the perfect ride, a picnic and some Vermont brewed beer should be taken along.

We also have five seasons, in contrast to the traditional four, the fifth being mud season. At this time of the year, between winter and spring, all of those charming back roads turn into pits of muck and mire. The mud is like quicksand and if you aren't careful, will suck your car down and hold it prisoner. I had a car get stuck so badly once that when I opened the door, the thick brown ooze crept in over my floorboards. It took a backhoe to pull me out. To those who live out on the dirt roads, mud season is the bane of their existence. The rest of us avoid them until the warmth of spring days and balmy breezes have had the chance to dry them out.

And then there is a great sport of pumpkin rolling. I do not know if it is unique only to the town I live in, but I have it on good authority that it started here many years ago. My town is built on hills, many of them quite steep. Except for the road through the center of town, everything is up and down. (Egad, that sounds like Dr. Seuss!) Anyway, you get the idea. So, on Halloween, car trunks, the backs of vans and truck beds are filled with pumpkins, the vehicles are taken to the tops of the hills and all contained pumpkins are let loose to roll down to Main Street. Much hooting and hollering is included. Your punishment, if you are caught, is to clean up the mess, but many are not caught and the day after Halloween finds the streets littered with bright orange pumpkin rinds. Strangely enough, within a day or two, it all disappears and becomes a memory.

16 Comments:

Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Sounds great. I've poked my head into Vermont but don't know it well at all.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Vermont sounds wonderful - just like the books or movies. You were very smart to leave the city for a slower pace and fresher air. The mud season made me laugh. When we were children, our 1/4 mile long driveway (out in the country) wasn't paved and became a rutted, mucky track of (almost) quicksand! As I got older I was completely embarrassed that my boyfriend would have to park his car at the end and walk up to get me - ugh! - I was mortified. I'd sure like to be in your town during the pumpkin rolling - that would be so much fun to watch! Thank you for the great post and lovely picture.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Next visit I will stay in Vermont! It sounds like a wonderful place to live. Pumpkin rolling? LOL

Much love Robin

1:41 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Vermont living sounds wonderful. The pumpkin rolling sealed it for me. I don't see the point in giving up all the mischievousness of childhood and this sounds like great fun.

And what's a little mud? :0)

4:52 PM  
Blogger pepektheassassin said...

Sounds like a sport Ichabod Crane or Daniel Webster would've loved! I'd love to see Vermont some day.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Suzy said...

Pam, I have often tried to find reasons to move to Vermont, but alas I have not been able to! Ah well, I love Wisconsin, and there are similarities. But Vermont is so ... well, Vermont! I lived in New Hampshire for a year and hightailed it over to Brattleboro every chance I got. The accompanying painting is gorgeous, BTW.

11:34 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

i've never heard of pumpkin rolling before but it sounds like great fun!

9:05 AM  
Blogger Bonita said...

The best autumn foliage photos are from Vermont. So beautiful! I know you count your blessings there.

As you have your season of mud, we have our season of mist, which blows, swirls, dances, cajoles, and it is heavenly.

11:38 AM  
Blogger pepektheassassin said...

I forgot to mention that the picture you made is fantastic!

11:02 AM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Vermont has always been one of my favorite states but I could do without "Season 5".

3:48 PM  
Blogger kate said...

That was a smart move to make - I spent a week driving through many of Vermont's back roads (I kept getting lost on my way to certain destinations). I loved it.

Pumpkin rolling sounds like great fun. I am wondering if you've ever witnessed the pumpkins rolling down the hill toward Main Street ...

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Coll said...

Some day I hope to visit Vermont. It sounds so very lovely.. even with the mud season. :-) How brave of you to sale most of your belongings and travel in search of your dreams.

11:07 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

I love what you have done with the lovely photo--it makes Vermont look like a marvelous destination to be obtained.

11:18 PM  
Blogger Endment said...

Have been wanting to make the move - but - work - yah work is keeping us near the city.

The graphic is absolutly charming!

2:46 PM  
Blogger Mama P said...

You have such a way with words and photos. And art. You are amazing.

12:56 AM  
Blogger joared said...

I have such fond memories of the beauty of Vermont from a visit a few decades ago. Maple has always been a favorite flavor, so enjoyed visiting a state known for the delicious syrup. Fortunately, didn't encounter any of the mud, but have elsewhere. Pumpkin rolling is a new and unknown sport to me. My former home state has a city, Circleville, Ohio, which claimed to be a pumpkin capital of the world, I think, but they just made one super whopping big pie from monster size pumpkins.

2:31 AM  

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