If a cat decides to have kittens in your oven that does not make them biscuits! In Vermont people are very proud of their heritage, and this saying is one of the many ways that the local folk have of being matter of fact of what qualifies as a Vermonter. It has been many years since I traveled this region on camping adventures with Taxi and my ex. We were much younger and so impressed with this marvelous state; something that could also qualify as a state of mind. No billboards, sublime natural beauty, simplicity of scale, natural forces at play such as black fly, mud season and a hardy winter that keep most away but the toughest.
I was so impressed with this region and its people that I considered moving here. I thought I would venture out of my natural hardiness zone (those we apply to plants) that I personally use to decide if I can survive in a place. The lowest I considered was for Maine which rates a 6 on the coast. Currently I live in zone 7 which is slightly warmer and shorter period of deep freeze. But Vermont, well, that was another matter. Vermont was a rather chilly zone 3 or 4 which meant periods of deep freeze of 20 below zero. So I discarded the idea of life in the heart of Yankee country.
True to my expectations, Vermont has continued to excel with New England values allowing freedoms as contrary to the national norm as to be the first state that allowed gay marriage. Marriage, not civil unions! In spite of very strong religious and family values Vermont is a place that prides itself on freedom: Equal under the law. Now, thanks to global warming, Vermont has inched closer to my natural hardiness zone. Depending on the map you use, it can be as warm as zone 5b. No, I am not moving here, but the thought of it is tempting. For the last three days I have been swimming in warm spring freshwater lakes and traveling a land that can only be described as magical.
The people I have met and the places I have seen lack fluff and are rather earthy and natural. The natural beauty is inspiring with long glacial valleys and stands of wildflowers as far as the eye can see. Best of all, this area is filled with people still filled with the spirit of adventure modern pioneers, still making life in a place than can be less than hospitable. To my surprise I found a young couple selling Cuban food to the locals in the Middlebury Farmer’s Market. The Cuban Diaspora is remarkable.
Love of gardeningBest of all I am staying with UU friends. I am seeing Vermont through their eyes. Friends who have lived here for most of their life. Flatlanders, the term used to describe non native Vermonters, but people who love their second home and who enjoy sharing all that they love about Vermont.
Enjoy a little Vermont!
Elizabeth and Clayton a Cuban and a Yankee couple at the Farmers Market