Last year with the sale of Collingswood and all the work to be done in Tarpon Springs there was no escape from the heat or reprieve for the emerald green of the New England. This year after three weeks of travel I made a return to beautiful and civilized Vermont. Were that their winters would be more civilized who knows where I would have wound up. Fortunately, a return invite from dear friends allowed me a chance to feast on this lovely land.
Driving the countryside is a pleasure that can be taken for granted. There is nature, nature and more nature, unadulterated without the crass commercialism of bill boards. It is almost as if the beauty turns its back on you because it is so proud to be there as can be seen above with thousands of sunflowers paying homage to nature rather that posing for the photographer.
The signs that you see along the highway also pay homage to a way of life that seems absent in many places.
Eventually you get to a corner where everyone claims directions to their summer camp and you know you almost made it.
In the process of getting there you will pass that old landmark car that has sat in the woods because it had some kind of value and as true Yankees you don't throw away anything that can be reused. So much for thinking that Green is new.
As you continue to your special destination you catch glimpses of places that people have called their home away from home for years. There is a heritage of simple houses shrouded in the woods where people come to cool their heels in the warm hill lakes.
Such was my journey again and this time to a place with quite a history of its own. I was to stay in the "practice cottage" with Limo. The "practice cottage" was where William Scheide and his Bach Aria Group rehearsed and entertained each other as early as 1946 before making their debut in 1948 in Carneige Hall. This one room building with two screen walls facing the forest hosted quite an ensemble of the most prominent classic musicians of their day. Check them out.
The cottage, still in the family, now serves a more commonplace purpose of accommodating the extended family and friends. A bathroom was added at some point and the cottage speaks of a wonderful time less complicated. At night the only music I heard was that of Bard Owls hunting or mating all around me. It was simply great staying there.
Of course, as much as my time in Vermont served to see my friends and hangout at the lake a trip or two were in order to see some of the magic that is everywhere at this time of the year.
It is hard to drive anywhere, if you are me, and not stop to observe a stream, a tree, or an old farmstead that truly speaks of another way of life. I keep harping to this other way of life that our commercial economy seems to depend on in order for this modern Democracy to function. I wonder how is it that places like this have so much more with what appears to be so much less?
|Church Street with the Unitarian Universalist Church at the helm|
I drove to Burlington, Vermont an hours or so away from our camp to catch a glimpse of modern and big city life. What I found in many ways was just as delicious as my old little corner in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Burlington was bustling with people and commerce in a scale very friendly to the natives.
|Limo was the focus of much attention as he made practical use of the fountain|
Having lived in cities with five times the population of Vermont in my past, I now find life much more meaningful when the quality of everything around me is real rather than the quantity.
The trip home from Burlington was just as eye popping when I made a stop at Shelburne Museum. Unfortunately I could not get because of Limo. It is a shame indeed because Electra Havermeyer Webb the collector was quite a dog lover. How could she not be with a name like that? They open the museum a couple of days a year to visitors with pets. In fact today is advertised as Shelburne Goes to the Dogs Day, too bad it did not coincide with my visit. Maybe another year, I will manage to visit the great collection of Americana that includes everything from round barns to a paddle steamboat sitting on the grounds.
But I did get to see some of the most beautiful produce and farm stands anywhere. There was so much produce available that homeowners often placed tomatoes in front of their house with a sign saying to take a couple. Unfortunately my camera died and I was not able to take a picture to show you. I don't know about you, but I certainly have not seem too many signs like that around in other places.
At the end of this day what I wanted to do here was to have a glass of fresh juice and sit and enjoy the view. Instead of sitting to relax, I had to get back to the camp and avoid rush hour traffic and help out as all guest should. Although I am no longer in the working world, there are plenty that are and roads in Vermont are just as small as the state. Rest would come for most of the time in Vermont.