Sunday, May 18, 2008

ahh, vermont

I know, with the outrageously high gasoline prices that we’re being
gouged with, you’d have to be crazy to take any kind of road trip.
Well, mark me guilty as charged.
Last week I headed up to my favorite spot — Vermont — for several
But hey, I had a good reason. Last autumn when my sister and I spent
several days there, she fell in love with an antique sewing machine.
Her husband decided to buy it as a Christmas present for her, but,
given Vermont weather, they wisely agreed that it could “winter” right
where it was.
The maple sugar producers who were selling the sewing machine had no
objections, since they would be closed for most of the winter. But with
the spring thaw, it was time to retrieve the beauty.
And what better excuse for us to head north once more, even though this
was for a shorter trip.
Yes, it was painful when we had to stop at a gas pump. An Explorer does
love to “eat” and has a fairly large gas tank, but we did seem to
get fairly good gas mileage.
And the relative peace of northcentral Vermont was worth the price of
You could still spot some snow on the tops of the mountains, and even
the road that crosses Smuggler’s Notch had not yet been opened for the
My favorite pizza place, with a real wood-burning oven, never
disappoints; the small family-run winery had several great selections; the
antiques place that holds special meaning called to me with a terrific
Jersey photo from the 1940s (the cows, not the state); and the gallery I
sometimes fall prey to once again had two items I couldn’t leave
Of course all of this had to be packed into the Explorer that now was
also bearing the elaborately detailed, antique Singer sewing machine.
Thank goodness we had packed light.
I always love meeting new folks in Vermont. For some reason, they just
seem more friendly and down to earth than many people in this region.
I encountered one store clerk in a small village who, after asking
where we were from, had actually recently visited a friend down here in
Lansdale and was still reeling from the overwhelming number of cars and
At another stop, a man about to get into his Ford pickup wanted to
know, “How’s that Ford treatin’ ya?”
And I then was regaled with tales of his 167,000 miles on the truck —
still with its original battery and shocks, thank you very much.
“Maybe I’ll get new shocks this summer, before winter,” he mused.
The best of all? The “official” greeter at a small visitors center
in Waitsfield — a black and white cat named Yoda, sporting an extra
toe on each paw.
She strolled out to the car, accompanied us inside and then
“helped” as we signed the visitors book.
“She’s our greeter,” said the woman behind the desk. “She loves
to make sure everyone feels welcome.”
And that we did.
In fact, I’d love to see the kitty again — if I can only figure out
a way to motor up there without using any gasoline.

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