a list of things i like about vermont

I have been in Vermont for almost 2 weeks now.  Crazy.  The transition has been tough.  I miss the west.  I have always known in my heart that I belong in the west, and being here has put me more out of my comfort zone than even my months spent in Argentina.  I’m not sure exactly what it is, but the attitude of the people out here just isn’t the same… I feel like I just don’t belong here.  And while I know that my time here is brief, the transition has still been hard.

Look how cute this is. This place has got to have at least a few redeeming qualities, right?

So, in light of that, I have decided to make a list of things that I actually LIKE about Vermont (in no particular order), to try to cheer myself up and so you, my 3 or 4 faithful readers, will at least have the idea that Vermont is not a totally desolate place full of misery and loneliness, as I might make it out to seem in the next few months.

Thing #1 that I like about Vermont: the sound of rain.

It always rains here (see my previous post).  I mean, always.  It’s raining right now, as a matter of fact.  And while I may not love the coldness and wetness of rain, I sure do love the sound of it.  I fall asleep to rain softly draining down my window and wake up to it plodding unassumingly on the roof.  If I open my window, or even the door to my apartment, I can spend hours going about my business with nothing but the sound of falling rain to fill the empty spaces in my mind.

Thing #2: my roommate

Sure, he’s no Peter Rumbles, but Simon is a great roommate.  He is a quiet, shy, unassuming guy who acts selflessly while truly hoping that nobody will notice.  He always invites me to come along if he’s doing something interesting, he lets me use all of his cookware, he cleans up after himself, and he even shares his wine.  He asks me how my day went, and he comes in and checks on me every once in a while at work.  He is looking out for me, in his own quiet way, and I really appreciate him for it.

Thing #3: my roommate’s dog

Mabel gets her own list number because she very much has her own personality.  Mabel is a 10 year-old yellow lab with arthritic hips and a curmudgeonly attitude.  She barks at people who walk through our parking lot, at loud semis passing, and sometimes at nothing at all – without ever raising her head.  If you are making food, she will sit down right behind you, and then follow you around while you eat.  If Simon is in a meeting with someone in their office, she will lie outside the office door with her nose pushed under the crack between the door and the floor until he comes out.  We have a mutual understanding going: I give her peanuts, and she won’t bark when I come home.

Thing #4: the sunsets

On the rare occasion that it isn’t raining when the sun goes down, the sunsets out here are beautiful.  They are pink and orange and blue, and the green leaves and moss glow in the soft light.  I can imagine those green things are happy to finally get some sun, too.

Thing #5: the all-pervasive maple syrup

They put maple syrup in EVERYTHING out here.  Coffee and yogurt and bacon and bread and granola and even BEER!  All, apparently, are made better by the addition of maple syrup.

Thing #6: Petra Cliffs

The climbing gym in Burlington is not very big and it’s not very busy, but I really like it.  They play jazz during the day and hip hop at night.  The people who I meet in the bouldering “cave” upstairs are friendly and help me with starting moves, and especially like it when I tell them that I’m from Boulder.  So far I’ve only been able to hang out there for about 90 minutes or so at a time due to my abysmal endurance, but it helps remind me that there are people of the same I’d-Rather-Be-Outside tribe everywhere you go.  Even if my conversations with the people there consist of little more than, “try starting with your other foot,” or, “you almost had that!” it makes me feel a little more connected to the world.

Thing #7: City Market

This is not the Kroger version of City Market that you may be imagining.  City Market in Burlington is a little health food store that is a lot like Alfalfa’s in the old days.  Going there is another way that I am able to feel connected to people without actually knowing anyone.  I understand these college kids and young couples with babies and trim old men in rain suits – they are part of my tribe, too.  And where else am I going to find purple cauliflower and chunky (that’s right, CHUNKY!) almond butter?

Thing #8: buying wine at the grocery store

I’m not really sure that this one needs a blurb… but in Vermont (unlike in Colorado or Utah, the only 2 other states that I’ve lived in) you can buy wine at the grocery store!  It’s genius.  Get with the program, Colorado.

Thing #9: all the oxygen

I go for runs with 2-mile uphill sections, and I am not left wheezing for hours afterwards.  I also now finally understand what a “conversational pace” entails, since this is never something that I could attain in Boulder where I frequently get out of breath just walking up a hill.  Thank you, sea level!

Thing #10: getting to wear jackets

I spent my entire summer in a climate that never – not once! – called for more than a lightweight baselayer to keep you warm.  But now, I live in a place where the highs rarely strain to get above 70 degrees, and thus I have been able to pull all of my favorite midweight jackets out of the bottom of my plastic tub-o’-gear and wear them around!  I even keep them on while I’m at work sometimes, just because I like wearing them so much.

OK, well 10 things seems like a good number, don’t you think?  I know I feel much better.  Now I am going to go put on the unnecessarily thick and comically enormous ski socks that I’ve gotten in the habit of sleeping in, and get ready for Friday.  Two weeks down.  Vermont isn’t so bad.  I can do this.

(image from http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/createPostcard.php?cardNum=1901819)

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1 Comment

  1. Whoa— Chunky almond butter??

    Did you buy some?

    Is it good eating with a spoon?


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