Growing up in California, I remember winters in high school I would bundle up with a scarf and jacket and slip on a pair of rainbow flip flops and head out the door, perhaps a bit chilly but otherwise fine. My friends and I, dressed similarly, would joke about wearing more than one season at a time. We thought we were hilarious. We all wore some variation of this uniform from October to March with hardly a second thought.
This year is my first in the far northeast of Vermont. Like Dorothy out of Kansas, I’m not in California any more. Winter in Vermont is very, very real. To think of wearing flip flops in weather like this is to be legitimately out of your mind. I have no idea where my flip flops are. This morning it was an even 0 degrees outside and the piles of snow mirror the white sky overcast with threatening snow. It’s been a brutal winter by any standard. Many old timers are calling it the worst in years. Am I complaining? Well, yes. In truth it’s been tough on my mental health to stay positive with nearly every day this month reaching negative temps.
But this post is about Vermont’s redeeming qualities.
+ First of all, the food bounty we’ll be enjoying in a few months is something to salivate over. Last night I joined Simeon and his staff at a Taste of Vermont event and the night was absolutely delicious. Among the abundance local dairy farms offered their precious cheese, yogurt, and ice creams; maple purveyors shared maple delights in every form; and Sterling College offered a unique take on ofal – pork heart straight from their farm in the form of mini Reubens on homemade beet chips.
+ Secondly, this week I had to go to Vermont’s only Passport Agency to get an expedited passport. (More on that in another post!). Above is what the wait looked like on Tuesday. That’s right. I was the only one there. Even the waiting room itself is a joke. I’ve had the same experience at the DMV multiple times. In Connecticut the line to be told what other line to stand in would take up this whole room. Some could call this Heaven.
+ Another quality I love? There’s always a seat at the coffee shop for me and my laptop. No one comes over to bother me about staying for hours (I always make sure my purchases match the length of my stay). But I never worry about taking up too much space for too long. There’s always enough room for everyone.
So, despite the frigid air and the grey sky, Vermont offers a quality of life that is hard to find elsewhere. Now if only all my friends and family would join us here to enjoy it too. 😉