Saturday, September 16, 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017

last of its kind

younger people may not recognize this thing.

it is a public telephone.

it has a current phone book on the shelf.

yep, you can use it to make phone calls. you pick up the receiver and you get a dial tone. you press buttons and voilĂ ! you have a phone call.

local calls are free.

if you still remember how to charge a call or make a collect call, you can call anywhere.

this miracle thing is located in downtown waitsfield, vermont.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

the dark corners of my soul

i think i have just realized why it is that i am enjoying the trump presidency so much.

when i was a small child, i learned that germany had been partitioned and i cried when grownups told me that it could never be reunited even though it was very sad because that's the way things were.

and then i learned that money corrupts politics and elected representatives can be bought and all the grownups told me that there is no other way to do it and it's very sad but it's the way things are.

i have been waking up every day in a world where i am overwhelmed with a sense of terror and outrage over injustices that nobody else seemed to care about very much.

and now it tickles me to turn to the news each day and find out what asinine thing the president has done or said and i have not been able to sort out why this delights me so.

until i realized that suddenly the level of terror and outrage in society as a whole has suddenly been raised equal to or above my own internal level of terror and outrage for the first time since the nixon administration and i think i find this odd equilibrium bracing.

because really? things are not so much worse than they were last year. the same people are making the same moves to deprive other people of a living or their rights or their lives. the same climate change that's been happening is still happening. the same institutional racism that's been going on for centuries is still going on.

what's different is that the ugly that's been hiding under rocks wants to come out into the light and decent people everywhere are forced to look at it up close.

it's not a good time to shrug and say that's the way things are.

all of a sudden it's stylish to fight back against the ugly.

late to the party, but hey. better now than not at all.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

seriously you did NOT just.

i was in mac's market in stowe because i was in stowe and shaw's can be a pain to get to and it was day three of my never ending search for some nice fresh ravioli. not even FRESH ravioli but the kind they sell in your average grocery store.

only for some reason i have been to stores three days running and no fresh ravioli.

because i made tomato sauce, which i will tell you about later if i remember, and i thought it would be especially delicious on ravioli.

anyway, on day THREE i walked into mac's market in stowe and i asked the guy if he had any fresh ravioli and he said no, but then he said maybe and he managed to find one elderly container of buitoni cheese ravioli and that was totally not what i had in mind because in vermont there is no shortage of pasta companies selling precious little ravioli and i remarked that this should not be so hard to find and that's when the guy said the THING.

i did not even realize what he had done until i was in the parking lot and i wanted to go back in and give him whatfor, but ugh.

the guy looked at me and said "this isn't the big city, you know. here in vermont you can't always get everything you want."

seriously did he just city slicker me?


i live in bolton, a town that does not have a library or a pizza place or a stoplight.

stowe, for the record, has more than one art gallery. it has a sculpture garden, a bike path, a quiet path, land trust trails, tennis clubs, and polo fields.

and just for reference, they carry a half dozen varieties of fresh ravioli at the richmond market. i was going to tell you that richmond is a far smaller town than stowe, but really its year round population is about the same as stowe. i was going to tell you that richmond is not as wealthy as stowe, but it actually has a higher median income.

and this is where statistics are misleading.

most of the people who live in richmond actually live in richmond.

stowe is a town of high end resorts and ultra expensive vacation homes and there are a lot of service industry workers who don't make a living wage in a town where a plain cheeseburger costs $20.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


most of the things i meant to tell you about after tropical storm irene were things that in the end i did not tell you. i took pictures of some of the lighter parts of the work, but mostly i was too worn out and i had seen some things.

it was kind of a long time ago.

i get a shiver when i go by a building i helped put back together, or one i helped tear apart, but we all did what we could.

everybody who lived in the hills bought facemasks and crowbars and trashbags and we went down into the valleys and we just started helping.

sometimes the best help we could give was to stand there and listen to people cry.

watching the hurricane tracks has been hard for me, especially the one over florida.

because i know how thin work crews get stretched, how there's more work to go around than there are people to do the work, even if you can afford to pay workers.

my dad lives in florida.

and i'm the only child who would have been free to go help him if his house had been flattened. when i realized this, i started to remember the feeling of going through mounds of debris in someone else's house, looking for a few bits that can be saved before we put everything else in the dumpster.

people would rather you weren't there, but also they'd be lost without you. it's an odd unfamiliar etiquette. the smell is horrific. you have no idea what diseases you might get. the worst part is not the heat or the backbreaking work, but the waves of other people's pain.

so anyway, it's been some sleepless nights as i thought about the possibility of going to help pick up my father's house if he lost it in the storm.

it took some damage, but it's all right.

Monday, September 11, 2017

2017 venture vermont: Create a state park song or poem and send it to us

856 vermont route 12

i am standing on new ground
new to me at least
because here's this trail
and these steps carved in rock
and this stream of travelers-
college kids in sneakers, families with toddlers-
but i have climbed above the place
where more than once in winter
even with crampons
i could not safely pass
and turned back.
in summer it is a whole different trail.
every day it is a different trail.
today, above that place, i call myself queen of the world,
champion of everything.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

2017 venture vermont: Take a picture with the biggest boulder you can find

this isn't the biggest boulder i know of, because off the top of my head i can think of two others, but not near here, but i have pretty big boulder out here, and this one is big.

it's hard to appreciate the scale of a really big boulder in a photograph, because to get up close enough to really see the rock, it's too big for the frame. and it can be hard to get a smaller thing, like you or your car, in the frame so it looks good.

so yeah.

in this picture there's nothing that smells bad. i'm just having trouble framing the shot.

i'm still not happy with it.


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