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For dinner last night, my daughter fried beef for enchiladas. From the garden, I brought in a basket and began washing vegetables. Here, throw in slender leeks, sweet red peppers, onions with their fat greens. I filled a salad bowl with mesclun, radishes, sun gold tomatoes.

Do people talk about the weather as much as Vermonters do? What a summer, we say.

Yesterday: muggy heat, steady rain, a perfect evening. We swam in the nearby pond again, a little chillier after the rain. Then we gathered up our towels and went home.

More from that stack of donated books:

Our story is never written in isolation. We do not act in a one-man play. We can do nothing that does not affect other people, no matter how loudly we say, “It’s my own business.

— Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art

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Girls camping, Lake Champlain: water, rocks, sky, and s’mores

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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