Tag Archives: small town life


The winter my youngest daughter was two, I remember lying in bed one night with her after we had been in our sugarhouse all day. The washing machine churned with the children’s wet snowsuits, grimed with mud and ashes. I … Continue reading

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Little Bright Bits

A friend and I have a habit of emailing back and forth requesting send me something good. We’ve been doing this so long now that I can’t remember when we started, although I’m nearly 100% certain this began in a … Continue reading

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Library Afternoon Snapshot

A woman stops in my library — new to town and looking for basic info about an internet connection and where to buy food. She’s getting the lay of this corner of Vermont’s territory. Early afternoon, the school kids are … Continue reading

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Turtle Visitor

A wildlife biologist smitten with wood turtles makes an evening presentation at my library, turtle in tow. The room fills with people I know, and some I don’t know — a little girl from Montpelier with her grandfather whose family … Continue reading

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Ides of August, Buying Gas

Stopping to buy gas late in the evening, I walk into D&L and immediately stop: the familiar clerk is mopping the floor. It’s so muggy, even long past dark, that he holds the back of his wrist to his sweating … Continue reading

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See Our Territory

Small town living isn’t always so saccharine sweet — I’m no great fan of Norman Rockwell. At soccer games, you’ll meet the parents of the child who slighted your own. Argue at school board meetings, and you’ll discover one of … Continue reading

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Cabin Fever, #1

Somehow, we’ve reached the middle of February: this is the period of deep winter, and its many juxtapositions. The sun shines blissfully all morning on the sleeping cats sprawled around my feet on the kitchen floor. The neighbors’ septic backs … Continue reading

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Winter’s Grass-Is-Greener

Driving down the Woodbury gulf in the twilight, staring at the road — snow-crusted, ice packed, with two curving black lines of asphalt worn through winter — I remember all those years of driving mountainous Route 9 in southern Vermont … Continue reading

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Hardwick Postcard #2: Community Notices

Outside Hardwick’s food co-op are two boards thumb-tacked with wind-tattered signs, the cultural postings of this small town – free community postings of library and school events, classes offered, a deadbeat father’s rambling missive to his family. I stand in the … Continue reading

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Sunny Skies

Last year, my daughter played her snare drum in Hardwick, Vermont’s Memorial Day parade; afterwards, a pragmatic child eyeing years of marching band ahead, she traded in the heavy drum for a skinny clarinet. In one of the best small … Continue reading

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