Green Mountains

I spent the past week pondering why Vermonters are so dang nice. I would look around as I licked the maple creemee off of my fingers while the cone dripped and saw people smiling and looking content. They don’t seem to be in a particular hurry. They don’t cut in front of you so as to save one quarter of a second on the road. They smile and wave and call each other by their first names. Even the dogs are friendly. Part of it is the aforementioned maple creemee…..

Part of it is their beautiful green surroundings……

The beautiful green fields make me feel friendly too. How can you help but be happy when there is maple sap dripping from your trees and your cows are black and white and help produce delicious Cabot horseradish cheddar cheese and Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream?

Bill and I spent the past week with our Vermont family. God blessed us with a break in the rainy weather they’ve been having this summer, offering instead sunshiny days with temperatures in the 70s. Sure, the humidity was enough to sink a small ship, but who cared when the sun was shining off of the beautiful Mad River in which our kids bravely swam. Brave, because it was extremely cold. But Vermonters (and one Coloradan, namely Addie) are of hearty stock and barely flinched as they dove in. Well, truth be told, they did flinch some, but they did indeed follow their flinching with swimming…..

Almost-9-year-old Micah prepares to take the plunge.

To be perfectly honest, I will admit that the time we spent with our Vermont family included a lot of swimming. I, of course, can’t swim a single stroke. Still, I am very happy that every single one of our grandkids swim, and they all love it very much. As for me, I love to watch. One of our swimming adventures included an afternoon at Smugglers’ Notch Resort, 45 minutes from Montpelier. Among the plethora of activities, there was a twisty slide one went down on an inner tube. Somehow Micah and Joseph were persuasive enough to talk me into taking that daring plunge. Micah was so happy when he saw me hit the bottom that he helped me out of my tube, threw his arms around me and kissed me. ON THE MOUTH. This, from a child who is not terribly demonstrative. He simply couldn’t contain his joy and excitement that even his nana should feel the thrill.

Between swimming adventures, we made it to an apple cider mill, where we were able to taste a cup of the ice cold cider from the tap as we watched it being made. More important, we were able to purchase apple cider donuts. The sweet donuts are beyond delicious, as evidenced by the five of us consuming an entire dozen before you could say “I’ll bet even Tom Brady loves these apple donuts.”

And if I can give you one example that clearly describes the nature of Vermont and its citizens, I will talk about Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre, VT, which refers to itself as Nation’s site of excitement. That is clearly an overstatement since, even if we limited it to only racetracks, I would choose Talladega over Thunder Road. Still, Talladega doesn’t have the state’s governor as one of its car racers.

Yes, friends, Phil Scott, governor of the wonderful state of Vermont, drives his No. 14 stock car every Thursday during the summer in Vermont. His only restriction is that he can’t have sponsors. Seems fair. Gov. Scott holds the title as the only governor in the United States to drive stock cars. Bill and I, and our Gang of Five, loved our night at the races. But we mostly loved watching Gov. Scott drive because, GOVERNOR. Unfortunately for him, he drove No. 14 into the wall in one of the early races, and never quite recovered. His car, I mean. I think he was perfectly fine, and his lieutenant governor was not spotted measuring the Governor’s Office for new drapes.

Between being cooked for by our eldest grandchild…..

…..and receiving many hugs and kisses for a week, this nana loves Vermont.

And, oh, by the way, the Vermonters might be so nice because they live so close to Canada.

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