When we walk from Heather’s house to downtown Montpelier, we pass an old cemetery. It’s very small and the graves are very old. I like to create stories around interesting things, so in my imagination, these are graves of soldiers from the War Between the States (which is what New Englanders call the Civil War; southerners, on the other hand, refer to it as the War of Northern Aggression). Apparently Vermont had a strong presence in the fighting of the Civil War. The stones in this cemetery are those old, very flat markers that make me think about ghosts and people arising from out of the grave. Many of the deaths occurred in the 1860s, so I might be right.
I mentioned in yesterday’s post that there are no chains in Montpelier. I’m not talking simply fast food chains; I mean there are no chain restaurants, retail establishments, grocery stores…..nothing. All locally owned. While that adds to the cost of your purchases, it’s very cool that Vermonters are supporting Vermonters. There’s a little grocery store about two blocks from the house that sells beer and pop and a small amount of grocery items. Just like the little Mom-and-Pop stores in Columbus, where I grew up, there is also a meat counter where you can buy sandwich meats and a few other meat products. They make delicious sandwiches. As I waited yesterday for our sandwiches to be made, I wandered around the store a bit. I noticed many of their products were from Vermont. For example, the only ice cream they sell is Ben & Jerry’s.
And the only cheese they sell is Cabot….
Nothin’ wrong with that.
I grew up in Nebraska where summertime means hot and humid. But I guess I’ve lived in the dry western climate long enough that sweating almost as soon as you step outside is new to me. There are good and bad things about humidity. The lawns are lush and green without the need to water. On the other hand, the mosquitoes are big enough to carry Micah off with them. Every evening he informs me, “I have a mosquito bite on my butt.” What has particularly come as a surprise to me is how long it takes things to dry. At home, I wet my hair in the morning and in 10 or 15 minutes, it’s dry. Here, it might take all morning. But my skin is moist, even if I do have mosquito bites on my butt.
While Joseph and Micah like technology as much as the next kid, it pleases me to no end how much they enjoy make-believe games and playing outside. Yesterday morning, after we returned from a trip to the crepe restaurant, the two boys turned on the water and spent an hour-and-a-half washing their wiggle cars — and getting themselve soaking wet in the process. That’s the beauty of being a grandparent. I have the responsibility of keeping them safe while their parents are at work. But keeping them dry — nope. Have at it boys.