We're getting a sifting of snow tonight. Woody went outside and as sometimes happens when it's cold, we just go to the door in a few minutes and let him back in - that's so he doesn't have to go off the deck and squeeze through the kitty door into the garage where the knocker is on the kitchen door - and as usual, he was scrunched down at the top of the steps so his furry body keeps his feet warm, watching the snow fall. There's space under the eaves that is sheltered from the snow and he feels safe there while listening to night sounds and watching for any movement in the darkness. He was happy to get inside and hasn't pestered to go out again all evening. It's been dreary all day and I guess we had a shower perhaps late in the day, but overall it was uneventful, but chilly.
Andy Rudin sent this picture taken a couple days ago at his home in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania. They sure have nicer foliage left than we do - even our tamaracks didn't last long enough to make much of an impression this year. They usually prolong the foliage season after their needles turn bright yellow. This year they turned and fell before I really noticed. This is the dull hillside overlooking Route 15, across the pond from us. Not much left on the trees anywhere, but as soon as the snow comes, things will look brighter. I love the contrast of the evergreens against the snow and the hard woods stand out like they were sketched in ink.
We are actually gearing up for Ice Out again - I had a note from our data specialist, Henretta, asking for tickets to input. I have a few hundred for her to get going with. After most of our neighbors left and the tourist traffic calmed down, so did our ticket sales. Now I pick up two or three a week or sometimes none at all. I haven't had a request to send tickets in the mail for weeks, either. There is always a bump up in demand from people who want to give them away during the holidays, so I expect to hear from some of our "regulars" soon. I may even get rush requests from people who are having lots of guests at Thanksgiving and want to use Ice-Out tickets as favors or as a substitute for place cards. You can't beat the price at $1 each, and I will stamp each pre-paid ticket with a pretty red PAID.
I'm presently digitizing the albums I have put together over the past few years for the Cabot Historical Society. Today I was working on newspaper clippings and came across a story done in 1997 by Art Edelstein, probably for the Times Argus, about the Vermont Oat Company that operated for a few years on Cabot Plain. They produced Eric & Andy's oatmeal - I'm sure some of you will remember that. It cost considerably more than regular commercial oatmeal, and was one of the first "organic" Vermont products from our area. I think it's safe to say they were organic before it became synonymous with Vermont-made products. The oatmeal was decidedly different in consistency and taste than what we were used to, and I liked it very much. I'm not sure how many years they operated, but partner Andy Leinoff once told me they couldn't get enough organically grown oats to supply the operation and stay profitable. They grew some on the land Andy owns that used to belong to my Grandfather Bolton - the oatmeal factory, or mill, was built on the high hill above the farm, on the south side of the lane that separated two very large pastures. On the north side, overlooking Joe's Pond, is where Andy built a rather large house. The house and mill are still there, but the mill has been silent for years. That was a complete surprise to me when I complained a few years ago to someone that I wished they wouldn't run that darned mill at night when I was trying to get to sleep, and was told the mill hadn't operated "for at least two years." Well, I still hear that darned mill - but now I know it's tinnitus humming like a motor in the night. With nobody to blame, I now try to think of it as "white noise" that lulls me to sleep. Speaking of which . . . it's time to turn off the computer and listen for the ghostly hum of the oatmeal factory that's no longer there.