If there's anyone here at Joe's Pond who thought we might escape bitter weather altogether this year, they are back in reality today. After the rain diminished our snow pack considerably, the temperature dropped and we got snow. I measured three inches of new snow this morning and six inches at the stake out back. Still way below normal for this time of the year, but today is showing up as a very typical January day - snow in the air, lots of wind shifting the landscape into mounds and swirls, and even though there's sun, it's pitifully weak and the thermometer is reading 10 degrees above zero, but wind chill must be well below zero. I haven't decided which way the wind is blowing, and can't tell how fast. My little anemometer up on the roof is frozen in place, useless for the time being, but I'm estimating the wind is at least 10 m.p.h. so wind chill would be nine below zero. There are more whirlygigs than straight blowing snow at the back of our house, so it's hard to tell which direction the wind is coming from, but I suspect it is straight out of the north - Canada! The top picture is when a gust along West Shore Road hit the trees in front of our house and the second picture shows it blowing through. On the southeast side of the house it's a bit more protected, but you can see (bottom picture) the snow is blowing through the woods beyond our lawn, near the Encarnacion place, now owned by Kate and Jay Chatot. I enjoy the wind - within reason. I don't like being out in it when it's this cold, so I'm debating whether I'll do my usual walk up Jamie and Marie's driveway at noon.
I had a short e-mail from Shelly Walker this morning to tell us her dad, Don, fell on New Year's Eve and broke his left femur. He will be unable to drive for about two months, so is feeling very penned in, she said. Don will be 89 on February 8th, but he's always so active, I can understand his frustration. I'm sure he'd like to hear from Joe's Pond friends - he's not on line, so drop him a card and a note the old fashioned way, hand written. Send it to: Don Walker, 245 Towne Hill Rd., Montpelier VT 05602, or give him a call, 802-223-2484. I know he'll be happy to hear from you. Mark your calendar, too, so you can send him birthday greetings in February.
Some of you know Don and Audry (1739 W Shore Rd) from their many years spending summers here at the pond. They were our neighbors for many years when we lived on the pond, and our kids grew up together. Don and Audry were active in JPA, meetings, sailing, social gatherings, and Don was one of the founders of the Joe's Pond Ice Out Contest. Every year he has distributed tickets for us to various outlets in and around Montpelier.
This fall, Don and Audry turned the cottage on West Shore Rd. over to their older daughter, Michelle - affectionately known to us as "Shell," or "Shelly," and she is in the process of building a new year around home there. It was sad, of course, to see the old cottage being taken down, but time had taken a toll and many of us have had the experience of trying to rehab an older cottage for year around living and know that can eat up lots of time and money and is never-ending. Shell's new house will be beautiful, and she says she can't wait to be a year-around Joe's Ponder. We will be very happy to have her here, too. She told me the carpenters plan to put the windows in place in the new house today. That will be a big relief for them to get the place somewhat closed in - this winter weather must be difficult to work in without some shelter, and the wind has been whipping from all directions, so even though they are somewhat protected by the hill by Chatot Road, I bet it's bitterly cold working there.
Here's some good news: We are making real progress with the history of West Danville project. We have stepped up our meetings and have begun actual writing. We are looking for input from anyone who might like to be a part of this history. John Moore (3918 Rt. 2W, above Edgewood Ave.) has given permission for us to include two articles he did for the North Star some 25 years ago about the geological formation of Joe's Pond. We're excited about that.
We hope to include information from others who have written articles or would like to write something for us about the history of the pond or West Danville community. This would include published articles, family stories, poetry or personal musings. We cannot guarantee everything sent to us will be included in the book, but we will definitely find a place for as much as possible, and you will be given full credit. It doesn't have to be something very old - we would be
interested in comparisons of how things may have changed in the more
recent years of your memory, or a particular event that stands out in
your mind - a drowning, accident, fire, storm, gathering, or newspaper
clippings you may have saved. The best way we can capture the more
recent history is from your memories/stories.
I know there are lots of
you who have these stories, so jot them down. Don't worry about spelling, punctuation or writing style - we'll edit or quote to
fit whatever is appropriate into our narrative. Please send submissions to me: e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org; or regular mail, Jane Brown, 640 W. Shore Rd, Cabot VT 05647. I hope to have a whole mailbox full of personal memories come in the next few days/weeks from people associated in some way to Joe's Pond or West Danville. If you have questions, get in touch with me by e-mail or phone (802-563-2381), or with Jane Larrabee, Dot Larrabee or Patty Conley the other members of the committee. We will be writing and editing throughout the next few months. Please send anything you have as soon as possible, or contact one of us to let us know you are considering sending something for us to use.