Thursday, October 14, 2021

Catching Up and Falling Leaves

 The rain came late last night and has been fairly steady, but light, most of today. I have watched sadly as the leaves came off my maple trees in waves. I so hate to see them go. It has been unusually colorful right around my house

this year and I've enjoyed sitting on my porch and just looking at the beauty of it all. Photos don't do it justice, except perhaps this one - right in front of my big windows and visible from both the front deck and the side porch! By tomorrow it will probably be bare.

Joanne Stewart sent me this link to a WCAX newscast that I found really interesting - if a little frustrating. I should probably play it again to be certain, but I don't recall Joe's Pond being mentioned even once, yet the majority of the photos are shots of and around the pond. Perhaps they just pulled the most colorful and interesting fall photos they have gathered and used them. Who knows! Check it out (video clip).

Nancy Buttura let me know that the cottage that is being redone on Edgewood Ave. is the one that John Sherwood used to own and now the property belongs to Cynthia Donlon, I believe. Martin Bertolini is doing that project. On Barre Ave, Larry Rossi's guys are doing Rubalcaba's. Thanks for that update, Nancy.

I had a note from Pam and Joe Buttura this week letting me know their son Chris and his wife, Lisa ran in the Boston Marathon. Pam wrote: We were in Boston for the Marathon Saturday. Lisa ran for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and raised over $20,000. We are so proud of them. She sent this photo of Chris and Lisa. Well done, Chris and Lisa!

I drove around some of the roads here at the pond yesterday and it seems very quiet. There are a few people still around, but most have left, or are in the process of closing up for the winter. A few will delay going south until after Thanksgiving - or perhaps even after Christmas, but for the most part, those that are not year 'rounders, want to leave before the first snowflake falls. I can't say that I blame them, although I don't mind the winter coming myself. 

One last reminder - some of you will already know this, but Sunday, October 17, is Alba Rossi's 105th birthday. You might like to send her a card. Her address is: Lincoln House, Rm. 11, 120 Hill St., Barre VT 05641. For those of you who don't know Alba, she and her husband, Ted, were summer residents here at Joe's Pond for many years where her son Bill and Diane's house is on West Shore Road. Happy Birthday, Alba!!!

Monday, October 11, 2021

 Well, my birthday celebrating is over with, but it was a great weekend-long event, and I got to spend time with friends and family, and had messages and cards from a lot of others from away. Except for my sons and their families, all of my remaining living relatives are living in other states, spread across the nation from California to Texas and the East Coast. I love 'em all, but I seldom hear from them because we all have busy lives and expanding families that take up our time and thoughts. So it was great fun to hear from some of my cousins.

My family hadn't been able to find a time when everyone was free until yesterday - and

even then, Tangeni had to rush off to a special dance rehearsal for a Halloween program she will be part of with her dance class. However, before we ate, everyone pitched in to take care of my "to-do" list. They disposed of a tree that had blown over during a recent wind storm; planted the forsythia bush in memory of Fred I've been waiting to get into the ground until the porch and pond were finished; took care of a set of tires I no longer need; and did a few other minor tasks I wanted taken care of before winter. We paused for a few minutes to get

some photos on the back lawn - me and my three sons above, and then one of all the women in the family except granddaughter, Jo-Ann who is in college in Texas. (We missed you, Jo-Jo!!)

One of the boys found this old photo taken when they were kids at camp at Joe's Pond, and had it repaired and a copy framed for my birthday. Gee, that seems several lifetimes

ago. So much time has passed and so much has changed. I'm sure their dad had been coaching them on water skis - starting them off as young as possible. Nobody looked very happy about whatever was going on. Jamie, in the middle was probably just doing what he was told - he seems to have a snorkel in his hand - I don't think he was water skiing then, but he could have been. The picture has a place on the kitchen wall, and I smile whenever I pass by.

When the work was finished, we sat down to enjoy Papa Tirozzio's pizza and topped it off with an absolutely delicious gelato cake. It was great fun and we were all stuffed. I don't remember ever having that much fun celebrating my birthday before. Birthdays have always been ok, but I never particularly wanted to celebrate another year passing, I guess. However, it had been something like two years since our family had all been together at the same time. We had a great time catching up, and I didn't have to do a thing except be there and enjoy! I loved it! That's one of the benefits of being older than dirt, I guess.

Here's a little Joe's Pond news: Nancy Buttura sent me these two photos of a place on Edgewood Ave. that has been torn down and replaced. I'm sure I heard whose cottage that is, but I don't recall, and Nancy didn't say. Maybe someone will recognize the photos and let me know. 

Nancy also sent a photo of the Rubalcaba re-do on Barre Avenue (below). I posted a photo a while back taken the day that the old cottage came down. Thanks to Nancy for these shots.

This is really good weather for working outside. Randy is here today with his assistant, Mark, and will finish up the porch. I'm very pleased everything, it all looks great. I may post some photos later. The foliage is beautiful around the pond and I spend every moment I can on the porch.  The weather has had a bit of a chill to it recently and unless the sun is shining brightly, it's too cold to be comfortable sitting on the porch for very long. I've bundled up and sat out there just because it's a great place to contemplate nature from, but as soon as the sun drops behind the hill, I have to give it up and get inside. That hillside is a wonderful air cooler during hot summer evenings. I rarely find it too hot at night because cool air slides down from Cabot Plain like it was coming out of a refrigerator. I'm not sure why; perhaps it's because of the large expanse of trees, springs, and ledges keep the air so cool, but whatever it is, it's appreciated in the summer. Not so much right now, though, when I'd like to enjoy a glass of wine on the porch before dinner. By 4:30 or so, it's time to head inside! Cocktail hour has to be advanced a tad, I guess, or I need to resign myself to being indoors.


Sunday, October 10, 2021

Autumn Colors

 It seems the colors are flooding over us here in the north country. The trees are blooming and the sun has been beautiful for several days. Today was a little cloudy and definitely a bit chilly, but still, that's what fall is all about. The colors run from yellows, copper and bright reds to somber browns and, in some places, deep green. Not all the trees are turning at once and there is a lovely display just about wherever one looks. Friday I went to Hardwick to pick up more of the stain I'm using on the wood for my porch, and there was very nice color along the way, especially along Brickett's Crossing Road. 

Joanne Stewart sent me a link to last night's WCAX newscast showing foliage and beautiful scenery right here at West Danville and Joe's Pond. You can see that in one shot a tour bus stopped by the sign at what used to be Injun Joe's Cabins, across from Point Comfort. The drone shots are very nice.

I didn't see the news last night - I was busy celebrating my birthday. It was a very busy day for me between phone calls, email messages, cards and visits from family and friends. It was very nice, and tomorrow my family will be here to celebrate with me. I'm looking forward to extending my "birthday" into a "birthday weekend." It's all good!

Thank you, everyone, for your birthday wishes - cards, calls, emails and visits. I loved hearing from so many friends and far-away family members. This was, as many mentioned, "a big one" and like I've said before, I'm having a really hard time wrapping my mind around it, but I like to think it really is only a number and so what if I don't feel this old. That's a good thing, and I'm going to hold onto it as long as I can. I'm very fortunate to be in reasonably good health and able to live my life much as I always have, doing the things I most enjoy with people I appreciate and love. I should add - in a place I dearly love and am thankful for every day. Who wouldn't want to live in the beautiful countryside of rural Vermont? and I get to do it close to my childhood home! It doesn't get much better.

Speaking of beautiful places, take a look at this photo of Pearl's Island, taken by Gretchen Farnsworth. It was taken a few mornings ago as the fog was lifting from  the pond. Fall mornings will often produce low fog for a while. Then the sun begins to filter through and it lifts. The water is usually like a mirror - still and reflective, as it shows here. Nice shot, Gretchen, and thank you for sharing it with us.

The book committee is working to get the chapters indexed. I've mentioned before that this is a new process for all of us, our editor included, so we are sort of feeling our way and learning as we go. It is a meticulous process; but also subjective. We know we need to include names of families, individuals and places; but then there are some proper names that are mentioned only in passing, that are not important to the stories, and that nobody is going to be looking for. We have to make individual decisions as we move along. And that is sometimes difficult as in some cases, each of us has a different opinion. We are working it out, though.

I am also trying to reach out to people who have asked me through Facebook to put their name on our "wish list" as being interested in purchasing the book when it is available. I'm doing that, but in some cases, I don't have all their contact information so I am having to reach out to them. Facebook is not a very familiar medium for me. I've had an account for quite a long time, but rarely go there and hadn't posted to it in years until I put information about our book on last week. I immediately got a slew of responses, and now I'm having to deal with them! I'm happy so many people are interested in the book, and I'll make every effort to reach out to those I need more information from, but it is taking a bit of time.

The book will be coming out just before the holidays and we are concerned that the mail these days is already slow and sometimes not very reliable; and with the holiday rush, it will only be worse. We are hoping that by having people already signed up for the book, we will have contact information so we can get their orders off to them very quickly. We don't want delays to occur on our end, and hope that by the holidays the postal service will have ironed out whatever it is that has them boondoggled right now. 

Some days we have no mail delivery where I live. I'm told it's because there isn't always a carrier available. I wouldn't mind so much if I knew that there would be no deliveries on, say, Wednesdays and Saturdays; what I don't like is never knowing if there's mail in the box or not, or if the outgoing mail I've put in the box will be picked up or not. I guess I like structure. And reliability. Whatever happened to "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds"?

Enjoy the lovely fall weather, stay safe, wherever you are, and be kind to one another.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

New Hydrant

 This is good news - work was in progress today to install a "dry hydrant" by the bridge near Ned and Carolyn Hamilton's on West Shore Road. We talked about this back in the spring, but the town wanted to wait until fall to do the installation, when the area wasn't quite as busy, I expect. The water source is the brook (and ultimately Joe's Pond), so there should be plenty available, should it be needed. 

I snapped this photo when I came by late this afternoon. I believe the hydrant will go between the two posts you see here, just south of the bridge. That is the Hamilton's garage you can see on the other side of the brook.

It may not seem like a very important event, but for the growing number of people who live here at the pond year around, it is a very important addition to the community. In spite of being close to the pond, in the winter it is nearly impossible to get water quickly and easily. Now, water will always be available and all the firemen need to do in an emergency is to connect to the hydrant. The water source is there, under the ice and easily available! 

A big thank you to Cabot Fire Chief, "Skip" Bothfeld for following through on this project. We should also thank Carolyn and Ned Hamilton for working with Skip to find a suitable location for the hydrant. It is close to the bridge, on the town's right of way, but it is also kind of front and center to Carolyn and Ned's property.

It's chilly again tonight - a good night to stay by the fire and read or watch a good show on TV. I will probably do a bit of both - if I can stay awake, that is. I have gotten into a really annoying habit of falling asleep, usually during the news or a show that I really want to watch. I usually try to record my favorite shows because I know I'm likely to drop off and miss most of whatever. My go-to fix for that is to get myself a snack when I begin to feel drowsy; but I know that is not a good solution - and my expanding waistline confirms that! I have learned not to hold my cup of tea for any length of time, though. I have to either drink it or put it down, otherwise, I run the risk of spilling it in my lap. Not a pretty sight!

My main problem, I think, is that I'm in an unfortunate cycle. I fall asleep watching TV, then, when I wake up I am refreshed and rarin' to go, so I head for my computer and without fail, get distracted by emails, a project, or Solitaire - and therefore I end up not going to bed until sometimes the wee hours. And I generally wake up at about the same time each morning, regardless of when I got to bed, so consequently, I probably don't get enough sleep. Although, I tell myself that the naps I have probably make up for my crazy late-night hours. Oh, well, I'll work it out.

Monday, October 04, 2021

 Yesterday morning I was going to settle in to watch "Sunday Morning" on CBS in between doing loads of laundry, which seems to be my Sunday work schedule these days. After I finished my morning coffee, I went into my office to check my email Lo and behold, I had a bunch of emails from our book editor, each with a couple of chapters of the book ready to be indexed - 10 chapters all told, or about 1/3 of the total chapters in the book.

The indexing process is completely new and foreign to me, so I asked a few questions and then dove in. It is time consuming, but kind of interesting. It's like I'm reading the book in fast forward as I'm scanning each page for words with capital letters. I was surprised at some of the information I'd forgotten already, so it was pretty interesting. Fortunately, I had already started loads of washing, otherwise I would no doubt have been glued to the computer for the entire day without moving, except perhaps for lunch. As it was, I had to run down to the basement to check the washer and dryer from time to time, so I actually got a fair amount of exercise. I was able to go through eight chapters - almost 50 pages. Not bad for a start!

It was a good day to be cooped up inside. Cool and drizzly. I felt sorry for the people at the Autumn on the Green in Danville. That must have been a less than comfortable day hanging out manning those booths. Today's weather has been much the same. I actually took a walk at around noon time. I'd been sitting at the computer for a good part of the morning, working on the last two chapters, and felt I needed to stretch my legs and get some fresh air. I don't think we had much, if any, rain today, but we did have fog and no sunshine. The warm house felt good when I returned. Today I finished chapters 9 & 10, another 25 pages, and I'm ready for the next batch.

So I went from nothing to do to having a full plate. That is always how things happen, I think. It's either "feast or famine." Late this afternoon, Jamie came by to see if he could get the water line to my pond going again. The flow had slowed and then stopped about a week ago, but we had no clue why. Jamie attached my garden hose to the hose from the spring above the house that had been running into the pond, and turned on the water full force. That seemed to clear things out, and now the water is running nicely again. We still don't know what was going on, but Jamie thinks loosened sediment from the old pipe was probably the culprit. Hopefully, it is flushed out now and it will be ok now. 

After being outside with Jamie this afternoon, my warm house felt awfully good when I got back inside. I am finished on my computer for the day now, and will turn on the TV to catch up on the news. I don't pay much attention to television when I have something more interesting to do. The news isn't all that interesting anyway - but I like to try to keep up with what's happening. And then there's the weather - I like to know what's in store for us weatherwise. Not that we can do anything about it, but it's always good to be prepared!

Saturday, October 02, 2021

Dreary Days and Old Timer Thoughts

 I thought we were going to have some sunshine today! I'm disappointed that the weather has turned on us, especially since there are festivities planned in many of our Vermont towns to celebrate the foliage season, including Autumn on the Green tomorrow.

I picked up turkey dinners in Cabot last evening. It was a bit chaotic at first until they got organized, but I was one of the first to arrive at the pickup station and within a few minutes, I had my dinners and was on my way home. And what great dinners they were! And so much food - all for $10. I actually bought an extra one to keep in my freezer for some night when I needed a pick-me-up. I ate every bit of mine last night but after seeing how much food there was, I decided this morning I would avoid that "over-stuffed" feeling make that extra meal into two very adequate dinners. I have several containers from frozen dinners I've purchased in the past, and those hold just the right amount of food for a meal. Now I have two frozen turkey dinners to look forward to. 

I heard good reports about the activities that were going on in Cabot yesterday. Lots of people had enjoyed visiting the Art Barn at the historic Dr. Wiswell home just beyond the gymnasium on Main Street. That will be open today and tomorrow, so if you are looking for something to do on a cold, rainy day, that might be a good choice. It is in the carriage barn of that beautiful Victorian home on Main Street in Cabot. There are plenty of signs to direct you.

I was chatting with an old friend yesterday about his family connections here in Cabot. He  has lived all his life (over 90 years) in Walden, and went to Cabot High School when I was a student there. He asked about some of my neighbors that are gone now, but who had retired here from "away." I found myself indicating various locations by names most people have forgotten, but he remembered. Some of the families he hadn't known well, but others were actually well known to him - or even relatives. We realized that there are few people left who remember those old names - or that the land where new houses have popped up in recent years was once well-tended, productive farm land. There are no active dairy farms between me and Route 215 - or for several miles in any direction from here, as far as I know. There are still dairy farms in the East Cabot, West Hill and perhaps Lower Cabot sections of town - and probably some mini-farms where people are raising a few chickens, pigs or goats, but no large dairy herds. There are probably some others, but I'm not familiar with them.

Families are still intertwined somewhat, but there are more people arriving here from other states every year, putting down roots and some are even trying their hand at raising a few animals or crops. It's good to see the land being used again and homes appearing near the foundations of neighborhood buildings that have long since disappeared.

There are few left of the Maynard, Gamble, Foster, Barnett, Harrington and Stone families who lived on Cabot Plain in the 1930s when I was growing up there. But I remember them as part of a thriving farm neighborhood; and their children that I went to school with were my friends and playmates. I hope the children who will grow up in the new homes being established here now have similar fond memories, but they won't have the close relationships I had from attending a one-room school that was the center of our community, or the advantage of being in the same school room with kids of all ages. Times have certainly changed, but like they say, "Everything old is new again," so perhaps one day one-room schools bonding smaller communities together may be the new trend in education in Vermont. Probably not, but from my perspective, and that of my old friend, it might just be the answer to a lot of the problems we face these days.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Friday, Oct. 1, is Fall Foliage Day in Cabot!


Suddenly it's here! Fall Foliage Day in Cabot with plans for all kinds of activities, mostly outdoors, to show off artisans' talents, the colors on the hillsides, and all the goodies the area has to offer during the next several days.

We'll hope the weather is good tomorrow. I think it is forecast to be a bit warmer than today, with more sunshine, but there still may be some showers. I probably won't be attending any of the activities in town, but I plan to head down to Burtt's Apple Orchard to pick up some cider, and will get take-out turkey dinners. The turkey dinners in Cabot are usually super good. They are probably made with Bothfeld's Dunstable Farms turkeys that are grown on West Hill in Cabot, and the cooks in Cabot know how to put these meals together perfectly. 

I had friends visiting yesterday who have a son living in Switzerland. They told me a whole turkey costs about $100 there right now. That is a lot. Everything is getting out of proportion these days. Prices are high, but there are also things you simply cannot get. Not only that, I have had problems even getting service people lately. I called Bourne's about a small problem with my boiler today and was shuttled from a live person (who couldn't help me) to someone else where I had to leave a message (no option to wait) and who apparently was too busy all day to call me back. I guess if it had been an emergency, it would have been different, but still. I've gotten used to having to endure loud and lousy music while waiting endlessly for someone to talk with me on the phone, but this is the first time I felt I was shuttled aside completely and will probably never get a call=back. I will call again tomorrow and try to talk with one of the installers. Wish me luck with that!!

Isn't it funny how things seem to happen in bunches? For the last couple of weeks, I've been sort of coasting, doing short stints of last-minute details on the history book and waiting for Randy to bring me the rest of the strapping so I can put finish on it. Yesterday I found out we are going to be indexing the book, which is a huge job none of us has ever done before, and while I was adjusting my mind around that, Randy pulls in with the strapping for me to polyurethane. I decided the garage was too cool to work comfortably in, and this weather wasn't good for drying, so I took the big bundle into the basement so I could do it there. While I was moving things around to get set up, I noticed water around the base of the boiler, and discovered there is a little leak in the exhaust. With the boiler working more in the cooler weather, I'm guessing there is more condensation in that exhaust pipe and something isn't quite tight. I don't think it is serious, but it is troubling. So I have a bunch of stuff I need to take care of all of a sudden. That's life, I guess. 

Get out and enjoy the colors - they are developing more each day - some areas are very pretty, but I don't think we have hit peak quite yet - or perhaps this isn't going to be a really brilliant year for foliage. The next few days will tell the story. At least the weather is supposed to warm up a bit, and that is good news. October can be a very pretty and enjoyable month, but it's hard to predict these days. We've certainly been cooler than usual these past several days. Mt. Washington had snow flurries, but as far as I know, the rest of New England was spared. I can wait to see snow flakes in the air!


Catching Up and Falling Leaves

  The rain came late last night and has been fairly steady, but light, most of today. I have watched sadly as the leaves came off my maple t...