From Your Neck of the Woods… Our readers reminisce on life in Vermont.
Nancy Thompson Lundy, Peru
My parents build our pink chalet on Route 11. I have memories of an idyllic childhood in 1950s Peru – camping out; Bromley, summer romps in the woods; Johnny Seesaw’s; snow drifts; card games; fast caps; cows in the meadow; the Wild Boar; skiing home on the logging trail; Kelton General Store; lace-up ski boots; Sig Buchmayr’s ski shop; swimming in Hapgood Pond; howling winds and crackling fires; blizzards; and the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. I am the fifth generation in my family, still living the dream!
Linda McGinnis, Dorset
I first fell in love with Vermont in the early 90s. During my 20 years of inn-keeping at Barrows House, I often told my guests that at Creation, God’s hand lingered longer over Vermont than most other places. I still believe that. Knowing that I live in one of the safest and healthiest parts of our country is great, but it doesn’t even begin to tell the story. Now, in semi-retirement, why stay? I can’t even count the reasons. As much as I was attracted to southern Vermont, it has gotten better, thanks to generous people and inspired vision. Dorset Playhouse was renovated and expanded; Riley Rink was built; SVAC gained the Hugh Newell Jacobson building; the Manchester Community Library offers us amazing events and programs, Long Trail School continues to grow and improve. There are always issues, and the taxes are too high. All of Bennington County is a treasure the whole country should model to offer options for its residents. Our choices are amazing. At this stage of life, I am free to experience all the events I used to encourage my guests to enjoy while I worked. The most important reason I’ve stayed is the people I’ve met here. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.
Deanna Peaslee, Pownal
My favorite childhood memory is of going to my grandparent’s on Christmas eve, and to my Dad’s parents on Chirstmas day to get together with cousins. Sometimes there was so much snow that we didn’t know if we would get from East Pownal to home in South Pownal. Dad would say. “Sit heavy!”
If we wanted to get together with friends, we would have to walk and meet them; it was a little over two miles one way. My sister and I took home economics and sewed a lot of our own clothes. The weather had to be below zero before we could wear pants to school, and we had to take them off when we got there.
Being brought up on a dairy farm, we were always kept very busy. When young, my sister Bernice and I fed the calves, and hay to the cows in the winter. We would take turns – one would throw the hay down and the other would spread it. As we got older, we had to carry pails of milk to the milk house, which was separate from the barn. When the 55-gallon cans were full, we would get our father or grandfather to hoist them into the cooling tank. In the summer, we had to unload the hay from the wagon to the elevator. When I turned 12, I learned how to drive the tractor. I wasn’t fond of all we had to do as kids, but as I got married, I didn’t think it was such a bad life.
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