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“Quality of Life, Spirit of Place”

 

Vermont Views Magazine

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Recent

Features,

Articles

&

Columns


Meanderings

February thermoplasticity

Charles Monette


Finnish Fandango

SAFETY IN NUMBERS?

Anneli Karniala


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Lessons We Must Learn

Jeri Rose


SCREENplay

Stan and Ollie

Lawrence Klepp


in between

What In your Life

is Calling You?

Julia Ferarri


Love In Action

ElizaVanGoghbeth

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

Kairos

Phil Innes


Write Walk

The Newfane Hill

Walking Club

Susan Cruickshank


Write On!

Unpacking Weaponized Masculinity

Greg Hessel


Vermont Diary

Five Chill Words


From The Archive

Evolution of democracy from economy to ecology


Water’s Edge

Ruminations on Kale

Nicola Metcalf


Vermont Diary

490 — a Record!


Vermont Diary

Caravanserai


Write Walk

Auld Lang Syne

Susan Cruickshank


Monkey’s Cloak

Ultima thule

Charles Monette


Open Mind

Transcultural Awareness Dining

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

A Ladybug’s New Year

Elizabeth Hill


An A-musing Life

One Moment, Please

Nanci Bern


Open Mind

Secret Voting in Congress, The Answer to the Gridlock

Offie Wortham


FOODISH

Scandinavian Christmas Dishes

Feature Article

Anneli Karniala


Vermont Diary

Newz and the perennial season


Meanderings

Sunday quiet

Charles Monette


Finnish Fandango

WHAT'S THE RUSH?

Anneli Karniala


in between

An Encroaching Lawlessness

Julia Ferarri


Water’s Edge

Morning on the Mountain

Nicola Metcalf


Old Lady Blog

For the gardener who is gone

Toni Ortner


Meanderings

Moments of Silence

Charles Monette


Write Walk

Shower Etiquette

Susan Cruickshank


Love In Action

Choosing Hope

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

Walls Have Ears

Alan Rayner


SCREENplay

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Lawrence Klepp


Water’s Edge

Italian Impressions

Nicola Metcalf


Urban Naturalist

An Austere Hogle Sanctuary Sleeps in Beneath a Chill Sunday Morning Sun

Lloyd Graf


Write Walk

Apple Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Susan Cruickshank


Open Mind

Why do we really have a drug problem in Vermont?

Offie Wortham


SCREENplay

Colette

Lawrence Klepp


Love In Action

Of Home

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

a rainbow swirling jet stream

Charles Monette


Finnish Fandango

Apple-bobbing and Remembering the Dead

Anneli Karniala


An A-musing Life

Witch Hat To Wear

Nanci Bern


Write On!

TYRANT!

Phil Innes


The First Glass

TEXAS TOAST, VOLUNTEERING FOR BETO — Parts I & 2

Vincent Panella


Vermont Diary

Has Bean Has Travelled


Meanderings

Apache foggy morning

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Spiritual Smorgasbord for Soul Sisters

Elizabeth Hill


Finnish Fandango

BUT (YOU SAY) IT'S ONLY A BOOK !

Anneli Karniala


Write Walk

Where’s the Gravy?

Susan Cruickshank


Vermont Diary

Twelve Good Men


World & US Energy News

Just one day in the energy life of the planet

September 2018

George Harvey


Selected Letters

Why I chose to look ugly, and the reasoning behind it.

Susan Polgar


SCREENplay

The Wife

Lawrence Klepp


FOODISH

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Dates and Balsamic Vinegar

Feature Article


Finnish Fandango

Got Milk? --

Not this kind, you don't!

Anneli Karniala


The First Glass

Typewriter days

Vincent Panella


Meanderings

Beyond the bees

Charles Monette


Old Lady Blog

Focused Light from a Different Star


Part 1 Self Portrait Frida Kahlo 1940

Creation of the Birds


Part 2 Remedios Varo 1958


Part 3 Join, Elizabeth Murray, 1980


Part 4 IXI by Susan Rothenberg 1977


Part 5 The Artist’s Wife in the Garden at Skagen 1893


Part 6 Gathering Paradise, Sandy Skoglund, 1991,

color Cibachrome photograph


Part 7 The Savage Sparkler, Alice Aycock, 1981, steel, sheet metal, heating coils, florescent lights, motors and fans

Toni Ortner


Water’s Edge

A Touch is All it Takes

Nicola Metcalf


Write Walk

Ladies I Need Your Help

Susan Cruickshank


Gallery One

#1 Sennen

#2 Surfing at Portreath

#3 Air Mail?

#4 Tall Ship at the Brixham Pirate Fest

#5 You can’t have a pirate ship without pirates

Anne Lenten, Ed.


Love In Action

Rainbow Connections

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

Woodier


Urban Naturalist

Blink little fire-beetle, flash and glimmer

Lloyd Graf


yore

Gardner Motor Cars

Feature Article


Monkey’s Cloak

You Can’t Do That

Charles Monette


Selected Letters

How To Evaporate Hate?

Black Panther meets Klansman

Offie Wortham and Curtiss Reed Jr.


in between

Losing the Garden

Julia Ferarri


Write Walk EXTRA

Rabid Fan & Conversion

Susan Cruickshank


Finnish Fandango

Crossing The Finnish Line

Anneli Karniala


Meanderings

The Blazing Sun

Charles Monette


Love In Action

To Have a Piece of Cake

Elizabeth Hill


Write Walk

Is that You Aunt Helen?

Susan Cruickshank


An A-musing Life

Letting if flow

Nanci Bern


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Lessons We Must Learn

Jeri Rose


Monkey’s Cloak

hell to swelter

Charles Monette


The First Glass

Sleeping With Herodotus

Vincent Panella


Water’s Edge

Maine morning

Nicola Metcalf


Selected Letters

How Can an Educated Person be Poor in Our Affluent Society?

Anonymous


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

“Thus, I was of the opinion...”

Jeri Rose


Open Mind

Affirmative Action should be based on Need not Race!

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

Mother and Child

Elizabeth Hill


SCREENplay

Ten Minute Plays

Lawrence Klepp


Meanderings

Understory vines

Charles Monette


An A-musing Life

Of hippos and their snacks

Nanci Bern


Write Walk

I See You

Susan Cruickshank


Love In Action

Fifty Years of Gratitude in One Beautiful Weekend

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

Don’t free Tibet, yet


Monkey’s Cloak

to Mother Teresa

András Adorján


Selected Letters

Compassion is volunteering to feed the hungry

Jane Southworth


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Perfect

Jeri Rose


in between

Searching For All the Moments We Put on Hold

Julia Ferarri


Open Mind

So what is Donald Trump

Offie Wortham


Write Walk

Fake News & Side-Seams

Susan Cruickshank


Write On!

In Light of Pee

Nicola Metcalf


Love In Action

May Hem at 510

Elizabeth Hill


Old Lady Blog

Horoscope & Water Wars

Toni Ortner


Meanderings

Here comes the sun

Charles Monette


Monkey’s Cloak

I set myself afire

Charles Monette


Write Walk

barking soliloquies

Susan Cruickshank


SCREENplay

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Lawrence Klepp


Love In Action

Blooming through the gloaming

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

Ode to a Goddess

Charles Monette


Open Mind

Black Man/Black Panther

Offie Wortham


Meanderings

Peaceful

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Shawabty and Snowdrops

Elizabeth Hill


SCREENplay

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Lawrence Klepp


Monkey’s Cloak

I’ll stay here till I get here

Charles Monette


Old Lady Blog

Writer and Agent

Toni Ortner


Vermont Diary

The American Way


Guest Column

Covered Bridge Cathedral

Susan Cruickshank


SCREENplay

The Darkest Hour

Lawrence Klepp


Love In Action

Not So Plain Jane

Elizabeth Hill


An A-musing Life

The Resolution Revolution

Nanci Bern


Write Walk

The Man on Newfane Hill

Susan Cruickshank


Guest Article

LETTERS FROM CUBA — 15

Some sentences from Cuba

Mac Gander


Guest Article

LETTERS FROM CUBA — 13

What’s time to a shoat?

Shanta Lee Gander


Open Mind

“Social Relationships”

Offie Wortham


Monkey’s Cloak

Untitled

Phil Innes


Vermont Diary

Like a Dan Shore Report


Love In Action

My Weekend with Lenny

Elizabeth Hill


The First Glass

This Poet Walks Into A Bar...

Vincent Panella


SCREENplay

Lady Bird

Lawrence Klepp


Monkey’s Cloak

Whither the storm?

Todd Vincent Crosby


Urban Naturalist

“...spanning 6 1/2 to 7 feet”

Lloyd Graf


Vermont Diary

Women,

you can’t get there from here


Selected Letters

Who do fools fall in love — Letter from a friend

Offie Wortham


Open Mind

Multiculturalism is the opposite of Integration

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

The Fruitcake Caper

Elizabeth Hill


in between

OUR EXPECTATIONS

Julia Ferarri


An A-musing Life

Cut To The Core

Nanci Bern


Monkey’s Cloak

75 at tea

Todd Vincent Crosby


SCREENplay

Wonderstruck

Lawrence Klepp


Monkey’s Cloak

All souls’ elegy

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Little Miss Buster

Elizabeth Hill


Old Lady Blog

Gapstow Bridge

Toni Ortner


Urban Naturalist

A Slow Day at Hogle Sanctuary is Salvaged by a Furry Visitor's Aquatic Star Turn

Lloyd Graf


Monkey’s Cloak

You cancelled your vacation

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Thay

Elizabeth Hill


Meanderings

Light footprints

Charles Monette


An A-musing Life

A Remembrance of Yom Kippur Angels and the Dancing Rabbi

Nanci Bern


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Bread and Circuses 

Jeri Rose


The First Glass

DEMOLITION

Vincent Panella


Urban Naturalist

Nighthawks

Lloyd Graf


SCREENplay

Wind River

Lawrence Klepp


Old Lady Blog

A Cross By The Sea

Toni Ortner


Love In Action

A Man Named Shin

Elizabeth Hill


Guest Article

Highland Fling

A series of articles, part 3

Tyndrum

Alan Rayner


Meanderings

Full Circle Meander

Charles Monette


Selected Letters

A Rational Solution to our Dilemma in Afghanistan.

Offie Wortham


An A-musing Life

Charlottesville

The Heart of the Serpent

Nanci Bern


Monkey’s Cloak

Malvern Hill

Charles Monette


SCREENplay

Dunkirk

Lawrence Klepp


Open Mind

So Who Came

To Your Funeral?

Offie Wortham


Monkey’s Cloak

Cicero’s Hands

Mike Murray


Open Mind

2030 — a short story

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

How To Fold A Presby Cap

Elizabeth Hill


Meanderings

A July summer’s midday morn

Charles Monette


in between

Reflection

Julia Ferarri


An A-musing Life

The Art of Flight

Nanci Bern


Vermont Diary

For The Birds


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Jumping Through Time

in My Life

Jeri Rose


Love In Action

Baby Buddha

Elizabeth Hill


Open Mind

A Transcultural Awareness Experience

Offie Wortham


Old Lady Blog

A Blackbird with Snow Covered Red Hills 1946

for Georgia O’Keefe

Toni Ortner


Monkey’s Cloak

overflowingly so

Charles Monette


The First Glass

John Dante’s Inferno,

A Playboy’s Life -

by Anthony Valerio

Vincent Panella


Love In Action

From the Hands

of Our Fathers

Elizabeth Hill


SCREENplay

Their Finest

Lawrence Klepp


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Rights and privileges 

Jeri Rose


Open Mind

Does Lifestyle Matter more than Race?

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

Robin in the rain

Elizabeth Hill


The First Glass

Luck

Vincent Panella


Vermont Diary

Change of Season


Selected Letters

Immigrants in Vermont

Philip B. Scott, Governor


Old Lady Blog

The language I speak

is a language of grief

Toni Ortner


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Tarnished Gold

Jeri Rose


Monkey’s Cloak

Other voices

Charles Monette


SCREENplay

Elle

Lawrence Klepp


An A-musing Life

The Great Exodus-Salamanders and Passover Crossings

Nanci Bern


An A-musing Life

One Sip at a Time

Nanci Bern


Love In Action

This Land

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

The British Aren’t Coming — Alas


Open Mind

But The Goalposts Keep Moving!

Offie Wortham


Meanderings

‘Beware the ides of March’

Charles Monette


Write On!

Grey Tower

Phil Innes


The First Glass

Writing like a Painter

Vincent Panella


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Racism vs Sexism

Jeri Rose


Monkey’s Cloak

Ice floes slow

Charles Monette


Urban Naturalist

The Sanctuary in Late Winter:

a Long-Deferred Visit to Hogle Offers Rewards and Raises Concerns

— part 2 —

Lloyd Graf


Love In Action

Mein Yertle

Elizabeth Hill


SCREENplay

Lion

Lawrence Klepp


Urban Naturalist

The Sanctuary in Late Winter:

a Long-Deferred Visit to Hogle Offers Rewards and Raises Concerns

— part 1 —

Lloyd Graf


Meanderings

White as Snow

Charles Monette


Love In Action

People Power in Pink

Elizabeth Hill


Open Mind

Populism

Offie Wortham


Meanderings

White Buffalo in the Sky

Charles Monette


Monkey’s Cloak

Venus Smiled

Charles Monette


An A-musing Life

A resolute spirit

Nanci Bern


The First Glass

For the Birds

Vincent Panella


Love In Action

New Year’s Reflections on

“Charlotte’s Web”

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

Spiritual Theft in the

Year of the Monkey


SCREENplay

Manchester by the Sea

Lawrence Klepp


Meanderings

White Mountain

Charles Monette


The First Glass

San Diego, Ocean Beach – November 17, 2016

Vincent Panella


SCREENplay

Allied

Lawrence Klepp


Monkey’s Cloak

Oh, Holidays

Nanci Bern


Old Lady Blog

Gone/ All Gone

Toni Ortner


An A-musing Life

Mushroom Soup with John

Nanci Bern


in between

FEAR

Julia Ferarri


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Racism vs Sexism

Jeri Rose


Meanderings

Last leaves leaving

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Braveheart

Elizabeth Hill


Urban Naturalist

Hogle in Fall:

a Subdued Sanctuary Hunkers Down for Winter

Lloyd Graf


Vermont Diary

Quality of Life


An A-musing Life

11/12 and Counting

Nanci Bern


World & US Energy News

Nov 15 Just one day in the energy life of the planet

George Harvey


Meanderings

As if

Charles Monette


Open Mind

What Will Become Of The Trump Faithful?

Offie Wortham


Monkey’s Cloak

Clouds

Charles Monette


Write On!

Castle Dor


Vermont Diary

Words or Deeds


SCREENplay

Sully

Lawrence Klepp


Love In Action

Living in the Twilight Zone

Elizabeth Hill


100 Years Ago

Births

in 1916


Chess

Susan Polgar:

Little Known Feminist Icon

Alicia Colon


Natural Inclusivity

What is ‘Natural’ Science?

Alan Rayner


Meanderings

Evil frog monsters

Charles Monette


SCREENplay

The Girl on the Train

Lawrence Klepp


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Who Sleeps Daily in S.C.?

&

S.C. City Council

Jeri Rose


Monkey’s Cloak

Why just now

Charles Monette


in between

After a Fire Puja

Julia Ferarri


Vermont Diary

Out of the closet


Old Lady Blog

LESBOS, GREECE

Toni Ortner


The First Glass

Journal Entry –

October 3, 2016

Vincent Panella


Meanderings

Another way up

Black Mountain

Charles Monette


SCREENplay

The Light Between Oceans

Lawrence Klepp


Love In Action

Déjà Vu at Asteroid Chasm

Elizabeth Hill


SCREENplay

Café Society

Lawrence Klepp


An A-musing Life

A Snow Bunny in Summer

Nanci Bern


Meanderings

The mountain was soft

Charles Monette


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Malaise

Jeri Rose


Meanderings

Black Mountain

Charles Monette


Vermont Diary

Out of time


The First Glass

Who Art In : Moment : Youth

Vincent Panella


Urban Naturalist

THE HOGLE PANORAMA

Lloyd Graf


Love In Action

The Pony Man

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

Lots of words to it


Monkey’s Cloak

Beyond the pale

Charles Monette


Monkey’s Cloak

North York Moods

A series of observations and poems by Alan Rayner, part 7

‘Bridestones’


Love In Action

“The Missionary of Water”

Dr. Masaru Emoto

Elizabeth Hill


Selected Letters

Marbles

Offie Wortham


Old Lady Blog

from a forthcoming work...

Toni Ortner


in between

A QUIET RAIN FALLS

Julia Ferarri


Open Mind

The power of “Instant” News in producing stress and anxiety

Offie Wortham


An A-musing Life

Frost in the Summer

Nanci Bern


Vermont Diary

Birthday boy


Love In Action

Neptune and Jupiter

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

North York Moods

A series of poems

by Alan Rayner, part 5

Howard’s Castle


Open Mind

Malcolm and Ali

Offie Wortham


Vermont Diary

SHOCK of the Present


Open Mind

Can we bite the bullet until after November?

Offie Wortham


Monkey’s Cloak

SHAVUOT

Nanci Bern


Monkey’s Cloak

five directions, five fingers, five roots

Charles Monette


Vermont Diary

US Politics for Forns from Yurp [part deux]


Monkey’s Cloak

UP NORTH

Phil Innes


Write On!

Women of the Mounds

Charles Monette


Open Mind

Colleges where your child can earn a Degree for Free

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

SEND IN THE CLOWNS

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

Ticks and Tourism


World & US Energy News

Just one day’s news

in early May

George Harvey


Old Lady Blog

Lights out or the weather of the apocalypse

Toni Ortner


Write On!

Daniel Berrigan

Charles Monette


Vermont Diary

Over the Mountain


Love In Action

The First Lady of the World

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

May I

Charles Monette


Vermont Diary

Is the experiment with republics now over?


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

“How Drumpf wins”

Jeri Rose


Vermont Diary

WEIRD WYOMING — A LETTER TO ENGLAND


Vermont Diary

QUINTISH


Love In Action

THE DANCING FOOLS

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

PC, Euphemisms, including death and toilets


Urban Naturalist

AMPHIBIANS AND OTHER CRITTERS COPE WITH EQUINOCTAL CONFUSION

Lloyd Graf


Selected Letters

Tennessee Tensions

Rob Mitchell


Vermont Diary

Couple pointers

for President Trump


Old Lady Blog

Call from a Scientologist friend

Toni Ortner


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

The Hinge of Perception

Jeri Rose


Monkey’s Cloak

Bird of transcendence

Matti Salminen


Vermont Diary

FLIGHT PATH OPTIONS


Monkey’s Cloak

Tibetan dream song

Charles Monette


in between

One hundred and twenty six years

Julia Ferarri


CURIOUS TOPICS

Gull Summit — Prime Minister concerned over Hitchcockian behavior


View From A Bridge

Golgonooza

Brian D. Cohen


Love In Action

SUMMER, 1947

Elizabeth Hill




Vermont Views Magazine


A unique community supported cultural magazine exploring Quality of Life and Spirit of Place in our bio-region, with extraordinary photographs, 22 regular columnists plus feature articles, galleries & essays, new articles and photos every day. 100s more articles in the Archive.






Contact the magazine HERE


Major Sponsors


Vermont Artisan Designs

Brattleboro Food Coop

Delectable Mountain Cloth

Emerson’s Furniture

Friends of the Sun

Zephyr Designs

 


PHOTO OF THE DAY


The Celtic Lands — Gailtaech

A second referendum?

On-line Photo


The map of Celtic Lands in the UK as separate from the Sassenach’s, [that is Saxons] England, reveals two new regions evolving from a second referendum — and the green one, ‘Gailtaech’ might rejoin the EU without unwanted Saxon interference. The Saxon English will be allowed to keep London, the polluted congested capital and Birmingham the second city, second largest in UK and an industrial slum now as it ever was.




PASSAGES


John Ruskin

Text selections by Vermont Views


Ask a great money-maker what he wants to do with his money, — he never knows. He doesn't make it to do anything with it. He gets it only that he may get it. "What will you make of what you have got?" you ask. "Well, I'll get more," he says. Just as at cricket, you get more runs. There's no use in the runs, but to get more of them than other people is the game. So all that great foul city of London there, — rattling, growling, smoking, stinking, — a ghastly heap of fermenting brickwork, pouring out poison at every pore, — you fancy it is a city of work? Not a street of it! It is a great city of play; very nasty play and very hard play, but still play.


The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most.


Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts—the book of their deeds, the book of their words, and the book of their art. Not one of these books can be understood unless we read the two others; but of the three, the only quite trustworthy one is the last. The acts of a nation may be triumphant by its good fortune; and its words mighty by the genius of a few of its children: but its art, only by the general gifts and common sympathies of the race.


When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.


Summer is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, snow is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.


There is no wealth but life.


You were made for enjoyment, and the world was filled with things which you will enjoy, unless you are too proud to be pleased with them, or too grasping to care for what you cannot turn to other account than mere delight. Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless: peacocks and lilies, for instance.


Read more PASSAGES >>>


Recent Passages By: John Ruskin, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Amy Lowell, Bernardo Bertolucci, Buffy Sainte-Marie, John Keats, David Niven - Actor, David Niven - PhD, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Joan Didion, Pablo Casals, Geoffrey Chaucer, Muddy Waters, Aretha Franklin, Dorothy Maclean Read their work here




VERMONT AUTHORS REVIEWED


Walter Hess

A Refugee's Journey: A Memoir.

Jewish Currents: Blue Thread Books, 2018.

Reviewed by Laura Stevenson


From a not-quite Vermonter, but a frequent visitor


The prologue of Walter Hess's memoir deftly summarizes its shape by describing the three seminal voyages of his life as a refugee. In the first voyage, eight-year-old Hess and his family fled Germany in 1939 and sailed to Ecuador. The second, in the spring of 1940, began in Ecuador and ended in New York City, where the family settled. The third, thirteen years later, found Hess, now a private in the US Army, sailing from New York on an army ship bound for Germany. This third voyage made him confront his fears of "all those many absences, threats, and abandonments, which had threaded their way through those early years." The memoir is thus a coming-of-age story, and it derives its power from the immediacy with which it evokes the conflicting feelings of a child and young man pondering his heritage and its meaning.


Mingled with the tale of Hess's actual and metaphorical journeys are beautifully-described scenes that linger long in readers' minds. We follow him on his five-year-old's walk through his Rhineland village of Ruppichteroth, in which his Opa leads the services in the synagogue. Proud of his new boots, he shows them off at friendly shops and houses of Jew and Gentile alike, and is led home at sunset hand in hand with his father. We see him sharing his Oma's love for her glass-protected asparagus bed – and feel his bewilderment when she stops gardening after the family comes home from service and finds the glass has been smashed. We catch him unable to stop staring at pictures of "Jews" with hooked noses, black hats and side locks, wondering "if these were Jews, ... what was I?" Later, we feel the compassionate hand of the teacher who leads him home after he and his classmates see smoke at recess and realize that the synagogue is burning. We feel the chill metal of the hidden cream separator he embraces in lieu of any other comforter as the village official the family knows from the band and the soccer team takes Hess's father and other male Jewish villagers away (to Dachau, he tells them when he finds out later). We feel Hess's hope, fear and boredom as he witnesses his mother's frantic and eventually successful efforts to reunite the family and escape the country.


Read the full review and other reviewed titles in this column.

The Devil in the Valley — Castle Freeman, Jr.

Vermont Exit Ramps II — Neil Shepard and Anthony Reczek

Half Wild: Stories — Robin MacArthur

Walter Hess — A Refugee's Journey: A Memoir.




NOT QUITE THE THING

Sponsored by Delectable Mountain Cloth



Caption It!

MM Kizi


Series 27 images



SHORTS


Nurses, Immigrants, Religion, & forget the Almond Milk

Vermont Views


STATISTIC: Nurses remain the most revered of 20 occupations rated for their honesty and ethics. Members of Congress and telemarketers are the least revered. — Gallup


STATISTIC: In contrast to most prior refugee situations, Americans are more likely to approve (51%) than disapprove (43%) of letting Central American refugees into the U.S. — Gallup


STATISTIC: Seventy-two percent of Americans say religion is important to them, but few think its influence on U.S. life is increasing, and a record-low 46% say it can solve most problems — Gallup


STATISTIC: What people don’t know is the environmental damage almond plantations are doing in California, and the water cost. It takes a bonkers 1,611 US gallons (6,098 litres) to produce 1 litre of almond milk,” says the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s Pete Hemingway. Over 80% of the world’s almonds are grown in California, which has been in severe drought for most of this decade.


Read More shorts




MEANDERINGS


February thermoplasticity

Charles Monette


Sun bright!  Azurean sky magnificent, endlessly blue on a cloudless day!


Warm for the first week of February.  A grand day to hike Black Mountain with a friend.  We eased into the one parking spot at the trailhead on Black Mountain road and set out.


I’ve often led in my life: as a point man in Vietnam, a field foreman of a carpentry crew, a professor, a director, a father.  These days, I welcome the chance to follow, to let others lead.  On a hike, it is also good to give a friend the go ahead to view the trail unimpeded. To walk it fresh without my butt in the way.


So, we set off with Mildred in the lead.  A regular hiker of Monadnock, her stride was strong and effortless.  Mine was slower and somewhat labored.  Lest she leave me in the snow, I called to her and asked if we could go at a KP pace.  “KP?”, she asked.  “Yes, that’s a kissing pace.”  Ever the romantic, I explained a trekking methodology that I had just invented on the spot.  The beauty of the technique was that it would allow me to gracefully catch up at certain fallback intervals without losing face.  When she got too far ahead, I would ask her to stop until I caught up and was rejuvenated by a kiss.  This enabled us to each go at our own pace, and to be easy on the mountain.  After drifting apart, we would soon greet each other anew, and bask in the warmth of our caresses.  Soon Mildred was turning around frequently, and waiting for me to reach her The sunlight was bright, danced on our smiles ‘neath sun-glassed eyes.  Come on folks! Valentine’s day will soon be upon us!


I was going to title this column, February thaw.  Thinking about it, I felt that January already had dibs on that moniker.


<extract> Read more of this and other articles by Charles Monette >>>


Finnish Fandango


SAFETY IN NUMBERS?

Anneli Karniala


The Aeroflot plane landed. In Moscow. 

A sight I had never seen before in my life greeted me in that terminal building: a number of hefty, unfriendly-looking soldiers with real rifles. They were positioned at strategic locations: top of a stairway, bottom, around the corner. You get the idea. 

I remember the starkness. Everything was gray in the terminal. Cement-colored. 


It was winter in the late 1970's. I lived in Denmark at the time and could book a fairly cheap charter flight to Moscow, yes in the middle of winter. I had wanted to see who these Russian people were, that, in 1941 in the Continuation War between Finland and Russia, had shot and wounded my father in the mouth and jaw so severely that he spent over two years in a field hospital because of his "Russian dentist", as he called it. Of course it was only one Russian soldier that wounded my father, not the entire city of Moscow, but still.... I wanted to get a first-hand look at the country.


Perhaps a naïve notion at the time. To go to Russia, of all places. 

My thought was, that being an American citizen, I would never likely travel from the US to Russia. That seemed too crazy. However, since I could take a charter flight with a group of sensible, helpful Danes, why not? No one in Russia would start shooting Danes (had I seen too many espionage movies?), and therefore we would have safety in numbers. I'd be safe enough in a group, blend in with the others. After all, being a Finn, I too looked Scandinavian, like them.


It was a cold winter with lots of snow in Moscow. I had good warm boots with me and my mother's old mouton coat to wear; I could weather the weather, so to speak. 


From the airport terminal, we were driven by bus to Moscow-proper, passing huge apartment buildings on the outskirts of the city. Stone. Cement. No color anywhere.


Extract Read more Anneli Karniala



ARCHETYPAL HIPPIE SPEAKS


Correspondence and Confirmation

Jeri Rose


Walking out of the local health food store, I overheard a young man talking about having startled a turtle that then left its shell and dove into the ocean. I placed my purchases in my truck and returned to ask what he had been smoking? Skylar was sitting at one of the tables placed outside of that store for people to eat from the lunch bar inside. He was eating what looked like a delightful healthy meal with a young woman named Liana. He was blonde and she a raven; both were attractive and millennial. Neither of them batted an eye at my humorous intrusion. We introduced ourselves and Skylar told me, to answer my question, that this had been a dream. He told me more of the dream.


He had felt bad to have startled the turtle, so he backed away in order to allow the turtle to return and retrieve its shell. However, in the time span of the dream he recognized that there was a possibility that someone could come along and take the shell. Therefore he spent a half an hour guarding it until the turtle returned.


I said nothing delighted to hear the dream but not wanting to intrude; however, Liana seemed to sense that I might have something to say and asked what the dream meant. I said, “yes I do dream interpretation. This is a message from your subconscious to let you know about your spiritual development. You were aware that you had startled the turtle and took responsibility for having done that. Furthermore, you not only were respectful and aware, but also protective of the creature ensuring that it could be restored to its wholeness, by foreseeing that others in the world might do something out of ignorance to disable it.”


Skyler flushed and then said that a few days later he had gone to where this dream had been manifested.


<extract> Read more Jeri Rose >>>



SCREENplay


Stan and Ollie

Lawrence Klepp


There once were comedy teams. I don’t think they exist anymore, but they were, from the beginning of the 20th century to just past halfway through it, staples of vaudeville and then American movie comedy. There were, for instance, the Marx Brothers, Burns and Allen, Abbott and Costello, Martin and Lewis. But none surpassed, in durable popularity and comic art, Laurel and Hardy.


Most such teams depended on a conjunction of opposites, which is, after all, the principle of most dramatic art, comic or tragic. And Hardy was fat, Laurel thin, Hardy impatient, Laurel impassive, Hardy an imposing know-it-all, an expert at authoritative deluded opinions and slow burns, Laurel quietly baffled, an endearing, head-scratching simpleton, a virtuoso at juggling hats and responsibility. Together, pushing the piano up the steep, endless hillside set of stairs in The Music Box, escaping a cop by impersonating a mansion owner and his servants in Another Fine Mess, venturing in their feature-length films into the Old West or the Foreign Legion, they were comic archetypes as memorable as Chaplin’s tramp. 


Steve Coogan as Stan and John C. Reilly as Ollie consummately disappear into their characters in this film, which takes place at the end of the team’s career, in the early 1950s. They are making a tour of Scotland, England, and Ireland, playing to half-empty houses at first, hoping to catch the attention of a British producer and coax him into letting them do one more movie. Coogan and Reilly capture the voices, the body language, and, most importantly, the basic tenderness that kept them together. They weren’t, the biographies tell us, particularly close off set. After finishing a day’s filming, Hardy would quickly leave to play golf or bet on horses, while Laurel, who thought up most of their material, kept working on new slapstick quandaries and pratfalls.


<extract> Read More SCREENplay



IN BETWEEN


What In your Life is Calling You?

Julia Ferrari


For the past few months I’ve been stuck in a place where forward motion seems impossible and starting new things feels incomprehensibly blocked. So I’ve slowed way down and allowed myself to solve or be present with only one or two problems while just moving through this time, paying attention to what ails me, to how I speak to myself, listening to my inner critic — seeing myself and my life in a new light.


In life it is so easy to get caught up in our uneasiness, wanting to escape it as soon as possible. But sometimes it takes a slow and steady bearing of what is happening, of dealing with things as they are unfolding, to change them for the better. I remember when, soon after my husband died, I would lie awake night after night, thinking of all the things that were left undone and unaccomplished that day. This led to more sleepless nights until I saw it was not helping and decided I had to change it. As I lay down in bed I started to consciously list all the things I had accomplished that day, even if it was only one small thing. Then I would state the things I was grateful for and sure enough, I started to fall asleep again. This small effort slowed me down and showed me that when anxiety inducing situations happen, that increasing our anxiety about our progress is counter-intuitive. Every moment we feel anxious is a moment to look deeper, to see ourselves where we are. 


Pena Chodron in her book “Taking the Leap,” says “… our whole facade, the little song and dance we all do, is based on trying to avoid the groundlessness that permeates our lives. By learning to stay, we become very familiar with this place, and gradually, gradually, it loses its threat… We’re no longer invested in instantly trying to move away from insecurity. We think that facing our demons is reliving some traumatic event or discovering for sure that we’re worthless. But, in fact, it is just abiding with the uneasy, disquieting sensation of nowhere-to-run and finding that— guess what?—we don’t die; we don’t collapse. In fact, we feel profound relief and freedom.”


Many of us are self critical, berating ourselves for our mistakes. We can speak so sharply to ourselves, using searing language to disapprove of anything that irritates or displeases us about ourselves. We would not talk that way to another living soul, but in private we can be our own worst enemies, full of verbal abuse and scathing criticism.


Extract Read more Julia Ferrari



LOVE IN ACTION


ElizaVanGoghbeth

Elizabeth Hill


“The beginning is perhaps more difficult than anything else,

but keep heart, it will turn out all right.”


-Vincent Van Gogh


“It’s a squamous cell carcinoma,” said my Dermatologist over the phone. She explained that my lesion was small, and that larger ones usually itch. She also said that mine—because it had already gone through the top layer of dermis—could not simply be zapped off with liquid nitrogen, but would require a surgical procedure called Mohs.


Had that news come to me about a lesion somewhere on my body that is almost always covered with clothing, I would not have been the least bit anxious. But no—this little unwanted visitor had planted itself in the outer fold of my beloved, perfect, and fully visible—left earlobe.


As I write this, I confess to feeling a bit ashamed of how this news unearthed my ancient body issues that I thought had been fully processed years ago: As a teen and all through my twenties, I struggled with anorexia. It wasn’t until I was thirty and had started running long distances regularly that I began again to eat properly.


Mohs surgery is commonly used to remove basil cell and squamous cell skin cancers. It is a technique that involves scrapping off layers—one at a time—immediately examining the tissue samples under a microscope with each layer and repeating the process until all cancer cells are removed. Dermatologists that perform Mohs surgery are highly trained, usually by plastic surgeons.


The earliest appointment I could get for surgery was more than a month away. Though I was told that squamous cell cancers do not grow very fast, I was not sure just how long this lesion had been on my ear, nor how much cancerous growth might happen in a month.


About a week into that month of waiting for surgery, the lesion on my ear started itching–a lot!


As I often do when circumstances seem fuzzy to me—I meditate—this time focusing on my left ear. As I meditated, an image of the lesion sprouting roots came into my mind’s eye. In response, each day I continued to visualize sending love to these cancer cells—helping them on an energetic level to open up and receive extra oxygen—which might slow the chaotic overgrowth that is cancer.


Additionally, I’ve read that CBD oil can shrink and even heal cancer cells, so I started taking two doses a day. After only one day’s doses, the itching stopped completely! I felt encouraged by this.


Extract Read More Elizabeth Hill >>>



MONKEY’S CLOAK


Kairos

Phil Innes


Thus from faint, a stance

The card of the Sun

And again by Moon’s inchoate fonts

Again by Twenty One

Cracking reasons’ strangling charm

Let fall more cards

Let sound dextrous alarums


<extract> Read more Monkey’s Cloak






WRITE WALK


The Newfane Hill Walking Club

Susan Cruickshank


The jangle of her collar and the sound of her opened mouth breathing in my ear came from the backseat as she readjusted herself in anticipation. She knew she was going for a walk and she knew she was getting a treat!


We had to drive to the end of the laneway because Annabelle had been habituated to the electric fence perimeter of her home’s property and would not cross it though it had been turned off for over a year. She was such a good girl that the only way to get her across the boundary line  that moved across the driveway was to drive her across. And that is exactly what we did each afternoon around two o’clock.


Barnaby was the first to join our crew. Barnaby was the Pyrenees bear, masquerading as a really big dog. He lived at the next house on Pound Road. Barnaby spent his weekdays outside on the front porch where his bed was set up for napping and watching the world go by, even though there wasn’t much world on the private laneway. This of course was when he wasn’t making the rounds in the neighborhood for treats and pats. He really did have a secret life that his people knew little about, a whole world of friends and experiences that were just his own.


The sound of his collar as he lumbered down Pound Road always reminded me of the pocket change in an old man’s pants. When he arrived at the crossroads of Pound and Timson Hill, he greeted Annabelle and me as we were adjusting her leash, just in time for the first shelling out of treats.  I suspect this was Barnaby’s initial motivation, the hope of a gastro handout, but I also think he was lonely.


And then our three became four.


Luna was the next and final member to join. She looked and moved like the Loonie Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil, her small sausaged body encased in course brown fur. She  had tornado capabilities, but unlike her grumpy cartoon counterpart, her motivation to twist into the air at breakneck speeds was pure joy.


<Extract> Read More Susan Cruickshank >>>



WRITE ON !


Unpacking Weaponized Masculinity

by Greg Hessel


About a year ago, a friend posted on Facebook, “#MeToo, and it’s a systems problem.  Otherwise it is just one giant game of whack-a-mole.”  As a consultant who has helped many organizations look at systems’ problems over the two last decades, I intuitively agreed with the post.  However, I was bothered that I could not identify the specific aspects of our system that have led to our epidemic of sexual harassment and assault. 


About the same time, I was rereading White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible White Knapsack, by Peggy McIntosh; a somewhat dated but classic diversity article that explores the many ways that whites in our society are privileged, and how most of those privileges are invisible to whites.  This led me to wonder even more about the systemic problems that contribute to sexual harassment, and why I couldn’t see them. 


With the help of some authors, friends and some participants in a recent diversity training I led, I want to offer this list as my first draft thinking of ways in which our system fuels the epidemic of sexual harassment.  I don’t offer it to let offenders off the hook in any way or imply that there is no personal responsibility for hurtful actions.  We all make choices and we need to be held accountable for those choices.  In fact, I believe one systemic contribution to sexual harassment has been not holding men accountable enough. 


That said, I don’t believe the problem will ever be solved if we don’t go beyond personal accountability and explore some of the broader system’s contributions.


<Extract>

Read More of this article >>>



From The Archive


Evolution of democracy from economy to ecology

Editorial Essay


...Not too long ago these [energy] subjects were spoken of as ‘alternatives’, but in the chaotic energy scene of today they are currently only an alternative to chaos itself. One may scoff at specific proposed solutions, but the main problems can no longer be denied.


Elsewhere, Brattleboro as an influential hub to an extensive bio-region, a region without a name, is taking steps to implement a topic suggested by Wendell Berry in an essay he had published at Orion Press, Winter 2001. He titled the central essay The Idea of a Local Economy. This too, said Berry, is not an ‘alternative’ to anything but disempowerment. ‘Without prosperous local economies, the people have no power and the land no voice.’


Indeed, I remember William Irwin Thompson, founder of the Lindisfarne Foundation, New York City, saying much the same in 1982 — that the evolution of democracy will occur when we begin to shift from economy to ecology, thereby an intelligence of bio-regions provides the basis for action within the region, and Berry’s Local Economy is also the base of an enhanced local polity.


Certainly just being ‘aware’ of the difficulties in the world is altogether too passive and we might also consider a term coined by Buckminster Fuller in terms of the right way to harness our technology and economy; Imagineering.


<extract> From The Archive



VERMONT DIARY


Five Chill Words

Phil Innes


About 39 years ago I found myself seated in a group of people from all over the world at an orientation to The Findhorn Foundation, in Morayshire, Northern Scotland. People were introducing themselves and where they came from, and then it came the turn of the woman sat beside me dressed all in black who had been knitting through the introductions.


“Anna from Auschwitz”, she said.


Following that, I adjusted by own introduction away from Cornwall, it’s world class beaches, air, palm trees and dolphins in the river, since that may have seemed a too-conscious levity, and mumbled something else.


I was reminded of this incident by two more recent ones; a review by Laura Stevenson of a title by Walter Hess — A Refugee's Journey: A Memoir; and with simultaneous news reports of increased Holocaust Denial in Europe and in the USA.


Though Anna’s chilly announcement before resuming her knitting is not the thing I remember as much as what happened a few days later. Again meeting at ‘The Park’ in a well-lit room with flowers and upon a mid-session break for tea I felt a claw like hand on my arm — a couple of young Dutch people were chatting with a young German one, discussing what sort of herb teas there were available? As innocent an anecdote as could be imagined, but Anna gasped to me, “(Phil) I cannot hear this language”, and I could see there was an immanent syncope, so I picked her up and carried her outside — then we walked around awhile until lunch, not mentioning the episode at all, not then not ever.


I will not remark on that more except to say, being a Celt, that one does not accept things as randomly happening, and there is always something pert, something important or significant to understand about encounters even of the noir-romance. Not about making something of this into a noble cause on behalf of others, promoting it as a subject for general conversation, or even undertaking a sort of psychic voyage into another’s dark. I wrestled with this for a month or so and eventually let it go, feeling that the response ‘better to light a candle than curse the darkness’ seemed a little too intellectual.


Then I chanced upon two children in the community playing with bricks and one telling the other how to stack them properly, but not succeeding until the knowledgable child demonstrated how to do it.


Read More VERMONT DIARY >>>




WATER’S EDGE


Ruminations on Kale

Nicola Metcalf


I am thinking about the Millstone Market. I am thinking about kale. I am thinking about love. 

The Millstone Market, across the street from my house, is under new ownership. It is a friendly, family-run business, quirky and rough around the edges with its tattered floors, patchwork carpentry and old windows.  A small neighborhood convenience/general store, it sells the basics and also boasts a quality meat counter.


Something for everyone, you can buy hearty, locally baked artisanal bread, or a soft loaf of Friehofer’s. Mapleline milk, milked from cows in the next town over, is available in glass bottles, or Hood milk in plastic. Fresh asparagus, strawberries, and corn grown across the street at Warner’s Farm when in season, or a package of Oreo cookies. No lottery tickets, cigarettes or beer, thank you. One of the cashiers, Weesie (as it is spelled on her vanity plates) is a grandmother who moved here from Miami. She won’t hesitate to tell you just how much she detests New England winters. But even her complaints are delivered with joie de vivre.  She is only person on this planet who can call me “Baby Cakes” and get away with it, her loving spirit far larger than the concern for political correctness that is common in our valley. 


This week, I picked up a survey there asking customers what they like about the Millstone and what they would like to see change. While I often buy their fresh local salad greens, I wrote that I would like to see more green leafy vegetables like kale. As I fixed my dinner tonight, steaming some kale to go with salad and a bit of left over sirloin tips from the Millstone, I pondered my personal history with this venerable vegetable.


A mile and half away I once shared the rent in a house with four other people. One of them was an excellent gardener. He later became my husband for 18 years and the father of our one and only child. We conceived that child in the house right next to his garden on New Year’s Day morning, after a fight the night before when I wanted to leave a party before he did. And I gave birth to her on the living room futon couch in our next home, ¼ mile down the road. But I digress.


<extract> Read more Nicola Metcalf >>>




AN A-MUSING LIFE


One Moment, Please

Nanci Bern


I am in a car on a New England highway. It is a sunny winter day. This ride could not be more different than the one I took last month. I recall that day because it is 4 days before New Year's Eve and we still have had no snow to speak of. This does not make my inner snow bunny smile.


It was 1:00 pm. The drive from Vermont took the requisite 3.5 hours. The sky grew grey and menacing the closer I got to New York City and the anticipation of having a much missed hometown exploit. Snow was in the forecast. I hadn't been in a winter snow in my beloved concrete jungle in years. Not that I do not appreciate where I live now; but I am split like a log being halved for a winter wood stove.


My friend came to the lobby and introduced me to the doorman. He entered me in the computer so other building folks would know that I passed muster to be allowed to traipse in and out for the week. When I saw myself being popped into the thing a.k.a., the real doorman, I wondered if it was related to H.A.L.


So up we went to settle me in, then just as quickly we spun around to walk the streets of Broadway and West End. Oh, the grit and wait, the harsh swirl of wind (?) that was wrapping itself around my ankles made me stop. I took a whiff of the air with my now New England snout and knew we were going to be in for it. 'This can't be good', I thought. I tried to ferry my friend along all of our stops to avoid the ensuing deluge, but she wouldn't heed my warning.


Yup, we got caught in it. We got so caught in it that I stopped seeing a way out. The snow came down fast, wet and heavy. Frenzy ensued. <extract>


Read more Nanci Bern



OPEN MIND


Transcultural Awareness Dining

Offie Wortham


Schools and workplaces should have eating places that are set aside for students and workers who would like to know more about each other. In our Multicultural society there is an emphasis on differences which divide us, instead of similarities which bring us together. We should seek common ground.


Many choose certain schools and workplace environments for their diversity. Not to self-segregate and have little or no communication between each other, but to get to know more about a person from outside of their own sub-culture. With a change in circumstances, enemies sometimes become friends.


A Transcultural Awareness Dining Area could be a set-aside area for eating or communicating in a cafeteria or dining room where people would meet specifically to learn how to communicate with an individual from a different ethnic group, race, religion, country, gender, or socio-economic background. This type of stress-free interaction would be a good way for individuals to break away from groups or individuals who are ethnocentric or bonded by a fraternity, group of jocks, nerds, intellectuals, secret society, or some other confining clique. It can even help a couple to be free to sit apart and learn something about the interests and world of their associates.


The area should also be Cell-Phone Free. Not mandatory, but with a sign or poster of cell-phone with the wide red line crossing it diagonally. It is obvious what the advantages would be to uninterrupted discussion if cell-phones were voluntarily turned off in the area.


Simple to initiate, and possibly of great benefit to students and the workplace. Transcultural Awareness Dining will help produce a zone of true communication and community.



<extract>    Read More Offie Wortham >>>



FOODISH


Scandinavian Christmas Dishes

Real food from scratch, submitted by Anneli Karniala


One thing is for sure. When there are only about 6 hours or less of daylight during December, depending on location, Scandinavians know how to light up the darkness. It is with beautifully set tables, candlelight along with lamplights, and delicious, satisfying food.  


There are many food traditions in Scandinavia around Christmastime, depending upon country, and whether referring to a company luncheon, a December dinner for guests, Little Christmas Eve dinner (Dec.23), Christmas Eve dinner (the 24th), Christmas Day luncheon (the 25th, actually another dinner!), or 2nd Christmas Day dinner (the 26th). 

As you can see, there's a lot of eating.  And drinking. Of wine, beer, vodka, glögg, eggnog, Akvavit, snaps, aperitifs, etc.  Not much is low-cal!


On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, for example, there would be several courses.  Typically, the first course would include fish (smoked, or pickled, or salt-and-sugar cured), sausage, head cheese (not a cheese).  Then the main course would perhaps have one or two of the following: roast duck, roast pork, beef roast, turkey, ham along with various condiments and sauces. The accompanying dishes could be any of the following: braised red cabbage, creamed kale, caremelized potatoes, potato casserole, rutabaga casserole, beet salad, green beans, peas. Various breads or rolls are also served.


Here are 2 recipes that are often prepared at Christmas in Denmark.


LEVERPOSTEJ (Danish Liver Paté)

GRAVLAX   (salt-and-sugar-cured salmon)

serves 10-12


Read on for ingredients and procedures


Read more FOODISH



OLD LADY BLOG


For the gardener who is gone

Toni Ortner

  

The dried stalks of the sunflowers are snapped in half, and the wooden slats of the porch are split and broken.  Fake spider webs are draped across the columns of the porch, and a plastic skeleton hangs from the branch of a tree. The front door is half open but blocked by a piece of rusted gate and the driveway filled with empty cardboard cartons and weeds.


This was the most beautiful garden in town right in front of a house that has a caved in roof, windows covered with plastic sheets, and red paint peeling off. The barn behind is a mass of dirt and stones. The man who owned the home who lived alone was always in the garden hanging up hummingbird feeders or tending to huge red and orange zinnias. A motorboat without an engine was stuck in the untrimmed hedge and an antique white Chevrolet missing a tire sat in the driveway.


From the first day of spring until winter the owner of the house worked in the garden mowing and planting and mulching and deadheading and weeding. Every other day he replaced the sugared water in the feeders and put out slices of fresh orange or apples for the birds. I stopped once to tell him what a magnificent garden he created, and he said, I love this garden like it’s my baby.”


The last time I saw him was a year ago in July. He always wore the same torn stained pair of faded denim overalls and a white shirt with sleeves rolled up. He lurched about as if he were out of breath; although I waved, he did not wave back but maybe he did not see me.


Yesterday morning there were two cars and a van in the driveway and people yelling at each other carrying tables and chairs and pots and pans. Today the white Chevy is gone.  I walk with head bent down against the wind and wear a fleece jacket and two layers of shirts as well as a wool hat and gloves. The moss between the cracks of the sidewalk that was green in the sun is brown. The last flock of geese veered south last night with hoarse honking sounds. The hard ground is blanketed with yellow leaves curled at the edges. Everything is shut down.


Read More Toni Ortner >>>




URBAN NATURALIST


An Austere Hogle Sanctuary Sleeps in Beneath a Chill Sunday Morning Sun

Lloyd Graf


Fall had recently passed its halfway point this November Sunday, and the pending onset of winter appeared to permeate the Hogle Sanctuary as I headed down the Eaton Ave approach. A dense carpet of fallen leaves scrunched underfoot: richly yellow maple increasingly peppered with fading brown oak. As I reached the riser zone's new-ish cement “stairs” leading down to the water-level boardwalk, the vivid green of grass seeded in the trail area during late summer renovations stood in marked contrast to the flat browns and grays of withered brush flanking the trail. A thin coating of frost on the boardwalk slats reflected an 8:45 AM temp of 34F, and puddled water lay beneath and well “inside” the boardwalk attesting to the past week's rains and wind. The oak brown-intensive remaining leaf cover on slopes to the west and north of the Sanctuary's observation zone was dulled and chilled down to a drab matte finish reflecting metabolic shutdown. The Sanctuary's perennial scenic beauty was well-launched into somber seasonal lock-down phase.


A two week lapse since my last visit had seemingly taken its toll on animal presence, as silence and lack of visible creature activity characterized the half-hour of this visit. No mammals of any sort were visible, not even the squirrels and chipmunks that had been foraging all over the Sanctuary a scant 2 weeks ago (when not making mad death wish-driven and frequently doomed dashes across local roadways). Pollinator insects, epitomized by heroic bumblebees that had still been visiting mini-asters and goldenrod remnants two weeks ago, were now as absent as flowers to be pollinated. No mosquitos or gnats were in evidence, leaving the arthropodal domain to hypothetically lurking ticks.


Extract Read More Lloyd Graf




THE FIRST GLASS


TEXAS TOAST

VOLUNTEERING FOR BETO

PART 2

Vincent Panella


[Vermont Views Magazine does not take part in partisan stances in local or national politics, but it does, from time to time, observe the state of people who vote, their knowledge and acuity, if any]


A Beto volunteer calls.

"Have you been trained?"

"In what?"

"Phone banking and block walking. Have they sent you the webinars?"

"What's a webinar?"

"It's like an online seminar."

I watched the webinars on phone banking and block walking. For the former you log onto an automatic dialer and speak from a prewritten script. Block walking is based on the same principle: instead of phone numbers the system identifies voters' streets and houses from a smartphone GPS. The script is the same: get voters to commit.

"Will I see you in Dallas?" I ask the volunteer.

"No, I'm calling from another part of the state."

At Logan Airport I watch the Jet Blues line up and taxi, top lights blinking in the sunless afternoon. It's all New England, cloudy, chilly, ready to rain. A mental goodbye to home. Dallas will be in the nineties. I don't know what's in store. All I know is the address of the Dallas headquarters and my plan to walk in and introduce myself.

My  phone rings. Its another Beto volunteer. How am I?  Where am I? Is everything okay? I'm relieved that people are taking the time to reassure me that all is well. I tell him I've watched the webinars, that I have a smart phone and computer but would still need a little help. No problem. I begin to rest easy. He says to show up tomorrow at the headquarters.

Dallas is all sprawl. Fast food joints abound, Chick-fil-A, Whataburger, Taco Bueno, a Spanish chain supermarket called La Michoacana. My Lyft driver is an Iranian named Mashid. We have a softball conversation about immigrants coming here for a better life, my grandparents, his grandparents, all the same, all good. We speed through a maze of highways and beltways and swirling  roads above our heads, all concrete and red steel. There's no feeling of a center. We're not in Kansas any more, but I don't say this to Mashid. We talk football, Vermont, snow and seasons. Does it snow in Dallas? Hardly and when it does, watch out.

At the end of the ride I channel Polonius. When trying to find out about his son, Laertes, then in Paris, he instructs his spy to "take as it were some distant knowledge of him." I tell Mashid that I've read about a race for Senate between someone called Beto O'Rourke and Ted Cruz.

"Who do  you think will win?"

"Cruz."



<extract>  Read More >>>




WORLD & US ENERGY NEWS


September 2018

George Harvey


Science and Technology:

¶ “Flood frequency of world’s largest river has increased fivefold, study finds” • Flooding on the Amazon River has increased fivefold over the last two or three decades, a new study has found. Analysis of more than 100 years of river level records from the Amazon showed that both floods and droughts had become more frequent. [The Independent]


World:

¶ “SIMEC Atlantis Unveils World’s Largest Tidal Turbine” • Tidal turbine maker SIMEC Atlantis Energy unveiled designs for what may be the world’s largest single-rotor tidal turbine, the 2-MW AR2000. SIMEC Atlantis’s 1.5-MW turbines are used at the world’s largest tidal stream away, the 6-MW MeyGen array off the north of Scotland. [CleanTechnica]


¶ Nearly 400 investors, with assets worth $32 trillion, announced The Investor Agenda, a first-of-its-kind global agenda aimed to accelerate and scale-up actions critical to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Electric For All Campaign From Volkswagen – 10 Million EVs Based On MEB Platform” • Volkswagen officially launched its “Electric For All” campaign this week with the official introduction of its MEB platform. The platform is where the powertrain, suspension, brakes, and other vital components all come together. [CleanTechnica]


Illustrated:— VW MEB platform


¶ “Renewables reach 37-year high” • Strong hydro and wind generation saw 85% of the New Zealand’s electricity produced from renewables in the June quarter, government data shows. The country has a target to achieve 90% renewable power by 2025. The Labour-led coalition has suggested going to 100% 2035. [Newsroom]


US:

¶ “Boise City Aims At 100% Renewable By 2030 For Municipal Operations” • The City of Boise has joined a growing list of cities across the country that have committed to transitioning to 100% renewable energy sources. The Boise city facilities are already fueled by a combination of renewable and non-renewable sources. [Boise State Public Radio]


¶ “Renewable energy proposition draws millions of dollars in campaign spending” • Arizona Prop 127 is an initiative to amend the state constitution to require power utilities to get more of their electricity from renewable resources. Both supporters and opponents are currently engaged in a fierce and expensive media battle. [Tucson Local Media]

¶ “Jacksonville utility company wants federal regulators to intervene on Plant Vogtle dispute” • Jacksonville Electric Authority asked federal energy regulators to intervene in its dispute with a Georgia electric agency over an agreement requiring Jacksonville’s ratepayers to help build two nuclear reactors in Georgia. [Savannah Morning News]


<extract> Read More World & US Energy News




SELECTED LETTERS


This note forwarded by Robert Oeser


Good afternoon, Hunger Council of the Windham Region members,


We are reaching out to you today to share an important announcement from the Department for Children and Families: The vendor who distributes 3SquaresVT benefits on Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards has received several reports of theft. Some Vermont participants have reported that their benefits were withdrawn from their cards through a bank in California — without their knowledge or permission. Similar reports have been received in other states.


The Vermont Department for Children and Families is working to replace the stolen benefits as soon as possible. Funds will be replaced by paper check to avoid further theft. There is currently a block on all transactions from California using Vermont EBT cards.


This theft of benefits is money for food stolen from low-income Vermonters. <extract, read more>


Read more letters to Vermont Views >>>




GALLERY ONE


A photographic essay on Devon and Cornwall

Anne Lenten, Ed.


A series of photographs about ‘another place’ collected by the remarkable photographer Anne Lenten — Notes by Phil Innes


#6 Mining conditions haven’t changed much in 100 years




See more photos in this article Gallery One >>>










GUEST ARTCLE


LETTERS FROM CUBA #15

Some sentences from Cuba

Mac Gander

It is dawn in La Habana and I am listening to Bob Marley’s “Rebel Music” as my wife Shanta sleeps in the next room and I mark the end of our third week here. One week to go. Travel is exhausting. There is no moment in which one does not wish to be awake.


I am thinking of the opening trope in Denis Johnson’s “Fiskadoro,” where he invokes Marley as one of the three great gods still left in the Florida Keys after a nuclear holocaust, a book that ends with a war-ship returning to those shores after a 90-year quarantine, from Cuba, a grey ship that is taller than the sky.





GUEST ARTICLE


LETTERS FROM CUBA #12

What lies beneath: Our stories our ghosts

Shanta Lee Gander

Who came first?  Europa or Europe?  With some research, I could get an answer, but the story of a girl who keeps dreaming about two continents fighting over her and who meets her fate and immortality with a God turned beautiful bull is an old one






SPECIAL FEATURE


A Dance with Hermes

Ken Masters

‘Into this hallowed room (I remember a gratifying visiting Professor of Logic, who, whilst debunking “Eastern Philosophy”, and cutting short his fourteen pages of definitions of “consciousness”, waved his arms in the air, inviting in the energy to energise the very expression of his de-bunking – which intangibility I can not possibly recognise, classify, or exonerate) came one Lindsay Clarke, propagating one irritatingly intangible “(A Dance With) Hermes”, full of vital “presence”, whom I hoped I had seen off aeons ago.






NOW, HERE, THIS!


Take #7

Vermont Views


January 19th 2019


The good news is that it isn’t 3 feet, only 2. The bad news is that the second foot is going to be sleet and freezing rain. 


Whatever the snowfall amounts Monday 21st January looks brutal with a high with windchill of -7F.





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