That May be True Somewhere

Here it is Monday morning, and every news source I’ve tapped for information has assured me that the Northeast (that’s us) is in the grip of a ferocious winter storm. “Hammered,” “blasted,” and “buried” are the verbs of choice. “Onslaught” leads the nouns. That may be true somewhere, even in Vermont; but as the pup and I look out the window of my cozy office, we see only a thick cloud of small snowflakes softly blanketing the earth.

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The Pinnacle of Creation

A lightly worn trail runs up a north slope in Hubbard Park, where Kiki and I walk most days. Near the top, in a grove of magnificent red oaks, stands a beautifully built stone bench, just the right height, that invites a sit-down to think and breathe and watch the woods below. Beside the bench, set into a boulder, is a bronze plaque dedicated to the memory of an infant named Falko, who lived only eight days in midsummer of 2020.

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Fast-Forward 71 Years

During my first year at a boarding school where all the students worked about ten hours a week, I was assigned menial labor in the barns. Perversely, perhaps, I loved it — spreading chopped silage as it poured in overhead from a chute, shoveling manure from the gutters behind the cows, grading apples and potatoes, beating the feathers from dead, scalded chickens (not a favorite), and slopping the hogs.

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Being Treated as if I’m Old

Much of the travel writing to which we’re exposed reminds me of the old fable of the six blind men inspecting and describing an elephant: it reports on only a portion – and often a small one, at that – of the reality of the travel destination.

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