Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dateline Woodstock
Now that November is almost upon us, only the oak trees on our mountain-top still hang on to their leaves, the tour busses have headed south, many Woodstock shops and restaurants have been shuttered, waiting the return of the skiers mid-December. The Vermont Department of Miscellaneous Information (VDMI) tells us that, on average, there are 28 cloudy days in November, so most Vermonters spend the month hunkering down, gathering nuts, and getting ready for winter. For a town that is usually abuzz with tourist activity, Woodstock takes a breather in November as local residents catch up on the things they should have done over the summer and earlier in the fall. George Doton, head of the Woodstock Highway Department, and his helper Tuck have been busy running the Giant Leaf Vacuum up and down Main Street sucking up the last vestiges of Foliage Season. At the Woodstock Selectboard meeting last night, George reported he had also recovered 13 cell phones, 6 sets of car keys, 7 miscellaneous articles of attire (including one pink bra, size 36D, submitted to the Board by Tuck as Article of Evidence #1), and one large stuffed bunny. Tuck always wanted to be a lawyer, but since he never graduated from high school, he now makes a living driving the Town Vacuum or the Town Grader and, whenever possible, submitting Articles of Evidence to the Selectboard. From the front page report in today's Vermont Standard (our weekly newspaper) the Articles will be combined with like items recovered when the snow melts next May and sold at the annual Town Auction. Proceeds from the Auction are donated to the Visiting Nurse Association, the volunteer Fire Department, and Freedom House (formerly the Woodstock Home for Wayward Mothers). All worthy causes they be. Both the VDMI and the Old Farmer's Almanac are predicting a snowstorm around Thanksgiving, with other snowy periods in mid- and late December and mid- and late January, so Woodstock residents have just a few weeks to get the lawn furniture gathered up, the last of the woodpile stocked and covered, and the John Deere fueled with winter-weight diesel. When the VDMI tells you that the average temperature in Woodstock is 60 degrees, they fail to mention that it actually ranges from -20 to +100. With winter coming, you want to be sure the tractor will start on any day.

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