Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dateline Woodstock
The snow came to Woodstock last night. This annual event should not be a surprise, but it always seems to catch us unawares -- with plenty of outdoor work yet to accomplish: window boxes to put away, garden hoses to roll up, carrots to pull, and wood to stack. In these parts, Winter, Spring, and Summer are reasonably predictable and consistent. Each year, sometime between August 15th and the 29th, you can wake to find the distinct feel and smell of Summer missing. Instead, the air is crisp, the sky is cloudless and dark blue, and the chirp of junebug has been replaced by a throaty "who cooks for you" emanating from a forest full of barred owls. On a day like this, Vermonters enter a state of denial: that sunny days spent swimming at the mill pond are coming to an end, that harvest suppers will soon replace after-dinner trips to the creemee stand, that huddling under the deck umbrella will soon give way to huddling around the parlor woodstove. Its not that Vermonters dislike winter weather and the lifestyle changes that come with it. After all, we choose to live here, instead of in a place where the sun shines 300+ days a year and 3 feet of snow overnight is unheard of. The problem with Autumn in Vermont is that it comes in the middle of summer, and uninvited. And the problem with letting Autumn get an early foothold, is that Winter will set in early, too - often in the middle of Autumn. It's behavior like this that gets Woodstock a blanket of snow even before the last of the leaf-peepers and other tourists have boarded their busses and headed south.

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