|[courtesy of a Vermont native]|
You might be from Vermont if...
* You've ever taken your kids trick-or-treating during a blizzard.
* Mosquitoes have landing lights, and the best repellent is a shotgun.
* You have ten favorite recipes for venison, and at least twice a year, your kitchen doubles as a meat processing plant.
* You have more miles on your snowblower than on your car, and owe more money on it, too.
* You consider tube socks and a flannel nightgown with less than eight buttons to be sexy lingerie.
* Your snowblower has ever gotten stuck on your roof. (???)
* You clean the grease off your BBQ grill frequently to keep the bears away.
* You know which leaves make good toilet paper. (I know which ones DON'T!)
* Your town officials greet you by your first name.
* There's only one shopping plaza in town. (Until 1996, it was the only state without a Wal-Mart, too!)
* The major parish fundraiser isn't Bingo; it's sausage-making.
* You think -20 degrees F is a little chilly.
* Your town budgets money for a zamboni instead of a bus.
* Your state capital (Montpelier) doesn't have a McDonald's. (Only capital in the country with that tasteful claim to fame.)
Okay, last covered bridge picture. This is the Flint covered bridge in Tunbridge... with only a dusting of snow. Looks like a glorious place to walk, doesn't it? Just look at that sky!
And who do you think might have lived in this rustic-looking cabin? Someone with a poetic soul, who was enamored with his surroundings, who wrote of such things as stopping by the woods on a snowy evening. Yes, this cabin, located in Ripton, belonged to Robert Frost. Since woods cover more than 3/4 of the state, Frost found plenty of natural inspiration around him. Plenty of seclusion, too. Even today, the only state with a smaller population is Wyoming.
Frost isn't the only one who fell in love with the beautiful vistas of Vermont. Especially in the autumn...
Here's a different type of building altogether. It's a prime example of 19th century industrial architecture. When built in 1846 as the Robbins and Lawrence Armory and Machine Shop, work done here played a primary role in advancing the Industrial Revolution by improving the production of interchangeable parts. Today, the building houses the American Precision Museum.
|[National Park Service photo]|
To convert sap into syrup, it is boiled in a special building with a louvered roof... to allow steam to escape... called a sugar shack. (Or house or shanty.)
Maybe one of you can tell me more about this picture? I found it on Morguefile, but have no details on what it is or the significance of those figures. Only that it's located somewhere in Burlington, Vermont. Neat-looking, isn't it?
Vermont's state motto is Freedom and Unity, and these words befit the state's independent streak throughout history. It was the first state admitted to the union after the ratification of the Constitution; it was the first state to abolish slavery; and it was the first state to legalize Civil Unions. Another interesting tidbit: Ida Mae Fuller of Brattleboro, Vermont, was the first U.S. citizen to receive a social security check. She collected her first check in 1940, lived to be more than a hundred, and ended up collecting more than twenty thousand dollars in benefits.
When Samuel de Champlain discovered (Yeah, I know... it wasn't lost.) the lake in 1609, he claimed he saw a monster, five feet long, as thick as a man's thigh, with thick silver-gray scales and a two and a half-foot sharp-toothed jaw. Native Americans also claimed to see similar monsters, ranging in size from eight to ten feet long. There have been many sightings over the years of the Lake Champlain monster, fondly known as Champ. Is it a cousin to the oft-reported Loch Ness monster Nessie? Are they both plesiosaurs? Or is it all a hoax? Tell ya what, Champ is pretty darned real to the fishermen shown in this 2005 video:
Okay, let's see if any crazy laws are languishing on the books in the fine state of Vermont.
- It's against the law to whistle underwater. (I guess they don't want anyone trying to summon Champ.)
- At one time, it was illegal to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole. (Does that mean it's okay now?)
- Women must obtain permission from their husbands before they can wear false teeth. (I doubt if this law has any bite...)
- It's illegal to deny the existence of God. (Ya think non-prophet organizations can get away with it?)
- It's against the law to paint landscapes during times of war. (So it would seem that painting in itself isn't forbidden... just painting landscapes. Interesting.)
- It's illegal to use colored margarine in restaurants unless the menu says so ... in two-inch tall lettering. When it is served, oleo can only be provided in triangular-shaped wedges. (Yeah. Vermont is a huge dairy state, and as you can tell, they try to discourage the use of the fake stuff.)
- It's against the law to paint a horse. (So how are ya gonna have a horse of a different color...?)
- Delivery men must walk backwards in driveways of homes worth more than five hundred thousand dollars. (???)
- It's illegal to keep doves in the freezer. (The poor little guys would get too cold in there!)
- It's against the law to give a baby a comforter. (Not sure if that means a blanket, or a pacifier.)
- In Barre, all residents must bathe every Saturday night.
- In Montpelier, no law was violated on May 14, 2009, when forty-two naked cyclists rode through town. Vermont has no law against public nudity... just on public disrobing.
- In Rutland, cars are forbidden from backfiring. (Lotsa luck trying to get those cars to pay their fines.)
Well, that's about it for now. If all is well, we'll be hanging out with some of our grandchildren this weekend, so I won't be messing around on the Internet. I'll respond to your comments and visit all y'all at your blogs next week. First things first... I'm planning to squeeze all I can in with these folks. Yep, we've got some serious playing to do.
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
Life must be lived as play. [Plato]