Vermont has not been hit hard (so far) by the coronavirus, though the impact of the shutdown on businesses and tourism has been huge. As in our previous post, we’re staying put until the pandemic is under control and spreading has stopped. The culture in our small state and small town is pretty much to look out for each other and, in general, people are following guidelines. As a result, the number of cases has been kept small and outbreaks have been quickly addressed. However, although it’s been a quiet spring, as businesses start to reopen and we begin to welcome some visitors, it’s clear that we’re not going right back to the way things used to be. The times, they are a-changin’, one might say…
For 20 years we’ve lived in Vermont, well known (both literally and colloquially) as the Green Mountain state. It’s a pretty place, for sure. As we traveled during summers for the past 5 years, we saw places that were stunningly, mind-blowingly beautiful! For the last 2 trips, we were in Northern Canada and Alaska where the predominant flora is the boreal forest, with its characteristic tall skinny evergreens. On earlier trips, we’ve spent a lot of time in deserts, mountains, prairies and lakes (great ones!), but not much in the type of terrain and environment we’d been accustomed to in northern New England.
So as the weather warmed and our predominantly deciduous forest started to green up, we’d sorta forgotten just how beautiful our rolling hills and (relatively) small mountains become in summer. Who knew there were a million shades of green?! And it hasn’t stopped!
Spring is typically a wet month in Vermont, so our long walks are limited to dirt roads. Sandra, my daily walking partner, and I found and explored every dirt road within a 2-hour walk from home. There are 35 such roads, a few of which we never knew existed… As hiking and walking trails have recently dried, we started exploring our 3 local town forests, all within 5 miles of the house. We were amazed to find trail maps showing 30+ miles of trails that need exploring! Did I mention a million shades of green?
We’re still not traveling, though if things should change, we’ve cleaned up and de-winterized the RV. We can pack it up and go within hours! But we’re also taking advantage of being stationary to take care of some overdue maintenance on the rig (like a new, completely uncracked windshield), to readdress some on-the-road jury-rigging we’ve done (like the superglued refrigerator door hinge, victim to certain washboarded dirt roads in Alaska), and much, much more.
Speaking of overdue maintenance, since we’re at home for a summer we can get a few fixes done around the house. Top priority was a new roof. Part of the original metal roof still on our house was 47 years old. Projected to last up to 50 years, it almost made it. Yet, it was totally rusted and hinting at leaks. The new roof looks great! We’ve also been pruning trees and moving and cutting back plants to get the landscaping a bit more under control, and overall the place is looking nice and tidied up. Of course, there’s a bit more to go (the deck, for example…).
We’ve got time left over, so we’re still learning and practicing and playing music. Lots of music! We both think we’re improving. We’ve been working on recording ourselves (which is almost like another separate hobby) and building our studio capabilities, which we’re using to do some self-collaboration (kind of like everybody else) and work up some songs.
Here’s our very first attempt:
For anyone who’s interested, more spring pix…