Tag Archives: Montpelier

Snow Mountains and Soup Swaps


Snow has arrived in Central Vermont! I spent Sunday with my two friends, Otis and Ben, and we enjoyed the snow together. We tried out the hill at their country home – fabulous! Otis, who is 6 years old, discovered that if we all piled into the wood sled together, the trip down the hill was much faster! Later that afternoon, Otis, Ben (who is 4) and I went to Hubbard Park to do some more sledding, participate in a scavenger hunt, and have hot cocoa and cookies.

At home, the snow plows rumble into the parking lots behind my apartment and push the accumulation into miniature mountains of white and grey. Last night Fae and I played “Queen of the Hill” on the pile nearest the door. Fae loves snow – but like me, when her feet get cold, she’s done playing!

Each morning I discover that a kind spirit has shoveled my little walkway from the parking lot to the steps of my apartment, and cleared a path to the dumpsters as well! This person must come before dawn, as I am usually up early and have yet to find out who it is. So I am giving a shout out and a thank you to the Snow Fairy, whoever you are!

If you remember my blog of last winter, Glove is All You Need, I discovered the singles gathering of gloves in Montpelier. My goal this year is to collect those errant gloves and mittens and find a place to donate them. But this month, shoppers won’t have to expose their hands to put money in Montpelier’s meters. The city has covered all its meters with festive red baggies – everyone parks free. A good thing for shoppers and a good thing for the shops!

I am preparing beef barley soup to take to a soup swap hosted by the REACH exchange in Montpelier. This swap is a bit different than the one I wrote about last year in Soup for You. We all partake of the soup of others instead of going home with freezer-ready portions. I am considering hosting a soup swap of my own in the late winter months – it would be a fun way to spend a cold evening!


Glove is All You Need


I have been ignoring this blog space and I apologize. The last few weeks have been filled with truck repair and inspection, settling into a new – although temporary – place, and looking for work in Montpelier.

I have also worked to meet people and become a part of the community. Recently I met a city official, who told me about one of her pet projects, the Onion River Exchange Program. The program encourages service exchanges between community members, with hours as the currency. So, each member’s hour of service to others is worth as much as the next member.

Well, you know how I love barter – see the Trading up for Ireland page – so I signed up! The exchanges were so interesting and varied. One single father asked for home-cooked dinners for his two boys and himself; a pet owner needed her dog’s nails clipped, another asked for help with guitar lessons. Others offered such services as web site development, or plumbing work, or yoga lessons.

My first hour of service was for the Onion River Exchange Project’s office. The girls who ran the project were busy moving from one location to another, due to a fire. So they were up to their exchanges in boxes. I was asked to deliver fliers about the project to downtown businesses. It was a perfect opportunity to get to know the downtown area. I spent an hour tacking up fliers, and at the end felt a sense of accomplishment as well as feeling as if I were a part of the Montpelier community.

The weather was fair that day, as were the few days before, and much of the snow had melted away from the parking lots and medians. When I parked behind Main Street and started to put my money in the meter, I noticed there were three gloves of different types lying at the base of the meter. Several other meters along the line had gloves at the base. I could envision what had happened. During the winter, it snows regularly here, and shoppers had to take off one of their gloves to handle the coins they needed to operate the meters. The gloves dropped from their hands and were buried by the continuing snowfall. So now, there they were lying there – a singles club for gloves with a 2 hour limit.

I thought about all those people who wondered what happened to that lone glove; wondering if it had been lost in that same great big black hole as socks from the dryer. I wondered if there was a place that would offer mismatched gloves to solve the problem, just like the place that sells mismatched socks.
I found this cool site where you can send in a lovelorn single glove to find a new mate. I read about one man’s quest to collect pictures of poor little lost handwear.

But the best glove-related site I found was a story about a man who honored his father’s legacy of giving by offering gloves to the homeless.

Next time I’m in Montpelier, I’m going to take some time to pick up those single gloves that are hanging out at the meters, wash them, and take them to a homeless shelter. They might not be new, or matched, but they can certainly warm a hand – or two.

Fully Monty


I have landed – if you have noticed my absence from blogging at Trust the Universe, I had good reason. Over the last few weeks I have been busy packing and storing, managing final bill payments, cleaning my old place for the new tenants and preparing for my move to Montpelier.

Even a temporary move is time consuming. Because I am only renting a room, most of my possessions had to go to a storage unit. It sounds easy. But first I had to hire strong men to help me. The quotes from moving companies for the two-mile trek to the storage unit made me wonder how others could afford to move cross country. My whole point behind the move was to reduce my expenses, so paying the equivalent of a month’s rent didn’t make sense. Enter Craigslist. I hired two guys with the same name and crossed my fingers.

I decided to take some of my things up to Monty on the weekend of Martin Luther King Day. All went well – I set up my bed and desk and hung a few clothes, and got Fae used to the new digs. The next morning, we headed into town. On the way, Spike the truck began to complain. The front wheel began to grind and squeal. I got out to check, thinking a stick may have gotten wedged in the wheel area. Nothing. I drove slowly into town, wincing with the sound the wheel continued to make. At one point, I pulled into a parking lot to check the wheel again. A man stood at his work truck and watched me pull in, then approached and asked if I had trouble. He checked the wheel, then looked under the hood. I had already done those things, but since I have little to no knowledge of vehicles and the whys and hows of their innards, I was comforted that someone else was looking at Spike’s owie.

The man looked, and looked again, then stood and scratched his head and rubbed his beard.

“Just drive it,” he said. “It’ll work itself out.”

Again, knowing nothing about vehicles, I believed him. And I drove back to my room outside of town.

By the time I pulled into the driveway, the front right wheel was bent at a 45 degree angle, smoking and angry.

Spike was sent off to the hospital. A kind vehicle doctor told me the news – Spike’s bearings had given out, and the wheel had bent inward, damaging the rotor, brake pads, and bent the axle, along with a few other things that have escaped my memory. But, he said, Spike was worth saving. To replace it with another car, even an unreliable wreck, would cost more than fixing the problems.

So that month’s rent I refused to give to the moving company went to Car Doctor, and Spike is now a happy truck. C’est la vie. Money can be replaced – the old truck took me 100 miles at 60 miles per hour without a problem, and didn’t give up until I was in the driveway, safe and sound.

And now I am in Monty, waiting to see what the Universe will bring in the way of adventures. Stay tuned  – and stay happy!