My Piece of Heaven: Vermont - "Be Content"

Vermont is the best kept secret on earth.  The place where "Andy Griffith" meets "Little House on A Prairie," I still tease. I was proud to call myself a Vermonter for five years, to have had my first and only child there and to be an island girl who could handle Vermont's cold.   Thankful and blessed that my family and us (my hubby and I) also have roots there, not family, but a piece of heaven, on Vermont earth.  

'Though a newbie to Virginia, I hope to return to Vermont, before Miami, Florida, someday.   

Vermont ...   
It's the place that every time, before I board a small plane to visit, flight representatives and attendants, double check my boarding pass.  

The place where, if I see just one more black person like myself, I'll give that lil' reassuring nod and smile.  

A small island girl, placed in a small, quaint state where everyone could know your name.  The vibe is very similar to island life ... nothing really changes and 'cause of color, we do tend to stick out. Yet, I walk about confidently that I am still very much a Vermonter.  Heart and soul.   

I'd like to think I'm a cosmopolitan lady but in Vermont, my life feels simple, better yet peaceful. So simple that I don't even wear heels, except when visiting my favorite bar, Red Square in downtown Burlington.  

Vermont is the place where I kick off my shoes, and roam fields of grass, or walk through a garden of mud.  It's just the feeling of the earth beneath my feet and feeling grounded. It truly takes me back to my childhood and tomboy days in St.Lucia, reminding me of my old (well my parents still live there) neighborhood, Bonne Terre. 

Twenty five years ago, Bonne Terre seemed almost mine.  Vermont brings back those same feelings today.  An age of innocence, purity and reckless abandon.  It's the way the wind blows, that gravel road, the wafting of Murray's cow manure, the existence of fruit trees in the back yard. The essence of a natural and much to discover playground. Those last few months, I watched my almost four year old, climb piles of stones, touch the soil, help plant almost every tree and water them. She ate icicles, swung on her own and cried when she fell and bruised herself.  Quite diabolical, I laughed but so proud, I had to teach her to toughen up.  At least, I did not tell her, like I used to, "only boys cry!"  I was reminded so much of my younger self, when I saw her lil' being. 

"Bonne Terre," translated from French, means "Good Land."  It's the love, that sense of pride and well being that allows my daughter to now enjoy "Bonne Terre," on that lil' piece of heaven, on Vermont earth. Perfectly named too 'cause of the history of the French in Vermont, "Verres Monts" translates to "Green Mountains," and Vermont is The Green Mountain State.

Three months, of travelling back and forth between Virginia and Vermont was all worth it. This Spring and early Summer will not be forgotten.  There were so many family moments, lessons taught and learnt among 3 generations, my family and others. There is much love.  

It is important for me to mention my dear friend, Lisa too.  Lisa and I have been friends from 5, Ave Maria school days. We lost contact for many years but somehow found each other in our early twenties. It took an old song that she loved, "Rumors" to remind me of her one day, only to have her email two days later, asking if I were her childhood friend.  You've seen her numerous times, on this blog ... she is one of my biggest supporters, other than my parents.

Lisa and I always make time to visit each other. I visit her in Boston or she would often visit me in Vermont. Vermont is a four hour drive from Boston, and it quickly became Lisa's getaway spot.  When the two of us get together, we are free spirits, well met. We live like today is our last. What more could a friend ask for?

This past Memorial Weekend, Lisa made the trek to Vermont. Not our usual lime (hangout), to be on a farm, much less in the presence of parents but we had an enjoyable time.  It's unheard of for us to go to our favorite Church Street bar, Red Square for just one night. The rest of her time was spent with my parents, an older co-worker of my hubby's, Armand and neighbors during an all day barbecue. 

This was the first time ever, Lisa had to excuse herself to go to sleep.  It was funny.  We usually see each other for 2 day periods of which I drink vodka with her one day and she drinks tequila with me the other.  Needless to say, we each suffer tremendously from drinking the others' drink.  Anyway after a night at Red Square, the next day we had a bbq start at 2PM.  We ate, drank, listened to adult jokes ... up till midnight when Lisa left to go to bed.  I could not believe it.  I had to go look for her.  She returned only to depart to bed again.  The next morning, in our usual F. word all over the place language, she could not believe that my parents had lasted so long.  LOL!  She felt as she drank, the more drunk she got ... but my parents were still holding conversations like we had not been drinking all day! That was so funny. 

Lisa has now become like a sister to me.  She in my eyes, has become a part of my family. I'm so happy to have been a part of every moment.  More so that my daughter, friend and husband could share it too. Truly as a society, we need to go back to basics, in every sense when it comes to family and the environment.  We need to be more considerate, compassionate and loyal.

My favorite lesson, from my dad, short and sweet, says it all, "BE CONTENT!"

Ordinarily, I would not share any of this on this blog. Though this experience is worth sharing.  It's a side of me that you won't usually see. I love nature, the outdoors, the fields, flowers, shadows, swings, my garden, cutting the lawn, cats, so many random things but of course drinking and being with my family!

I hope this inspires you in some simple way ... to look at the world around you and be content with whatever it is that you do have.  Learn to make the most of it. God knows, there is so much to be thankful for. 

The Stone Wall Built by Me. 

Memorial Weekend - Lisa and I were dancing away to house music in the Blue Room, in Red Square.  The next day, we had a BBQ competition between my hubby and dad. It was a draw. It was that good. You may ask, what was my contribution.  I mixed drinks. One tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila, 4 ... till I got tired and made by the jug.  One jug, 2 jugs, 3 jugs, 4!  MARGARITAS ONLY!

My Love Affair with Boys' Toys, particularly JOHN DEERE.

I always stress that I like tomboy chic.  I am still very much the tomboy. Girly girl, I am but certainly not afraid to work, rake, shovel, get my hands dirty or cut the grass. In fact, I think I do it better, and far sexier too.  LOL! My new love affair though is with John Deere. I jump on, much with the attitude of how my father taught me to drink, "Certainly I can put any man under the table. I MAN UP!"

...And all the other random pictures of things that I love about Vermont

See Pictures Here!

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