by Guy Page
I spent most of last week in Vermont’s biggest hospital (bowel resection, ewww, a one-off and I’m home and fine now), where I gazed out of my Baird Six window at the world’s lousiest view except for one feature, the steeple and weathervane of the original Mary Fletcher Hospital, where I was born almost 66 years ago.
Since that initial visit to the hospital, I’ve never left Vermont for more than a month or two. A lifelong journalist and amateur Vermont historian, I can speak at tedious length and wishful accuracy about how the politics, demographics, and economy of present-day Vermont got heah from ‘theah,’ whether 1957 or any other year. So much has changed. Much of it for the worse IMHO.
But one thing about Vermont has not changed:
We live in a God-blessed-with-natural-beauty state. At the close of my interview with Washington pundit George Will this June, knowing he hadn’t visited Vermont in 60 years, I asked the unflappable, just-try-to-impress me D.C. insider what he thought of Vermont.
An unfamiliar look of awe came over Will’s face.
“Such a beautiful state,” he said.
Will had only seen the Green Mountain State from his airline seat and then enroute from the airport to the Doubletree in South Burlington. The weather was gorgeous but his view hardly intimate.
You and I are blessed to live every day amid four-season (okay, three) scenes of splendor.
Sure, Vermont can be like that good-looking friend or family member who always seems to make the wrong choices about life, except about appearance.
Sure, there are many other states enjoying both wisdom and beauty.
Still. As I drive, bike or walk around Vermont, I am grateful for the ho-hum, everyday, background riches of maples, mountains, farms and fields. As fall approaches, I’m okay with sharing the love with the tourists. “Come Visit Vermont,” a State of Vermont short video aimed at attracting tourists, also reminds us locals and/or lifers just what a sweet deal we get by living in the Green Mountain State, and I am not just talking about maple syrup. I’m sharing it through this post, and I encourage readers to share it as well.
P.S. Speaking of gratitude – thank you to Baird Six’s Alexis, Owen, the other Alexis, Marie, Kyle, Felicia, Laura, LaChelle, Byrne, Judith, and Xi for your skilled, encouraging, thoughtful, professional health care when I was at my weakest. And thank you to Assistant Editor Tim Page for strapping on his helmet and calling the plays when the First String got knocked out of the game. And to Mike Donoghue and all of the others who ‘fed the beast’ in my absence. Gratia, gratia, gratia.