Enormity in Small Things

Four years ago, when I was first considering a move to Vermont for a career change, there were naturally reservations. I knew that Waterbury was smaller than most any town I had spent the night in, much less lived in, and nearby towns weren’t much larger. I considered commuting from Burlington, a bit of a mixture of Wilmington and Newark, Delaware—only with more spunk and vigor—but the distance and inadequate transit made it impractical.

So, I gathered all the … Read More …

Sitting One Out

The annual orgy of consumerism has come and gone. Every year, Americans presumably give thanks for the blessings in their lives on Thanksgiving, then go out to actively participate in one of the weirdest displays of materialism the world has known, beginning on Black Friday and continuing right up until December 26. Every year, I’m more turned off by it all.

Don’t get me wrong, as I love a good deal! I’m a crazy bargain shopper myself—I kind of have to be. I even enjoy shopping, for the most part, and like Christmas shopping in general. I pore over the Christmas candy and decorations at every turn, just to see if anything new shows up … Read More …

Finding Magic

Christmas used to be that one time of year when magic seemed really possible. Every year we’d all pile into our big American-made car for Christmas Eve at Mamaw’s, and on the way home we’d always gaze out the back window, looking at the star-filled sky for some sign of Santa, as we raced home to beat him. After we were too old for that, we’d watch for the equally elusive southern Mississippi snowflake. There was magic to be seen, even if we never saw it.

Christmas meant a twinkling tree, special food, a few unexpected gifts, and Christmas music. That was about it…and it was enough. I don’t remember commercials telling us to give the “gift of asphalt” to our loved ones by getting them a Cadilac. I certainly don’t remember… Read More …