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Friday, August 1

An Ode to Old Friends (longterm, that is!)

I mentioned on Plurk last week that I was off on a pilgrimage to my childhood village--Huntington, Vermont. Unfortunately I neglected to take pictures of the town: it's a little village in a valley in the mid-mountain area between the foothills and the higher peaks of the Green Mountains. It's south of Richmond, kind of north and east of Hinesburg, and west of Duxbury. Camel's Hump, the 3rd highest mountain in Vermont is mostly situated in Huntington. The "wrong view" of the Hump, as seen on the Vermont quarter in the U.S. State Quarter Series, is in Duxbury (the view you would get on Interstate 89 coming north from southern and central Vermont). Don't ask--it's a touchy subject!

Anywho, when I lived there from age 4 to 18 (I turned 18 in October 1981), the population was roughly 800-1,100. Now it is over 1,800! Phew--population boom! My father worked for IBM way back then, and my mom and dad saved a clipping from the Burlington Free Press--an article stating that Huntington was bound to become a 'bedroom community for IBM'. Lol. I didn't enjoy it much as a kid--I wanted to be from a big city like the ones we saw on tv. I also didn't want to be taken as an uneducated redneck--and times when we would go "into town" (which meant Burlington) were painful, especially in the winter, as we'd be wearing those big ol' Sorels (heavy Canadian-made winter boots with felted liners) or 'Pacs' (as the green rubber/plastic boots were called back then) as Huntington had tons of snow, and people in Burlington would be wearing sneakers! lol. This was before the Interstate System was built in Vermont. I think we got the Interstate in 1973 or 1974.

Pics in this post: click on for larger view

--top: pic of huntington
--Joyce modeling my merino/alpaca/cashmere lace shawl.
--Kim, who is laid up with a knee operation. HER kitty loves
to sit in her lap! (note: our kitty will only do this if we have paper on our lap).

--The mosaic vase picture Joyce made for my 40th

Back to our story. I do, however, have very fond memories of my neighbor Kim, and her mother, Joyce. Our houses were about 20' apart in the front, but we had about an acre of land in the back. I spent a lot of time hanging out over at their house. Joyce was like another mom to me, but also more of a friend. She was into plants, tea (Woohoo! And you wonder where I got it from?!), all kinds of crafts: knitting, crocheting, etc. And these days she's into folk-art painting, needle felting, mosaics, and way more wicked cool stuff. Oh, she's over, well--let's say she's over 60 something--spry as a hen, and way more energy than most people I know!

Kim was like another sister to me. We still have a deep friendship, and try to keep in touch with each other. Joyce and Kim have been to our house in Jericho, and J and me make a visit usually once a year, around the fall, to see them.

For my 40th birthday (5 years ago), Joyce made me a mosaic of a vase with roses! It's really fabulous. See pic at right.

I'm just blessed that we have stayed in touch with each other, and can share old times, and continue with newness in our lives.

I wanted to add that I neglected to put a paragraph in this post along the lines of "It took driving 'cross country in 1987 and spending a short time in LA for me to appreciate Vermont and many aspects of living in Vermont. While J and me do travel around a bit, we always enjoy coming back to Vermont. It has changed a lot in the past 20 years, and I'm also a bit older, but at this point in my life I have learned to appreciate many things that I didn't before."