Tuesday, November 21, 2023


One of the limitations of the property where I live is that, since the house is surrounded by trees, there isn't much of a view. But, with the leaves down, you can now clearly see the outline of the Green Mountains nearby to the east. With effort, you can also see the Taconic and Adirondack Mountains to the west. The yard is still fairly private, though you can now make out the nearby houses. 

On the whole, I am happy living here. There have been no signs of mice since October, and I'm going to set up the birdfeeder soon if it stays cold. There may still be bears around. It looks as if the house is fairly well-insulated, so my utilities will be manageable. Overall, I don't think that the expenses here will be any higher than they were in Middlebury, where I was paying rent, and the value of this property has already increased. So far, not having a garage hasn't been a disadvantage. It was easier putting on snow tires outside, because there was more space and better lighting. Eventually, I will be clearing snow off the car, but, since I don't have to go anywhere most days, that shouldn't be much of a problem. The new snow blower arrived today and fits nicely in the shed. There is way more space in the house than I need, and I've had overnight visitors without any crowding.

On top of this, I like Brandon and feel a little more like a Vermonter now. I listen to Vermont Public (radio) more often than I used to, and that generates a sense of community. I even like the Vermont politicians! I'm becoming a regular at Café Provence and enjoy looking at the Neshobe River, which runs right through downtown, with waterfalls. There's also an art gallery and an old church with tombstones.

I recently attended a wedding in Derby, Connecticut and was shocked by all of the traffic. That is another reason why I prefer Vermont, particularly this part of the state, which has no interstates. Although I don't technically consider myself a writer, this is a very good environment for writing, and I can see why many of them move here. I am increasingly identifying with St. Bede the Venerable, though I'm not religious. I first learned of St. Bede at Worcester College, Oxford, in a course on Anglo-Saxon archaeology (coincidentally, that is the college that Rupert Murdoch attended). Bede lived in England from about 672 to 735, and his historical writings are one of the very few chronicles of that part of the Dark Ages there. I am beginning to feel as if I am starting to chronicle our Dark Age, though, in this case, I'm not writing alone. 

Because I have so much free time, I'm subscribing to more hard-copy magazines. I currently get Scientific AmericanSky and Telescope, Consumer ReportsTimes Literary Supplement and The New Yorker. I still like The New Yorker mainly for its cartoons. My grandson, who is now eight, also likes the cartoons, so I'm giving him my copies. Generally, I still don't enjoy the articles that much, and I don't like the current editor, David Remnick. They recently had an inferior review of Determined. I do like some of the writers, such as Elizabeth Kolbert, James Wood, Louis Menand and Rebecca Mead, and it has a sentimental value to me, because I grew up in New York. It has always been a pretentious publication, so I don't take it very seriously. The fiction, I still think, is pretty awful. I got a special rate and probably won't renew. 

My stargazing activity is almost dead. Because there is nowhere here suitable to store my large telescope, I gave it away. It currently belongs to a friend of the person who made it, who is using it as an "outreach" telescope at a summer camp in Colorado. I still have my small telescope but haven't set it up yet. In Middlebury, it was permanently set up on the rear deck and fastened down, so it was very convenient to use. It has to be fastened down or it may blow over in high winds (it did once). I don't have a deck here, but I may set it up for certain astronomical events. I can also do some stargazing in bed. In Middlebury, the skylight faced west, and I could see the Pleiades setting. This house has skylights that face south, and I can currently view the Orion Nebula rising in the east, with binoculars, while lying in bed. The skylights are small here, so it quickly moves out of view.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated in order to remove spam.