Fresh Air kids, you’ve heard of them, right? Those are the kids that get to come to the country from the city and experience our way of life. The quiet and serene, often bucolic surroundings that we get to ignore every day. All of our wide-open spaces with the smell of fresh cut grass lingering in the air ... ahhhh, Vermont, am I right? Of course I am. Sure it snows nine months out of the year and rains for two months, but that month of good weather -- well, we’re all over it.
If you’re not a native Vermonter chances are you’ve transplanted yourself from points south, New York (like me), New Jersey, Massachusetts, wherever. You did so to get some of the peaceful life. Now if you’re a 7-year-old from New York City then without a doubt Vermont is the best place on earth! Why? There are several reasons: First, Hama’s (grandma’s) cooking; second, Nono’s (grandfather’s) constant ability to teach you inappropriate things; third, more places to play. So every summer since our grandson was born we’ve stole him from his parents, taken a week off from work and created Hama and Nono Camp! It’s a week that allows our grandson to experience the wonderment that is Vermont. Which is why within a 30-minute span of time right after we arrived back here from getting him, he tripped over the dog and scraped his knee, then 15 minutes later got stung by a wasp.
But if you were to ask him, he loves it up here. And why wouldn’t he, it’s got everything he wants. He can just grab a basketball and walk into the backyard and shoot hoops (and flatten most of our garden in the process). It’s that sense of freedom alone that he loves the most, I’m guessing. After all, at home if he wants to shoot hoops it’s a small process. If he wants to play whiffle ball, we simply go to the front yard. What’s that ... play some golf, you got it! Just a short drive and we’re there! Walk in the woods, splash in a body of water, chilling out. Let’s face it, we here in Vermont got it knocked!
Of course, after getting stung by the wasp, he did admit that Vermont has some creepy things, but he wouldn’t trade being up here for the world. Having him around reminds both my wife and me that we live in a pretty spectacular place, and it helps us appreciate it a little more too. Let’s face it, we usually are busy ignoring our surroundings, we’re busy, we work. But if we want to go out for a run -- most of us need to only put on our running shoes and a go, and within minutes we could be running on a quiet country road alongside a small stream. It’s all pretty great. Yes we sometimes are bored to tears because of the "lack of things to do," but you get that anywhere.
Living in our part of the world really does give us a sense of freedom that you wouldn’t normally get in other places. Here you’ve got wide open spaces, and room to breathe. A simple function of getting ice cream turns into a social event, you chat with people you know and folks you just meet. There’s a sense of safety up here that hasn’t been completely lost. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy going back to the Mothership from time to time, taking in a Yankee game and checking out some different cuisine. As we have the world at our fingertips, so do New Yorkers. But I always say, I love going back to New York because I get to call Vermont my home.
Well, I’ve got to go -- I’ve got a tee time with junior then I think we’ve got a little mountain biking in the future. Off we go into the wild blue yonder! What the hell is up with that?