The choice is yours

Editor of the Reformer:

Our most valuable gift, other than life itself, is the ability to make choices.

Why are you reading this? It is because you choose to. Have you every considered what a difference choices have made in your life? Have you ever realized that the choices you make every day determine your every action? Do you realize that every thing you do is the result of making a choice?

From your birth until you reach the age when you are allowed to make your own choices, your choices are made for you by your parents. Even then, you have the choice of obeying the rules and laws or choosing not to. You have the choice of believing in a higher power or trusting to luck. From the moment you awake in the morning, you must choose what to do first. Shower, brush your teeth, shave, put on makeup. Then you must choose what to wear for the day. You must choose to have breakfast or skip it. If breakfast, you must choose what to have and how much. If you choose to have coffee, you must choose whether to have it black or add cream and sugar and how much of each.

Then you must choose what time to leave work for or, if not working, what you will do that day. If you choose to buy a car, you must choose what dealer and what make and what model. You must choose what color and what price you are willing to pay. Then you must choose whether to pay cash or finance it with a loan. If a loan, you must choose the finance company.

By now, perhaps you being to realize the importance of every choice you make. Your entire life is a reflection of the choices you have made.

Warren S. Patrick,

Townshend, Dec. 23

Get outside

Editor of the Reformer:

In the winter it can be a challenge to get outside, be active and stay social. When it’s cold and snowy outside it’s very easy to want to hole up at home in front of the fire. The Catamount Trail Association offers opportunities to get outside, meet new people, be active, learn new skills, and have fun. The Catamount Trail Association is celebrating its 30th year anniversary since being incorporated as a non profit backcountry skiing organization in 1984 with the "purpose of building, administrating, and maintaining the Catamount Trail as a public resource." The last stretch of the trail was completed in 2007, making it 100 percent complete extending from the Vermont/Massachusetts line in Readsboro to the Canadian border at North Troy. The trail consists of 31 sections totaling 300 miles and is marked with blue catamount paw signs and runs thru private, municipal, state, and federal land.

Anyone can get involved, from individuals who have never skied, to seasoned backcountry explorers. The trail sponsors instructional events that are ideal for the new or beginner skier. There are free single day tours with some tours geared towards novice skiers and others that are longer and geared for more intermediate or advanced skiers. Multi-day tours are perfect for the experienced skier looking to bite off a bit more-perhaps even looking to be an "end to ender" skiing the length of Vermont. The multi-day tours are also great social events. So no matter where you fall in the backcountry experience spectrum the CTA has something for you. Curling up on the couch in front of a fire can be blissful, but do this too often and you might start to feel nonproductive, lonely, and bored ( not to mention out of shape ). Why not use winter as an opportunity to try something new-meet new people, explore new places, and learn new skills? You may even start to love the winters. Nothing is as beautiful as skiing through the woods on a snowy day.

More information on the trail can be found on their excellent website On the toolbar click on "Ski The CT" for detailed information including maps on the individual sections. You can also click on "Tours" to check out the single day guided tours as well as the multi-day tours. The special events are also listed on the website. The CTA office in Burlington may also be contacted at 802-864-5794.

Alan Binnick,

Wilmington, Dec. 30