Saturday, July 14, 2012

Here and Now

 Choosing Not to See

Readers of this space know that my move almost eight months ago to Vermont has not exactly been rewarded with instant fame, fortune and fulfillment. When life is hard, with art sales slow, and not a good job to be found, it can be tempting to submit to such a negative attitude and outlook, so focused on bleak projections of the uncertain prospects ahead of me, that in effect, I make a choice not to see what’s right in front of me and around me in the here and now. 

 Morning Paper

This morning I woke up early and instead of returning to bed, took a cue from the birds already into their second hour of morning song, and began my day with a cup of tea, a green view and a quick reading of the local newspaper. I was encouraged to read that Rutland law enforcement is getting just as frustrated and angry with the recent rising number of incidents of disorderly conduct as I am, and has decided to do something about it. As the weather gets warmer, it seems that more people of varying ages with nothing to do turn to petty crime and bad behavior, ruining shared public spaces for the rest of us.  Last week someone causing a disturbance not only assaulted two officers trying to remove her from a local park, but kicked out the window of a police car in the process. This young lady will now be under a lifetime ban from all city parks, as will any other vandals, punks and vagrants who don’t know how to behave in a civilized lawful manner. Bravo, says I.

 Blood Drive

Riffraff disturbing the peace is not what Rutland is about. Yesterday, for the first time in my life I signed up to donate blood at an event being held here in Rutland next Tuesday. Last winter, Rutland hosted its annual Gift-of-Life Marathon blood drive and fell  just short of the national record of 1,968 pints donated, set by neighboring Manchester, NH. However, the 1,855 pints that were donated in Rutland earned the record for the greatest per-capita blood donation in the history of the United States.  Not bad for a city of 17,000 souls. There is even a documentary chronicling the event called “The Blood in This Town.” That is what Rutland is about. And that is what I want to be a part of. And I will, next Tuesday, at 1:30 pm.

 Salt Cave

Earlier in the day, Brian and I visited the Pyramid HolisticWellness Center. Not only has the owner Dr. William Kelley been a welcoming and supportive friend to us both, but he provides for a community that has way too many opportunities to indulge bad behavior, a sanctuary and resource center for everything that promotes sound body, mind and spirit. One of the most intriguing therapies offered, one which I had never heard of nor encountered before, is called The Salt Cave, a room meant to simulate a salt mine, in which you recline in the enriched atmosphere listening to soft music in a soothing dim light, and emerge an hour later feeling as if you have just had a full body massage and a day at a spa, and the best night’s sleep of your life all in one, except it only costs ten dollars - yes you read that right. I don’t know how it works and I don’t care. I’m making it a regular part of my wellness routine. Thank you Bill for bringing this to Rutland. 

 Nature's Bounty

Right after reading the newspaper, I walked down the hill to the Saturday Farmer’s Market that has grown in recent years from a few intrepid farmers in a parking lot to what feels like an international culinary festival of over 90 vendors of produce, prepared foods, wine, cheese, meats, and local crafts. I spent 24 dollars and came home with the bounty you see above. Every weekend it seems there are more items to choose from, and every weekend I recognize more of the vendors and customers who are my neighbors. What a wonderful way to start the day and how lucky to have it within a five minute walk from home. It makes me feel good to be a part of keeping these small growers in business and keeping Vermont strong, not to mention enjoying a week’s worth of healthy and delicious fresh ingredients!  I’m sure I’ll feel even more fulfilled next Tuesday as I walk out of the beautiful Paramount Theater, also mere minutes from my home, and part of the Rutland Downtown Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For what I will take away with me, one pint of blood seems little to give.

All things considered, I’m happy to be here.


  1. Oooh. I loved this mini tour of your home town and the Salt Cave sounds incredible. Great cat shot, in a position which seems to be universal. Cat performance of the ostrich 'head in the sand' perhaps?
    Shortly I am off to our own Farmers' Markets - always a treat, aiming to buy sourdough rosemary and olive bread and fresh flowers for starter.

    1. EC it means a lot that you found the time - or made it - to visit me here when I know you're up against far tougher circumstances at the moment than mine. I hope you start seeing some real progress soon with the SP - and no more of this one step forward two steps back routine.

      Meantime...isn't it true about the universal cat behavior? It's like they all read the same book that teaches how to get away with everything by striking a cute pose! I can see the chapter headings..."When In Doubt - Act Adorable" and "How to Look Contrite After Drawing Blood"

      I hope you enjoyed your own visit to the Farmer's Market. Mine has some wonderful baked goods and fresh flowers also - but I was already so loaded down with veggies and dairy yesterday I'll have to wait until next time to indulge!

      Please, please have a good week.

  2. That really is a universal cat pose, isn't it? And harder to photograph than it looks :-)It sounds as if you're finding beauty in many forms, even when it isn't always obvious.

    1. Thanks for the comment JMG - I'm lucky to have a very photogenic kitty, who loves to strike - and hold - poses in the perfect locations with ideal lighting, possibly she was a supermodel in a past life? So I can't take full credit for this one. What I can take credit for is showing admirable restraint in not filling this blog with nothing but cute cat pictures! I only allow myself one or two a month...for your sake and mine.

      Enjoy the week!

  3. What an amazing effort that blood drive is! I love a good market and keeping my food close to home where and when we can - we had visitors on the weekend and had a coffee in town and I said - isn't it great to know we just drove past the cows that made this milk? Keeping life simple is important and we can try to do it in so many, food, happiness and cats! Sounds like a good weaken...good luck for Tuesday.

    1. This is a strange little city indeed, sometimes so sleepy and empty, and then bustling with life. Tomorrow in addition to the summer blood drive, thanks to an international convention doing an excursion on Vermont roads, a great procession of dozens of Model T Ford vintage cars will be processing on the very same street of the theatre holding the blood donation event! The street will then be closed to traffic as a live jazz band sets up to play into the late afternoon.

      I like your phrase "keeping my food close to home." It used to be a way of life back in days past. How did we go so horribly wrong? Ah well, at least there are enough of us making the effort to go local when and where possible. It makes all kinds of sense, and it also feels good!

      Have a great week!