Loving Vermont

Falling in love with Vermont after 18 years of living other places, I can't help but share.

In no particular order, the top 16 reasons I love Vermont:

1. Six degrees of separation does not apply. Most often if you are speaking with a stranger in Vermont, they know someone you know. In truth, they may be related to you or someone you know. It makes you feel like you are always at home.

2. The winters are no joke, the weather is ridiculously cold and harsh. It makes tough stalk out of the Vermont's people. The weather is talked about and dealt with as a community, residents support one another in defeating the snow foe.

3. Pints of Ben & Jerry's are the price they probably should be, $2.95, instead of $4.99 like they were in Philly or $5.99 in LA. Obviously B&J's is worth all those prices but for some reason it is much less distressing when consumed in one sitting if reasonably priced.

4. There is a yoga and meditation center in the Burlington Airport, open from 4:00 am until 10:00 pm for anyone to use. Vermont is usually on the cutting edge of anything good.

5. Your therapist probably also treated several members of your family, your friends, your childhood dance teacher, and/or your postmaster somewhere over time so you don't have to spend as much time setting the context.

6. Strangers say hi to one another as they pass on the street, drivers allow you to merge, turn, and make mistakes without having a fit of road rage, and if you are in need, someone will help you.

7. People still provide each other directions using landmarks and street names, the concept of GPS hasn't truly landed even though adequate cell reception has been available a couple years now.

8. Vermonters routinely do the Sunday brunch thing at their local diner or café. The food can be relatively bland but people are showing up for the memories.

9. In most of the working larger working environments I have visited, there is a Mamava station, a breastfeeding pod where new mother's can pump or breastfeed their child in privacy. Again, cutting edge.

10. LGBT families are welcome, adored, and celebrated.

11. When your dentist's receptionist calls to schedule a cleaning, she asks how work is going, how's your romantic life, and about any recent additions to the family. When you show up for said cleaning, everyone in the office has already been updated.

12. The Governor actually said what the rest of us have been thinking for years, that through addiction prescribed opiates are filling the pockets of pharmaceutical company executives and slowly killing our communities.

13. The community farmer's market is always busy and jammed packed, even though there are not that many people in each town, everyone goes at some point during the day to buy local.

14. Each drive you take in Vermont, the scenery just gets increasingly more beautiful.

15. There are no Bentleys, Maseratis, or Ferraris on the road. Even though I miss seeing that beauty driving by, I do not miss being exposed to the pretentious, materialistic, ridiculous show of money that usually gets out of the driver's seat.

16. The affectionate intimacy, over wine and food there is lots of hugging, laughing, and sharing the truth of what matters most, each other.