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April 2013, vol 9, no 1

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Priscilla Van Valkenburgh


The move to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont was anticipated as an exciting adventure. Deep cold, emerald green hills,bears, breathtaking autumns, more cows than people.

We had a barn to fill, an 1830's farmhouse to restore, sugaring to learn, vegetables to grow, apples and raspberries to pick, twelve cords of wood to split and stack, and we could cross country ski right out the back door!

After awhile the romance lost some of its luster. No time to play. Chores and animals would not wait. In the early hours of a summer morning , stiff and tired, we crawled from the newly treated wide board floors of the twenty eight foot living room to our bedroom for a few hours of rest. When the well pump gave out, our neighbors nodded an "I told you so" with a sense of satisfaction that hard times also come to others in this hard place. Then they rolled up their sleeves and helped dig out the well head.

native blackberries
minus vicious prickers
= friendly fruit