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My Vermont: Cara Butterly

05/08/08 7:50AM
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The first Halloween I remember I spent bundled up with mittens and Sorel boots. Growing up in Vermont Halloween was that type of holiday - whatever costume you chose had better be able to accommodate long underwear and a hat. It seems as though most Vermont holidays have the same clothing criteria.

After high school I went to college in another state. For the first time in my life I wasn't living in a valley and I couldn't tell what direction I was facing without any natural features to guide me. It was uncomfortable and exposing. After spending 18 years relying on the mountains I had to develop other skills for navigation.

When I had the freedom to decide where to live I chose to move back to the Green Mountain State and settled in a different valley. In part the decision to return was as simple as reconnecting with the mountains, fields, and rivers that were so familiar and offered me a sense of place and identity. Living on my own I realized how much this state and its people have taught me about patience when dealing with the fickle patterns of New England weather along with the joys and sorrows of seasonal agriculture.

My Vermont reminds me of who I am and how much of my character is rooted in this landscape. I am not Irish, English, German, or Polish as my ancestry would suggest. I am a Vermonter. I must be - I've worn my Sorels to church on Easter.

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