Sunday, February 25, 2007

February Adventures Inside and Out

My absence of posts in not due to a lack of events in this last half of the shortest month of the year. Despite the cold weather, the sun has started shining and invited me to get out and enjoy the white stuff that seemed to forget to visit Vermont at the beginning of winter. I got a pair of snowshoes last week and have had a few wonderful adventures romping through the winter landscape, including a climb up Spruce Mountain today. One of the best parts of all of these adventures has been watching our dog Ella enjoy this season. There is no way to describe her joy as she leaps fearlessly off the trail into a gully, burrowing herself into the snow as though it were a warm blanket.
Another highlight this month was my first opportunity to observe the Vermont legislature in action. I went to observe the debate over H.R. 11, a.k.a. the Iraq Resoulution. This bill, which passed in the Vermont House, after some heated debate, made an official statement that the Vermont Legislature supports ending the War in Iraq. How cool that I live in a state where I get to see democracy in action like this. I happened to sit behind a representative with whom I have strongly different opinions, but he turned around and made an effort to introduce himself. Those who disagreed with this resolution were mostly concerned with the idea that such a bill would make Veterans and current soldiers feel that we did not support them. Not taking a clear stand against the continuaton of war that puts innocent Vermonters and other American soldiers in the middle of Iraq's Civil War does not seem very supportive to me. There was language in the bill that clarified this, but an amendment was passed to ensure that there was language explicitly thanking those who had served in this war. I got a chance to see how, even in Vermont, the ego of some politicians peeks its ugly head into the halls of democracy. For the most part, however, I have to say I was pretty impressed with the civility of this very emotional dialogue.

The other activity thath has been keeping me busy has been knitting. I am not going to post all the projects I am working on, but they include finishing my mom's Christmas vest, working on a lovely cardigan, and learning how to make socks. I have been taking a sock knitting class at Kaleidiscope Yarns up in Essex Junction. As you can see, I have a great teacher. Pictured above is the first sock I have ever made. It is as soft as it looks. It's really bulky and is really more for keeping my feet toasty at home or a deliciously beutiful boot sock. As someone who loves hiking, good socks are invaluable.

Well, that's my February update. Based on the change in light, spring is just around the corner (a very big corner here in VT)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day Storm

While global warming has starved Vermont of significant snowfall for much of this winter, it seems that cupid's arrow did the trick. Here in Montpelier, we got over 2 feet of snow. Stuck at home with the love of my life on Valentine's Day. Not a bad deal. We did get out to enjoy the blizzard a bit. This is a picture taken from State Street of the new bridge Langdon Street Bridge. There is something so incredibly peaceful about world blanketed in snow. The bridge seemed like an appropriate metaphor for a country that needs to cross over some mucky waters to make the changes necessary to bring about world where snow adds to the peace instead of covering up the a world at war.

Everyone, both human and canine seemed eager to get out and enjoy the snow day. Humans need to be reminded that mother nature is more powerful and far more romantic than a Hallmark holiday. That's Robb and dog Ella playing in the growing snowpile outside our house. She was so excited about this massive blanket of snow and had no fear of jumping in piles that were three times her height. They're pretty cute, aren't they.?

Not to be the grinch that stole Valentine's Day, but global warming, or more accurately climate change, is still very much a reality. It is, however, comforting to see that a nor'easter can still make it through all those carbon fumes.