I certainly have been very fortunate with regards to the weather. All of November was mild, with rain instead of snow coming down. Since the arrival of December however, it has been much colder, with wind and snow occurring most days. Vermont winters are nothing to sneeze at (unless you have a cold), with extended periods of blustery and snowy weather commonplace. It took no time at all for the ground to freeze, and a foot of snow to be covering everything. We get near-daily flurries as well, which helps keep the slop on the sidewalks and roads fresh … Nature’s little efficiencies! Currently, at noon, it is 21 F outside, with a wind chill making it feel like 6 F. Happily, this is of less importance to me than it used to be since I am now living in a snug apartment with only a 4 or 5 minute walk to work … or anywhere else in downtown Montpelier.
The Christmas season is well upon us, but I find that I am somewhat distant from the Holiday festivities. My financial situation allows little leeway in the area of impulsive gift buying, although I have allowed myself some small purchases as the joy of giving gifts is too hard to pass up. My lack of finances has created a bit of a conflict for me as I am still in ‘party mode’ from the joy of having established my residence here, but the difficulties of the past few years have created within me a fresh measure of discipline and stoicism. Actually, I am probably being too strict with myself, but it is hard to let go of the ‘survival mode’ that I needed to cultivate for so long in order to endure. This will pass with time as I am already discovering. It is good to feel the joys of life, and I must allow myself to embrace them fully in the same way that I fostered my previous stoicism. The right tool for the job as Mr. Natural would say.
Montpelier itself has changed slightly since the advent of the Holiday season. It seems to me that the mercantile aspect of Christmas manifests itself too easily in people. The normally courteous drivers, who would stop and allow you to cross the street, now zoom right by you and it pays to be aware of puddles before they become part of your wardrobe’s fashion style. This is somewhat sad, as the courtesy and warmth of the people here, contributes mightily to the ambiance of contentment which pervades the area. It is more pleasant with those who are walking about, either doing their Holiday shopping or running whatever errands they find themselves doing. The frequent greetings and pleasantries have not lessened one iota.