You are currently browsing the daily archive for May 5, 2009.
I remember when my husband first got his jeep. It was as if he had entered into some type of secret society. Everywhere he went, whenever he saw another jeep driver, the two acknowledged each other with a slight nod or a half wave. I was reminded of this the other day, when I was walking. It seems that people in Vermont share that same “secret society” mentality – or maybe it is merely an “everyone is a neighbor” mentality. In either event, everyone waves. People wave to each other when they are driving. Pedestrians wave to drivers, drivers wave to people sitting on their porches or just standing having a chat on the side of the road. It is an interesting phenomenon especially coming from an area where people go to great lengths to not even make eye contact with each other, much less outwardly acknowledge that the other person exists by waving to them. Interesting, but welcoming. I sometimes find myself waving at total strangers (okay, probably more than some of the time, since whenever someone waves, the only polite thing to do is to wave back) and when we sit on our front porch in the summer, you can feel like the Queen of England waving to the cars as they pass by – mainly because every single one of them waves to you. It is rather cool – this “secret society” we have here. So, next time you’re in the neighborhood, wave. I’m sure someone will wave back at you.
Sometimes, it becomes very apparent how un-ethnic Vermont really is. Vermont is a pretty white state (seriously it has been rated one of the states with the greatest concentration of Caucasians) so finding ethnic anything can be a challenge. I learned that when we first moved here. I had a hankering for take-out Chinese food. Knowing that delivery is not an option where we live, I asked our neighbors where they went for take-out Chinese. The general answer, cook your own. That was a couple years ago now and we have found a few places “in the city” to grab take-out if we are up that way. Nothing to shake a stick at, but it can satisfy that craving – however, quite honestly, our neighborly advice, make your own, yielded better results.
So, needless to say, Cinco de Mayo is not a great big holiday up here in the great white north. So, tonight, keeping true to our metropolitan upbringing, we’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo – with food. Pico de gallo, fajitas and nachos are all on the menu.
Interestingly, here’s some history. Cinco de Mayo is not the celebration of Mexican Independence Day as may would think, it is actually the celebration of a famous battle between the French and the Mexicans. The battle took place at Puebla de Los Angeles. A Texas born general led a rag-tag Mexican “army” of sorts in defeating the French during a day-long battle where there were a large number of French casualties before they retreated. It was a psychological boost for the Mexicans who realized that they were able to defend their country from foreign attack. Mexican Independence Day is actually celebrated September 15th and it occurred 50 years earlier.
It has almost become a joke around here. We are about 12 miles in either direction from “the big towns” where there are stores. In our village, there is a local hardware store, which services the community quite nicely. Except on Tuesday. You see, the store is closed on Tuesdays and as fate would have it, at least the last 4 weeks in a row, we have needed something from the hardware store… on a Tuesday. No dice. It requires a “do without” or a drive to either Rutland or Ludlow to the other hardware stores or Home Depot. The other 6 days of the week – no, we have not needed anything from the hardware store….just on Tuesdays. Oh well, we’ll cope.
Slow but sure, things are growing. The seeds are sown and the plants are germinating. Spring is coming. Things are getting greener and greener…. Vermont is shaking off its winter and stretching like a bear coming out of hibernation. While down in the village it is beautiful and green and flowers are blooming all over the place, up here, on the hill, things are moving a bit slower. But they are moving. The black flies are here…. it must be spring.