Of Baseball, Bicycles and B-Towns

Two things have encompassed about 90% of my energy over the last two months – the house search and baseball.

After Doreen landed a job in town Montpelier, we decided to try to buy or build a house in Montpelier.  We would wait until Spring and then find something in time for our lease expiration in August.  Easy peasy!  Only not so easy – one of our top priorities is energy efficiency, whether achieved through a newly-built Passive House or an existing house that we can retrofit.  And we are finding that land is hard to come by (and expensive), and the houses are big and old (and expensive).  We’re having a hard time finding something that fits our needs.  It’s frustrating.  And the rest of the story is suited for it’s own post, sometime after we have had some success.

Outside of the house search, there is baseball.  I’ve taken up with a senior men’s baseball team, the Montpelier Monties of the Vermont Senior Baseball League.  Since the start of the season in May, I frame pretty much everything in terms of baseball. “I banged my knee!  I hope it doesn’t affect my game on Sunday!”  We only started winning games a couple of weeks ago, but it’s been a blast.  And this also deserves a post of it’s own. Continue reading

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EPISODE 17: OLE’S NORDIC CENTER

Ever since we moved to Vermont and I started to research the state’s Nordic skiing venues, I have been excited to ski at Ole’s Cross Country Center in Warren. Why? Because it’s fun to say. Also because they have a Norway flag in their logo. They seem authentic.

Luckily, Ole’s is located less than an hour from Montpelier. And thanks to Ski Vermont’s Nordic Reciprocal Program, our Morse Farm season’s pass gets us in for free. (What a fantastic benefit!) So just after lunch this afternoon, we packed up the car and headed to Warren. Continue reading

EPISODE 12: White Thanksgiving

One challenge we face in moving to Vermont after living our entire lives in Maine is determining how much we should continue to orient ourselves “back home.” We have made just a couple of friends here while of course we have many friends and most of our family back in Maine. Furthermore, we are only about three hours from our families, which seems close enough to get home with little trouble but far enough to be a pain to do so. A day trip – six hours of driving – sounds pretty exhausting as I approach the end of my 40s.

And then there is weather. We are very used to driving in snow, but “taking it slow” takes on a different meaning for a three hour trip than it does for a thirty minute one. Our families understand that there are times when weather will impact our travel plans. Continue reading

EPISODE 10: ART TOUR

Our desire to see all that Vermont has to offer has been delayed a bit by travel and other responsibilities, but this weekend we were free to set out and explore.  We consulted the weekend events section in Seven Days, and discovered that it was the annual Vermont Open Studio weekend, during which Vermont artists (as the name suggests) open their studios to guests.  Not only is this a great opportunity to meet artists and view their work and learn about their process, but it was also a perfect excuse to See Someplace New.

Late Saturday morning, armed with a printout of the map and guide for Windsor County we pointed the wheels south, toward Woodstock, a town that a colleague of Doreen said we should check out.  We planned to start our tour with a group show at The Collective.  As we drove a drizzle turned to a steady rain, which became a pour for most of the afternoon. Continue reading