Trees that rain apples, and such.

Yesterday I found myself lying in bed, battling my (now) usual fit of insomnia and enumerating my reasons for living rurally. Particularly, in response to a recent question of why anybody would want to live in Vermont. More specifically when the punishing March that we have had is dolefully forecasting yet another foot of snow this weekend, two weeks into spring.

So, while my over-caffeinated and under-slept body fought mind, this is what they came up with: 

  1. You can pee wherever you want.
  2. You can waltz naked from house to pond and back again. 
  3. Milking a cow, in the field, at first light, and again at last light.
  4. Eating snow with maple syrup. 
  5. The trees that pour maple sap when you poke them.
  6. The wild trees that rain apples when you shake them, and the resulting cider.
  7. Mushroom hunting, specifically in May, for morels, but also in July, for chanterelles.
  8. The internet that is often out for long, blissful stretches of weeks. 
  9. The complete absence of cell phone service.
  10. The dogs that run free. 
  11. The bear that lives on our North hill. 
  12. The heron that fishes our pond every summer. 
  13. The baby moose that spent one early winter sleeping on the side of our driveway.
  14. My child’s confidence with the forest, with fire, with cows and sheep and pigs.
  15. My child’s friendship with house piglets. 
  16. Our freedom to be filthy.
  17. Feeding the winter fires.
  18. The winter's night sky.
  19. Fireflies.
  20. The sound of sheep chewing their cud.
  21. The sound of pigs snoring in a pile.
  22. The mama hen that lets herself into our home, uninvited, with her clutch of chicks underfoot, looking for crumbs. 
  23. The animals that feed us.
  24. The animals that break our hearts. 
  25. Driving a tractor. 
  26. The smell of Nick bucking a pile of firewood.
  27. The smell of the hay barn BUT NOT the sting of it in my eyes and throat.
  28. and 
  29. and
  30. and….

Its not a complete list and the list of things I dislike about rural life could easily lap the one above. But it is March. Morale is low enough. Focusing firmly and a bit artificially on the positive. Forgive me.


  1. You can focus on the negatives any day; focusing on the positives, especially up here where the beginning of spring is a calendar construct, is luxurious!

  2. the dark of the dark night.

    the sound...or lack thereof.

    sw vt

  3. this is so so good. i love a list like this. I love the heart of this one and especially your kids there now -- surreal. Sending you warm, sustaining thoughts to buoy you right through that snow. Lists like these are so good at reminding me all the positives I could list as well when maybe I'm silently composing a novella of negatives. lol. xo

    1. Was just sentimentally thinking about how you guys have really let your kids in on some life secrets early on and that's srsly priceless. Dude.

  4. Wonderful to see your beautiful thoughts and exquisite writing here again


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