A Yankee Notebook

Many a Toast Over the Years

EAST MONTPELIER – This past week, during the excitement of Valentine’s Day and the nocturnal activities of the characters who covered the windows of  downtown Montpelier with hundreds of red hearts, a significant birthday passed almost unnoticed. While here in the north country of New England a mediocre winter defies[Read More…]

It’s Hard Not to Feel Lucky

EAST MONTPELIER – Change, we have been told, is the only constant. In recent years, we’ve come to believe, change is accelerating at a dizzy pace. And how many times have we heard the phrase, “the good old days”? The good old days, I always muse, before antibiotics and novocaine[Read More…]

Midwinter Has Fared Much Better

by Willem Lange EAST MONTPELIER – Our culture is pretty thoroughly saddled with rituals and celebrations that originated in our distant, non-scientific past, when we explained phenomena to be the result of supernatural prompting. I guess maybe they seem cute or quirky, and are thus charming. So we continue to[Read More…]

The Unmistakable Aroma of Low Tide

EAST MONTPELIER – Hagar and I drove into the big rotary at the foot of the Nahant Causeway, trying to judge the volume of traffic on a Sunday noon. The friendly voice of Siri spoke to me in her Irish accent from the dashboard: “At the roundabout, take the first[Read More…]

They Tell me I Ended up Sitting on the Floor

EAST MONTPELIER – It had been a lovely weekend, courtesy of Martin Luther King Jr.: lots of pleasant conversation and snacks in the two chairs in the office, supper at Julio’s Friday, lunch at the Wayside Saturday, shopping for groceries at the Chopper. Icy cold outside, but snug inside. Bea[Read More…]

You Get Your First Pinch Hitter

EAST MONTPELIER – Clack, clack, clackety, ding, zzzzut, clunk. Clackclack clackety-clack… That onomatopoetic rhythm is tattooed in my memory of the 1970s more clearly than the Vietnam War, the Peanut Farmer President, or even the Beatles. Up in the attic loft there was a man possessed of ideas, a primitive[Read More…]

Thor was in a Charitable Mood

by Willem Lange  EAST MONTPELIER – The narration, a modern version of the second chapter of Luke, began the old familiar Christmas story. Mary and Joseph shuffled down the church aisle on cue, Mary cuddling a bundle clearly intended to be the baby Jesus, and Joseph strangely empty-handed. The mother[Read More…]

Walking a Bit Closer to the Edge

by Willem Lange EAST MONTPELIER – My father, raised conservative Dutch Reformed and later ordained an Episcopal priest, never would venture onto a computer or the internet, even when I gave him the computer and showed him how. When I asked him why, his answer was a bit evasive, but[Read More…]

Some Things are Worth Repeating

by Willem Lange EAST MONTPELIER – My friend, the late Walker Weed of Etna, N.H., was the oldest member of the Geriatric Adventure Society, and easily the most experienced. When he offered an opinion or a pronouncement, I listened. He opined one day that if you ever have had an[Read More…]