November 5th, 2009
Time flies like an arrow, Groucho Marx said, and fruit flies like a banana.
But seriously, folks: Where does the time go?
We often find ourselves asking that question, and no more frequently than this time of year — as the busy holiday season approaches and our New Year’s resolutions to have more free time fade like frost on a warming November morn.
Fifty years ago, when the futurists of the mid-20th century looked ahead to this age, they foresaw an America of people with delicious amounts of time on their hands.
During the first week of November, you’ll notice a difference between people who live in town and people who live in the country. Those of us out in the boonies invariably have a giant bowl of leftover Halloween candy on our counters, a harsh reminder that we can’t draw a good trick-or-treat crowd.
A friend was recently in town for a visit. He’d just returned from 20 months with the Peace Corps on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. Before that he’d been a student at Middlebury College. And before that, he’d grown up in Kansas. Now the trees in St. Lucia don’t have a season for shedding leaves. College students are not required to do lawn care. And Kansas doesn’t have many trees — just prairies, yellow brick roads, and ’70s rock bands.
In four elections Tuesday, voters in Virginia, New Jersey, New York and California showed a strong bias for local and personal politics that had little ties to the national scene, though too many media pundits tried to make it seem like the tide was changing across the nation’s political landscape.
While headlines proclaimed that it “wasn’t 2008 anymore,” and that the Republican “sweep” was a warning to Democrats of things to come in the mid-term elections next year, we would hope most readers understand that the headlines serve the political pundits better than the public.
Our favorite athletes are shooting stars. Young at 25, over the hill at 30, their prime years are brief. For the rest of us, it only seems so, as we look back.
Most athletes retire involuntarily and prematurely at 18 or 22, when their school days are over. They have to reinvent themselves, forge new identities, figure out who they are in order to remain relevant and alive.
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There's something unusual about sweet potatoes. They're an in-between vegetable, more sweet than savory, just as comfortable in dessert dishes as they are in dinner dishes.
I knew all this, but I'd never really cooked anything with them. Sweet potato fries, roasted root vegetables, sweet potato pie…that was about where my list of possibilities ran out.
On Halloween, Sloan Weinberg had boxes of books for all reading levels lined up on her porch, ready for the wave of trick-or-treaters to come through Buttolph Acres. As each costumed visitor approached the porch, she chose a book of the right level, helped by her husband, Andy, and her two daughters, 10-year-old Grace and seven-year-old Jade.
"As a teacher, I thought it would be a great idea to give something to promote education and came up with the idea of a book," she said.
VERGENNES — Vergennes aldermen on Oct. 27 inched closer to a decision to accept ownership of the land under the city pool and nearby recreation facilities and discussed a way to help finance long-term operation and maintenance of the pool.
City Manager Mel Hawley suggested that the city council should request that the Vergennes ID school board, which now owns the land but is scheduled to dissolve next June, sell an adjacent eight-acre parcel it also owns and turn the proceeds over to the city.
The take from the sale could create a fund to help Vergennes afford pool ownership, he said.