Lessons in listening: Appreciating unexpected gifts

The peeling paint on the exterior of my house first caught my eye three years ago. As a first time homeowner my DIY skill set was dismal and I anticipated a hefty cost to hire a professional. Luckily, for the time being, the flakes were falling in fairly obscured sections and I could easily gaze elsewhere with unfettered regard. Avoidance has its advantages in the short-term and I thoroughly enjoyed my time and money spent elsewhere in the interim.  But alas, even the best implemented avoidance strategy has … (read more)

Lessons in listening: Leaning into learning

My daughter, Ellie, is nearing her last days as a student at Vergennes Union Elementary School. Earlier this week she received a welcome video from the Middle School, containing a virtual tour of the school and short welcome clips from her prospective tea … (read more)

Lessons in listening: Balancing adversity with joy

Knowing someone well inevitably means intimately knowing their habits as well. Each morning, my partner pours his coffee up to the very edge of his cup’s rim. Next he does a half forward bend, extending his body into much of our small kitchen’s width. Fin … (read more)

Lessons in listening: Can’t go around it, gotta go through it

Spring has officially arrived from an astronomical standpoint. As a person who shares her birthday with the Vernal Equinox, this yearly milestone has historically borne a quality of lightness and hope. Daffodils from the American Cancer Society and bright … (read more)

Lessons in listening: The lessons of Veruca Salt

Having grown up as a child of the 1970s, one of my favorite movies was Gene Wilder’s “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” I was captivated by the wonder, fantasy and downright creepiness of the film. My mother would indulge my sister and me with a perio … (read more)

Lessons in listening: Speeding up to slow down

In the periodic occurrence of exceeding the speed limit, I have historically had the propensity to be ticketed. My most noteworthy offense occurred a number of years ago on my way to see his holiness, the Dalia Lama. I received a hefty fee and an exaspera … (read more)

Lessons in listening: Unexpected joys

The chill of winter has settled firmly in my bones. My daughter, Ellie, plays U12 girls’ hockey, so much of my leisure time is spent standing in various hockey rinks around the state. Even with hand warmers duct taped to numerous parts of my body, I likel … (read more)

Lessons in Listening: Holiday season reminds us to evaluate our values

Thanksgiving has passed and the drugstore aisles and radio stations have now fully committed to the impending Christmas season. Pumpkin lattes have been replaced by peppermint hot chocolate and the post office lines have tripled in length. Soon enough, ne … (read more)

Lessons in listening: Create love and community

The first dusting of snow signals the beginning of a special tradition in our home: the season of “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas.” For those not familiar, this Jim Henson cult classic premiered in the United States on HBO in 1978 and featured a cast of … (read more)

Lessons in listening: Gratitude for fall opportunities

As a native Vermonter, I am no stranger to the beauty of fall. Just as I delight in the opening of an early spring flower or the first dusting of light snow, I continue to be awestruck by the autumnal display of our tree friends. Each year they gift us wi … (read more)

‘Membership’ family health practice to open

MIDDLEBURY — Nurse Practitioner Laura Wilkinson and Dr. Jessica Rouse have been good friends for years. Now the pair will be professional colleagues in a new private family health practice office called Village Health, to open later this month in the form … (read more)

Lessons in listening: ‘Add-in’ some fun and kindness

I had my first tennis dream last week. Although the particulars faded as my alarm chimed, I woke with a feeling of contentment. I am fairly certain that in my dream world I hit that sweet spot without fail. I am grateful for this subconscious fantasy, as … (read more)

Lessons in listening: Hold worry and attachment lightly

This season of late summer’s harvest settles my memory back to my childhood grandparents’ kitchen. My recollection is of the counters and formica table piled high with beets, beans, tomatoes and ball jars — all — sticky and stained with the juices of cutt … (read more)

Lessons in listening: Loosen your grip on life

This past weekend marked my family’s annual pilgrimage to Oak Hill, N.Y., for one of the best kept secrets in the Northeast — Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival. This is the weekend when we join a community of 7,000 on the Walsh family farm hilltop and set up an … (read more)

Lessons in listening: The art of receiving

With the final dismissal of 2018-2019 school year complete, summer vacation has officially begun. My daughter, Ellie, had been counting down the days on her dry erase board since the beginning of June. Interestingly, though, now that the unstructured leis … (read more)