What do you do with an extra hour? Save it? Ignore it? Sleep it away?
We’re in Woodstock, Vermont. I look at my travel clock and mentally push it forward, because I’m out east, then push it back, because of the time change. So it is as I had it two days ago.
It’s early. Before sunrise. A good time to go out hiking, no? To watch the sun come up over the mountains, see the village wake up…
I set out.
How did it get so cold so quickly?
There’s a small mountain behind the b&b. I think the Rockefellers bought it and donated it to the National Forest Service. Surely there must be a path up to the top?
There is. As I climb, the sun pushes up over the mountain crest. Good morning, sun. It climbs, I climb. We are in step with each other.
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At the summit of my small mountain, I am handed a view. Hoarfrost has spread over the valley.
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And now I want to share it. Why didn’t I wake my daughter for this? I turn around and prance down. But not so quickly as to miss these:
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Yesterday, at a local shop, the seller told me that there were few deer around these years. Really? Do I have a scent that attracts deer? I see them all the time outside Madison. I saw them on the Civil War battlefields of Virginia. And now here, on the small mountain behind my Vermont inn.
And they’re not easily spooked. I inch closer with my camera. They look up, listen to the click of my Sony and go back to grazing. Until finally one takes flight…
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… and the other eventually follows.. Looking back one more time, to see if my camera will again make that clicky sound. It does.
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And now the forest is quiet again.
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At the b&b, our British hosts serve us porridge, and eggs with roasted tomatoes.
Why are they here, in Woodstock, running an inn?
We were both in book publishing in London and several years ago, we decided to try something new.
(This is the b&b on the outside, but it’s the whimsy, the satire inside that makes it so completely charming as to place it among the beloved.)
Book publishing, book writing, inn keeping – why the overlap? In Brooklyn, our b&b hosts were also book and media people.
Should I open an inn? Where? (A purely hypothetical question. No resources to spiff up anything anywhere.)
My daughter and I set out up the mountain. No deer now, in the bright sun of daylight. But it's still so pretty!
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And now it’s time to head back. The car is due by 2:25, or else I’ll be charged another day for it. We barely make it.
In Cambridge, I walk to the grocery store. The distant one. I take the long way, by the Charles River. A man sits on the bridge looking sort of lonely up there.
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I’m really feeling the cold air now. On the way back, the branches of basil in my bag wilt in the frost. I know, it’s to be expected. It’s November.
Tomorrow I head back home. Where the deer and the antelope play… More like deer and prairie dogs.