Sunday, October 19, 2008

From Red to Blue

The kids and I picked apples today while Tom was jetting off to the West Coast. Perfect day for it. We picked a peck of red delicious and filled a grocery bag with "drops." Farmer Adams charges only $6 for a whole bag of drops, and frankly, the apples we found on the ground were in great condition!

In this morning's Burlington Free Press, I read an article about a family that is investing in a pellet stove to save on energy costs. I'm interested in that idea. I read another story about a guy who grows his own wheat so he can mill it and bake loaves for weekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) bread shares. Also intriguing. (Wheat isn't easy to grow in Vermont apparently.) Then there's Chris Bohjalian's weekly column that's the highlight of the Sunday paper for me. He wrote about the change of the seasons today. Think of that -- a best-selling author writing in the Burlington paper every week!

The most interesting article, however, was the cover story: "Going from red to blue". Twenty years ago, Vermont was a red state. I knew we had plenty of old-timey Republicans in our state, but I didn't really know we were a GOP stronghold for most of the 20th century -- one of the most "reliably red states in the country." Shocking. The shift to blue started in 1962 with the election of the state's first Democrat as governor, but we didn't become true blue until 1992, Clinton's first term. Now, were solidly left.

So I'm feeling pretty proud of my new home state today. For having beautiful apples at $6 a bag. For having people who try to save on energy costs (and pollution) and who grow wheat for homemade bread. For a nationally-acclaimed author who shares his musings about nothing in our newspaper every week. And for being a state of blue -- even with a Republican governor. It's a good feeling to be happy with and proud of where you live.

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