I LoVermont. Really, I do. In my last 2 years of living in New York City I felt the pull to the north. My husband and I had friends up here and came up for vacation. It felt like home. So I loved the place from afar for a few more years. Now, 16+ years of living here later I see its faults. But like a good marriage, it's become dearer to me with time, and grew more valued by my being away from it a couple of times.
Vermont is certainly Yankee country. Not Yankee as the rest of the world uses the term; Yankee as we define it ourselves. To Southerners everyone north of the Mason-Dixon line is a Yankee. To those north of that line, Yankees are New Englanders. And among New Englanders Yankees are divvied up by state- Massholes, Connecticu*ts, Vermonsters, New Hampshits and Mainiacs.
New York, where I grew up, had an attitude about New Jersey. So much so that New Yorkers didn't care what New Jerseyans thought of us. We made up songs like "Go Back to New Jersey". And even each borough of the city held the others in contempt. I remember being ashamed to tell my friends I was moving to Staten Island. And proud to tell the world when I was finally living in Manhattan at the ripe old age of 25. I'd finally escaped being "Bridge and Tunnel" or an "OB" ("Outer Borough"). It never occurred to me that other states would have an attitude about neighboring states. They do.
Around here there is a definite line, called the Connecticut River. On the right lies New Hampshire. Radically Right. On the left, Vermont. So Left it gets called Socialist. And at times not Left enough for me. Still, in comparison to other places it's quite Liberal. We were first in legalizing same sex Civil Unions, and now have same sex marriages (I've always said why shouldn't they suffer just as much as us). We are actively working on universal healthcare for everyone in the state. Our children have full coverage. You can see it in their teeth, so much better than my generation. There is thriving, sometimes over enthusiastic activism here. I've met many of the best people I've ever known here. We have the best man in the US Senate, Bernie Sanders, a fellow native Brooklynite. There are a lot of transplants here, too. Others who had the same feeling I did about the place. And I imagine the natives here have the same feeling I did for all the transplants who came to NYC. A slight annoyance, a touch of smugness and a bit of not understanding why the hell anyone would purposely move to my hometown. But a pride, too. And all of us defend Vermont together and tell the disgruntled to move to New Hampshire, just as we New Yorkers told the New Jerseyans to get out of NY.
It isn't perfect. Anywhere there are people isn't perfect. But it's damn good. Pretty, too. You should come visit. We're just above Massachusetts, and left of New Hampshire.
I'll Fly Away
1 day ago