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Fall has arrived in New England…

Posted by on September 28, 2015

SEPTEMBER 28, 2015


Vermont’s longest covered bridge is in Dummerston. Behind it, you can see the trees beginning to change colors.

MY STORY CONTINUES. My story continues with our arrival a few days ago in the tiny town of Dummerston, Vermont, home to the state’s longest covered bridge, which spans the Connecticut River, and formerly home to the well known author Rudyard Kipling. About 2,000 folks call Dummerston home. It’s located at the outskirts of the state’s famed Green Mountains and is proximate to Scenic Route 100, the main north-south highway in the state. The road is relatively free of development and retains a rural feel through the towns and villages it traverses.  We will be here for a week, as we continue to await peak fall foliage season, which we’re told is abundantly evident along Route 100 every year. Whether it will be this week or next…or even three weeks from now, our anticipation of the riotous color display sure to occur is growing.

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Sure signs of Autumn.

FALL HAS ARRIVED IN NEW ENGLAND.  Cornstalks, hay bales, chrysanthemums, and pumpkins.  Within the past few days, Fall has arrived in New England, and the change in seasons has not been subtle. Until recently, we enjoyed summer-like weather and then, as if on cue, the temperatures dropped and the days became perceptively shorter. Sunlight has gentled…and the shadows have lengthened. The sky is becoming blue, almost like stained glass. The air feels drier and we can smell the sun on fallen leaves and pine needles…earthy and warm. Apple trees are laden with fruit…and pumpkin patches attract excited children. We see yellow, red and orange brushstrokes appearing on the mountains’ canvas. Fall decorations are beginning to appear. And there is no doubt that change is happening in New England.

THE VERMONT COUNTRY STORE. For as long as I can remember, we received store catalogs in our mailbox almost every day. Lots of catalogs! Williams-Sonoma, Eddie Bauer, Pottery Barn, Burpee Seed Company, L.L. Bean…you name it, we got it. Sometimes we’d receive a dozen of these glossies in just one day.  Another catalog we received all the time was from Vermont Country Store. I bet you guys still get it, don’t you? And lo and behold, there really is a Vermont Country Store. Today was a bit overcast and drizzly, a little too damp to do much outside. So we decided to go take a look at the real Vermont Country Store…just a short drive from where we’re staying at the Hidden Acres RV Park.


Vermont Country Store has been around since 1946 and sells practical, hard-to-find items, many from “yesteryear.” Walking around the store is like going back in time…taking a walk down “memory lane.”


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Until today, I didn’t even know what a grist mill is. Do you know? Here’s the deal: Water runs down the trough and over the wheel, which turns a gear and grinds various types of grain inside the building.


The moment I stepped inside the store, I was bombarded with sights of products I remember from the past.


Remember Bosco? You’d squeeze a little in your glass of milk, stir it up with a spoon and voila…chocolate milk! What about Ovaltine?


I had Charlie’s Chips delivered to my office for years. If you look carefully, you can see the delivery truck. My staff loved it!














My Mom used to pay me 25 cents to polish our refrigerator and stove with Jubilee Kitchen Wax. Until today, I hadn’t seen this stuff for about 50 years. I wonder where Vermont Country Store gets these products?


When I was a kid, we’d get these candies for a penny at a little store on Huntington Drive in San Marino, California. Today at the Vermont Country Store, it’ll cost you 15 cents for one tiny little Bit O’ Honey candy. They weren’t exactly “flying off the shelf.”


These rock candy sticks cost a buck for each one. That’s highway robbery!


The one thing in the entire store that really tempted me was this antique checkerboard table. Unfortunately, it wasn’t for sale. If you dusted it off and put it in your den by the fireplace, it would be classic.



By the time we left the store, it was late in the day and beginning to get dark. I hadn’t been wild about going to the Vermont Country Store, but I’ve got to admit, it was a lot of fun to reminisce and see all those products from the past.

WALKER FAMILY FARM STAND.  After leaving the Vermont Country Store, we stopped at a farmstand we found on the side of the road. What a treat! Seasons matter in New England, and the best harbinger is what’s available at your local farm stand. They come in many varieties and sizes, from apple orchards to year-round markets. Most seem to be three-season stores, with spring seedlings, summer veggies and fall fruits. Most of what they sell is harvested daily from their own fields.


At Walker Farm, over 1,200 annual and perennial flowers are grown from seed in twenty-three greenhouses.


These huge chrysanthemums were only six dollars a piece.


When I saw Florence looking at all these gourds, I was afraid that a whole slew of them would be displayed on our motorhome’s dashboard by the end of the day. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.











All of Walker’s produce is certified organic. I’ve never seen such beautiful vegetables anywhere else…ever!


For a foodie and “wanna be chef” like me, visiting this farmstand was really fun. I’m so glad we stopped.


Behind a door that says “Staff Only” I saw a stainless steel commercial washing station where all the fruit and vegetables are “prepped” before being put in the market for sale. And all of that prep work is evident, isn’t it?


Apple trees are heavily laden with fruit all over New England right now. We picked lots of them at an orchard in New Hampshire last week, and now we need to make a big pot of apple sauce.


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After we get a good dose of fall colors during the next week or so, we’ll head to our winter home in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The route my navigator has selected is closer to 2,100 miles…I don’t question it. She’s done a great job for the last two and a half years!


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