After weeks of stay-at-home orders, shelter-in-place, worry and winter, everyone in Carding, Vermont is getting very, very restless.
I’m sure you are too.
I hope that you and your loved ones are all well and that this new Chronicle makes you want to howl.
“You are the sky. Everything else—it’s just the weather.”
—Pema Chodron, Buddhist nun and author (b. 1936)
Edie Wolfe’s backyard had never seemed so precious or so confining. For weeks, it had been her refuge from the news and the only place she felt safe wandering about without a mask.
Spring had been one of the coldest she could remember in Carding with chilly winds and even some freakish snow on Mother’s Day so digging in the gardens had been very limited.
But the daffodils and narcissus had risen from the earth right on cue and there were fresh chives to snip for her scrambled eggs in the morning. That helped.
I’m all right, she reminded herself. My family is healthy and so are my friends. And there are trays of seedlings—tomatoes, basil, and a variety of annual flowers—sprouting green in their warming trays on the porch.
But we’re all waiting, she thought. For what? June?
Her cocker spaniel, Nearly, didn’t appreciate this new stay-close-to-home regimen at all. For weeks, all their walking had been confined to the occasional foray around Carding green with him on one end of a leash and his human on the other. That was just wrong. Spring was the time to get out on the trails with his buddy R.G. so they could shake the lethargy of winter out of their legs. But he hadn’t seen R.G. for weeks.
Nearly whined at his human from time to time, rolling his eyes downward for effect. But so far, nothing had changed.
What was going on?
It had started to drizzle again, an event that kept woman and dog indoors, gazing out one window after another, Edie with a cold cup of tea in her hands and Nearly with a rising sense of impatience.
Suddenly, Edie rattled her cup into the kitchen sink.
“I can’t stand this any longer,” she said, looking down at the expectant dog. “Can you? Safety is one thing but insanity is quite another. Let’s go…somewhere.”
Within minutes, Edie had shouldered on a fleece vest and a hooded raincoat, slid her feet into boots, and stuffed an old towel into a pocket to dry Nearly off.
The dog spun in ecstatic circles as Edie opened her back door and headed for her car.
“Edie!! Edie, where are you going?” Ruth Goodwin rolled down the driver’s side window of her bright yellow Jeep. Her beagle R.G. tipped his head back for a rousing howl and Nearly answered in kind.
“Up to see you,” Edie answered. “If I don’t get out for a proper walk, I swear I’ll go mad. Where are you going?”
“Tennyson’s upper meadow. The grass is short enough for the dogs to get a good run and we can walk six feet apart. Are you up for that?”
“Just try and stop me.”
The wind shifted, the clouds began to thin and the two women joined their dogs in a howl of joy.
Welcome to Carding, Vermont where life always includes a dash of the unexpected. You can find the little town that no one can seem to find on a map right here in the Carding Chronicles and in the four novels of Carding, Vermont, The Road Unsalted, Thieves of Fire, The Dazzling Uncertainty of Life, and Lights in Water, Dancing.
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