02 October 2006

One Night in Vermont

This is one of those really good nights, the kind where you actually stop and think to yourself, “this is a good night.”

Not good because anything spectacular has happened. In fact, it’s more the opposite. An appreciation of the mundane maybe. It’s been one of those evenings when neither of us had the inclination to turn on the television (even for background noise.) Instead, we busied ourselves with simple, more important things.

I made dinner. We sat at the table and ate it, along with numerous slices of honey wheat bread from Great Harvest that we can’t seem to get enough of. Then Jeremy decided he needed cookies. At one point in our marriage, I thought he was becoming legitimately addicted to cookies and grew worried. I guess it was my fault, in part, for continuing to bake them, but even when I didn’t, he’d find some other stash. The cookie stand at the mall food court. Any coffee shop in town. Even the slice-n-bake variety from the grocery store. He did not discriminate.

In desperation, I tried reading to him a chapter from my favorite childhood book, Frog and Toad Together---the one about will power where the frog and the toad cannot keep from eating all the cookies. Yes, I realize that we’re adults, but mainly we liked it for the drawings of amphibians stuffing their faces, and the fact that they wore pants, and the way they tended to argue. They just don’t make good stories like that for adults.

Tonight he claimed to need the cookies for inspiration, something I can relate to, so off we went to Kroger. We stopped to feed a friend’s cat on the way home, then readied the cookies to bake. The only sounds on a night like this are the dryer tumbling a load of towels, and the clanging of the metal pan as it hits the oven rack.

Eventually, those sounds blended with the keys of our piano, alternating with the strumming of a moody twelve-string. I decided to give myself a pedicure. I figured I should paint my toes while I can still see them. Waiting for the color to dry, I spent awhile flipping through the fall issue of a magazine, mainly looking at brilliant photographs of pumpkin patches and old farm houses in Vermont. It has always seemed to me that Vermont would be the ideal place to spend a fall season, above any place on the entire earth. Having never been there, I can’t say for sure, but in my mind, it’s the place where the leaves are the orangest and the crunchiest, where there’s that perfect chill in the air, and where everyone shops at general stores for homemade beeswax candles and fresh loaves of pumpkin bread and tips their hat as they pass by.

I might grow tired of a place like that, one that moves so slowly, after awhile. There’s definitely some allure to being near a city, and having things to do and places to go. But for tonight, Vermont looked as cozy and welcoming on those glossy pages as a plate of warm cookies and the songs of an old piano, right here in our own house.


Christine said...

First of all, Frog and Toad books are the BEST. Did you ever read The Llama's Pajamas?

Second of all, I agree...I don't think there's any place better than Vermont to spend the fall season, and Maine a close second :)

Jenni said...

I love mundane nights in our home, too. I've also always wanted to visit Vermont. They have fantastic maple syrup, and have you ever had maple syrup candy? Mmm.

Jenni said...

P.S. - Frog and Toad rule.