News from Vermont # 227 -- A Happy Blue
News from Vermont # 227 -- A Happy Blue
Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks
December 24, 2010
Hello again Maple People,
It seemed an odd time of day for my cousin Stanley to stop and ask if I wanted to go flying but my day had been hectic and I was game. It was pushing 4:00 in the afternoon before we approached the E. F. Knapp Airport and the mystery of the "odd time" was finally unlocked; Stanley wanted me to see the sea of blue lights which highlight the tiny airport's brand new taxi way. The significance of those blue lights "nagged" at me but I couldn't put my finger on what it was. We pulled up to Stanley's aging Cessna and he began preparing the plane for flight. I stood and watched from the sidelines because Stanley, a lifetime farmer and crackerjack with equipment, has an almost sacred routine with his plane. There was still a touch of daylight when we boarded the tiny cockpit and followed the blue path to the runway's end.
The little plane shuddered as Stanley first throttled it up and then accelerated until the open sky above Central Vermont was ours. We headed north above a bustling Montpelier and then over my own farm, always striking to me from that perspective. Morse Farm passed quickly...Tommy's new house, the maple woods, the sugar shack...reminded me of when I was a kid and my uncle Bunny used to fly his Piper Cub up from Springfield, Vermont. Once over our farm, he'd idle the motor down, open the window and holler out: "Come to the airport"...oh the quaint times before cell phones! Stanley and I continued on following County Road toward his farm, the hilly patchwork first tilled by our ancestors back in the early 1800s but Stanley had another place on his mind: he wanted to show me the new maple operation that's being built up on Robinson Hill where my family lived until I was five.
When we reached the spot, Stanley banked the plane and tipped me down to where if I'd been a jelly bean in a jar, I'd have spilled out. Below was a broad slash just barely visible through the early night sky. I could see a large building and a long lane, both replaced what would have been deep woods just months before. The rumor mill has run wild on that project and I was glad to finally see it firsthand...looked like maybe 20,000 to 40,000 trees to me which would be all hooked up by plastic tubing. I thought of the days when my father boiled from 3000 trees on that same spot, collecting every drop the hard way. We circled a few times and then headed back south toward E. F. Knapp Airport and its new blue lights. As we approached I marveled at the site and suddenly realized the significance of those lights ala 2010 Stimulus money: Stanley's wife Janice has had a life-long love affair with the color blue. Janice was once our "bean counter" here at Morse Farm and although she did an excellent job of helping us with the blacks and reds of finance, this time of year she especially had the color blue on her mind. I'm thinking of her blue-lighted outdoor Christmas trees; there were only a couple of them and they were nothing fancy but in my mind, the way they set against her small red house made them spectacular. I never told anyone but every year at Christmas time I would drive the seven miles up the road just see Janice's trees.
My parents, on the other hand, were intimate with lights on a much more "Olympian" scale. For many years they'd plan a pre-Christmas trip down southeast of here to the La Salette Shrine in Enfield, New Hampshire and the Joseph Smith Memorial in Sharon, Vermont. Both places chose to honor the Season and their celebration of Christ with multi-thousands of lights, lights to behold, lights fit for a King! Yes, we'd be "led to the east" by those two places and would, of course, check out some other "oases" of lighted bliss on the way. I've always felt lucky to have had parents who would treat us kids to those wondrous sights, and would never have told them but, you know, I always liked those two blue-clad evergreens of Janice Morse's best of all.
Well, here it is, Christmas Eve, 2010! I'd like to thank all you folks for your support...emails, cards, visits and, of course, orders. Without all of you, News from Vermont would be just a "figment of my imagination" and instead of our store and mail order facility, there would still be just a cow pasture! Over 7000 of you folks are getting News from Vermont and,best of all, you're all friends...thanks so much!
Merry Christmas...Happy Holidays,
and the Morse Farm family