far too much writing, far too many photos

A November morning, gray and cold. Woke up early, got the coal stove going. Futzed around the house for a while, finally pulled myself together, drove into Montpelier.

I am blessed with a full head of abundant, fast-growing hair. My last cut having happened a couple of months back, the load up top has begun getting a bit thick and heavy, prompting me this week to make an appointment with Tamsen at Acme Hair for a serious pre-travel shearing.

This morning in Montpelier: I climbed the steep flight of stairs to Tamsen’s second floor lair on State Street, arriving exactly on time, bells outside tolling 11 a.m. I knock, no answer. No lights visible inside. I pace along the hallway, read some posters hanging by a massage practitioner’s office door. I knock again at Acme Hair — pointlessly, already knowing no one’s inside. A chair flanks Tamsen’s door (for removing footwear, in accordance with the artfully hand-scrawled sign taped to her entryway: “No one will wear shoes inside! No way! No one ever! No! No! No!” — the numerous other teeny No!’s strewn around the sign ensure the reader gets the message), I sat down for a while. Ten minutes later, I heaved myself to my feet, headed downstairs and out into the street for some fresh air. Where it’s looking and feeling like December in classic fashion — cold, crisp, gray sky looming overhead, air feeling as if snow could fall at any time. Ponds along the drive into town are frozen over, the ice cover appearing thick, solid. Holiday music already plays in some shops, displays of Christmas paraphernalia have materialized. Kind of nice.

For a while, I stood on the bridge over the North Branch, one of two rivers that cut through Montpelier, a warmly-dressed couple strolled by, smiling. Then dragged myself up the stairs to Acme Hair once again, knocked on the door, received the expected silence in return.

Veteran’s Day. My haircutter slept in.

I left, still hairy, walking along streets nicely quiet, many storefronts dark, few cars driving past.

A slice of decent pizza at a nearby town joint provided consolation. (Breakfast. Mmmm — olives, garlic.) Rented a couple of DVDs, headed back home via winding back roads. Listened to the midday weather report along the way, they spoke of coming snow. Sure enough, shortly after pulling into the garage, the lightest, most ethereal flakes began falling. Within minutes, it had intensified, blotting out the surrounding hills and ridges.

The time for my annual Christmas music fest may be upon me.

Watch out where the huskies go, don’t you eat that yellow snow. — Frank Zappa

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