Thursday, May 19, 2016

My Vermont Life


My life in Vermont is certainly not an exciting one. I love my apartment which is right in town: comfortable, spacious, and convenient to the post office and library. I’ve been to the library only once, preferring to read the books that I have first. Right now, I am reading Greg Herren’s The Orion Mask. If you are a long time reader of this blog, then you know that Greg Herren is one of my favorite authors.

My weekdays tend to consist of getting up, taking a shower and heading to my office. Usually, the first thing I do when I get to work is fix cup of coffee. When students are on campus and the campus eateries are open, I often eat at one of them for lunch. The staff tends to eat together which is nice; I never have liked eating alone.I guess that comes from my mama always cooking supper when I was growing up and we all sat down for meals together. How my mama worked a full time job and came home and cooked a full meal every night is beyond me. Most days when I get home from work, I cook a simple dinner for myself and usually watch Jeopardy. I rarely eat out, and almost never on weeknights. The only time I eat out is occasionally on the weekend, especially if I drive up to Burlington. One of my favorite local dishes, which is actually a Canadian dish, is called poutine. Poutine is French fries topped with cheese curds and smothered in gravy.  Everyone makes it differently, but with that set of ingredients, it’s hard to go wrong.

On Saturday, I do what shopping I need to get done, unless that shopping calls for Burlington, then I make trips to Burlington on Sundays. I don't go to church every Sunday, but I do occasionally go. Just like eating out by myself, I am not a fan of going to church alone. Every other weekend or so, I take little road trips. One Saturday I drove down to see Dartmouth College. Another weekend I drove up to St. Albans. I am trying to explore more, but I’ll be honest, the roads in Vermont are a tad bit scary to me. Everywhere you go, you drive through mountains; sometimes there are even parts of the mountains sticking up in the median of the highway. I try to drive very carefully because accidents are common on these roads, but I do enjoy taking little road trips.

Work is going great. I have mentioned before that my predecessors had two very different ways of doing things. Some of their ways I have merged into mine, but mostly I established my own filing system and my own system of record keeping. If something were to happen to me, someone could easily step in and take my place. There should not be any problem knowing exactly where I am on different tasks because I keep up with everything on a workflow spreadsheet. It allows me to look up any interview and know exactly what needs to be done next. After my interview today, I will go in and update that system to reflect where I am currently.

So that is kind of an update on what life in Vermont is like. I miss my family, and I especially miss my cats, but after seven months, I’ve pretty well settled in. By the way, today marks my seventh month on the job. I’d say things are going well.


11 comments:

Susan said...

Thanks for the update, Joe. IMO considering the huge shift in your living and job situation from Alabama to Vermont, you have done fantastically well so far. And congrats on your 7-month anniversary. I'm sure your co-workers realize everyday how lucky they are to have you working with them. Continued good luck.

Michael Dodd said...

Another thank you for the update. I am so happy that you have found a place that is working so well for you, even if you do miss family and cats. I always enjoyed reading your blog, but the change in your situation is apparent in the blog, too. It is lighter and brighter, even though you still deal with health issues and grief at times. Happy seven-month-aversary!

Mike said...

7 months... time flies! Glad to hear you are getting out and exploring. Keep doing that! I don't mind dining alone as long as I'm sitting in the bar area of the restaurant.

AlexandriaVic said...

Thanks for the update...I am glad you are settling in...I have always told my friends who moved to a new local to give it a year...Then you can decide to move back...Takes time to once again find ones rhythm...I love what you do...I have always thought of hiring a professional interviewer to interview my remaining parent-Mom-because there is a story there...My step-mother is Japanese...She came into my life when I was in 1st grade going on 2nd and she is the only mother I know...I call her MOM...I have never referred to her as my step-mother...My father was in the military-Black...They met in Japan...This was in the 60's and that era of mixed marriages, divorce, and kids that looked odd...My real mother is Canadian....My mother even told me that she was a version of a Geisha...Not the sex part...You also have to look at Japan and their economy at that time...My Mother came from a wealthy family...Never had a job in her life until we were teens...She is college educated...And I wonder how/why she hooked up with my father...My father was very secretive of his live present and past...To this day I get confused on the meaning of Uncles, Aunts and Nieces because I knew of any...But as my father was dying family came out of the woodwork...Who are these people..You just did not ask...But as my Mom is getting older-80-she is letting her side slip out...Rich stuff...I digress...I am glad that your mental health is stable...Yea, you will have ups and downs...I am sure that you know the signs by now and will take a step back and regroup...Vermont is pretty...I love the fall...I am still confused about the cats...Why can't they join you...They will adjust to their new environment right..Are they different from dogs...Sorry, I am not a pet owner...Keep up the great work on your blog...I know it is work...I love all aspects of it...Be well...Just know for sure that your loyal readers are in your corner and we wish you nothing but the best...VRC

doreus said...

I am glad you seem to be adjusting well. It takes a while to get used to driving in a new environment... but you'll get the hang of it.
And careful with poutine. It is probably the worst meal for calorie intake versus nutrition. Despite coming from Québec, I actually loathe the dish.

Anonymous said...

Dear Joe,

Thanks for the excellent information on your current life. But you eat by yourself every evening? What about inviting someone over (without poutine, see above).

The Academic

Nikki said...

It is so gratifying to see you settled in Vermont with a job you really like and that you are so qualified to do. Very happy for you.

Joe said...

There are a number of reasons that I'm unable to have my cats here. 1) my landlord doesn't allow pets and I haven't found a new apartment yet that will. 2) They are happy and healthy with my aunt and her two cats. Taking them out of that environment would probably upset them and I'd hate that. 3) I would not be able to get them until I go home at Christmas.

It's possible that if I find a place that will allow pets, I might get a new cat. My aunt really has become attached to my two cats now so that's another issue.

As for a professional interviewer, here's my advice: do it yourself. You know her best and know what questions to ask. All you need them is a recorder, a quiet place, and time. I'd be happy to give pointers if you are interested in going that route. Just email me.

Joe said...

Oh, I knew poutine was not healthy, but I have a weakness for gravy and it combines gravy with potatoes and cheese and I'm hooked.

Joe said...

I have considered having guests over but that would require a dining room table and my kitchen is small so it would have to go in the living room, and I just haven't bought a dining room set yet.

Joe said...

Thanks everyone for your comments, both today and yesterday. Your comments always cheer me up, especially when I'm feeling a little down.