We had our first significant snow of winter starting on Christmas Day and for 24 hours or so following. Winter Storm Euclid (who knew that snowstorms have names?) left us with about a foot of the white stuff when everything was said and done. After a short, sunny reprieve, Freyr rolled in yesterday morning and gave us about another half foot by late last night. Clarence and I still managed to sneak in a short run, but my fingertips were bright pink and frozen solid by the time we returned home. (Note to self: mittens work better than gloves when it is really cold outside.) Suffice it to say that my teenager, who is visiting me for a few days from my home state of Tennessee, got the snow he was so anxious for; he is still pining for a moose.
Although the locals like to chide me for being an uninitiated Southerner–the nice guys at the Oakes Brothers Building Supply and Hardware not far from here call me “Tennessee” when I come in–I actually did arrive mainly prepared for a cold winter in Vermont. Tennessee does in fact get some cold weather, and even occasional ice and snow in late December, January, and February; a rogue winter storm has been known to visit the South even in early springtime. So I own a down coat, tons of fleece, mittens, gloves, scarves, ear warmer thingummies, and various hats. But I do not have one of these:
This is the so-called Elmer Fudd hat, and you can get one online right here at Wilderness Woolies. As trite and clichéd as they are, I have seen them around. In fact, there is a whole rack of them right up the road from me at the Farm-Way, where you can also buy a Vera Bradley bag or a nifty pair of Dansko clogs on the same outing. The Elmer Fudd hat, though, is the bomb. I actually saw a woman step out of her car recently wearing a black sequined one. Seriously.
I was also told shortly after my arrival here that I should own a pair of Serious Boots. And I don’t mean fashionable boots, the lady behind the counter at the local hardware store advised me with furrowed brow. In short order I found myself rockin’ a pair of these:
Now that there is real snow–the kind you sink into knee-deep if you have not yet shoveled–I am really glad I got them. They are in fact waterproof, and keep my feet pretty toasty even when the socks I am wearing are insufficient. But boy, are they ugly.
Which brings me to a concept I’ve been developing for a few weeks now: Vermont Barbie. That’s right. I think Vermont deserves an iconic girl-doll all its own. Vermont Barbie, though, does not exactly have a waspy waist, because Vermonters really love their dairy products (to wit: buy local here means buy Ben and Jerry’s. Lots of it.). And of course Vermont Barbie comes with an Elmer Fudd hat and ugly girl boots like mine. But best of all, she drives one of THESE:
No Barbie Country Camper will do for this tough girl. And because I have some dear friends in Tennessee who care about me and worried some about my first New England winter, I bought a 2007 Outback just before my move at their behest. Turns out this is kinda the official state car of Vermont. All you’ve got to do is drive around for a few minutes to affirm this truth. My Outback, however, is brilliant white, which was perhaps not the best color choice for a state where it appears that snow and mud are part of the landscape. I note that the marketing folks at Subaru took this into consideration, as you can see.
Thus far I must say that my Outback has allowed me to go pretty much anywhere I need to, unimpeded. (Note to the Universe: please do not interpret this statement as over-confidence on my part. Please.) Verdict: I like my Subi. It seems sure-footed and plucky, and it goes in the snow. The seat heater keeps my tush warm, and the winter package appears to keep things defrosted on the outside. Just gimme an Elmer Fudd hat, a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, and call me Vermont Barbie.
Of course, Handsome Chef Boyfriend says the Subaru Outback is an old lady car. But that is a story for another day.