I have developed a new problem, recently.
I’m coveting cupolas.
Worshipping weather vanes.
I went to Vermont, you see.
“Verdant Vermont”, as Practical Man and I called it as we ooh’d and aah’d our way through the Spring countryside rolling hills.
We have been there before but this time, we noticed that it was very green.
We’re pretty sure this isn’t how “verdant” is pronounced but for this trip, we decided we should make it rhyme with “Vermont”.
Verdant Vermont, get it?
They are probably going to want to adopt it as a slogan, of course.
“Visit us in Verdant Vermont.”
We amuse ourselves easily, yes sirree.
That’s how you get to 20 years of wedded bliss, dontcha know.
All the verdant was probably on account of the torrential rain the day and night before. During the storm, we were very cozy in our vintage Boler travel trailer, alone in the campground. I am reading my way through my vintage Nancy Drew collection so I was deeply embroiled in The Mystery of the Bungalow (and wondering how one canoes wearing a dress) while I listened to the lovely sound of rain on the Boler roof.
A 13-foot trailer seems so luxurious after a lifetime of camping in tents and when it’s pouring sheets of rain outside.
Maybe the other campers didn’t have a vintage Nancy Drew book to antagonize and entertain them because they had all left. Even the ones in giant motor homes with big-screen TVs and walk-in closets. It seems that the first sign of inclement weather causes those campers to run home to a different big-screen TV and walk-in closet.
That’s okay because it means more ice cream for me.
The morning after the storm, I ate Ben and Jerry’s at 10:00 am, tra-la-la.
There was a factory and it was cultural experience so I had two scoops: fudge brownie something and chocolate peanut-butter something else.
I’ve never had Ben and Jerry’s ice cream before.
I might need to try it again to make sure I like it.
Then, we went to the chocolate factory nearby.
Perhaps you can see why I love Vermont.
So much tra-la-la!
We followed the windy roads and hunted for the covered bridges that were on the map.
We went up the super fun, seasonal road to Smuggler’s Notch and marvelled at the giant boulders all around that had been chucked down the mountain, probably by some demi-god having a temper tantrum.
And, I fell in love with all the houses.
I think there is a Vermont rule: no ugly houses allowed.
The Pinterest addict in me approves.
I also fell in love with the cupolas.
Ones with vents.
Ones with weather vanes.
I want one.
My kingdom for a cupola!
We have two sets of louvered doors in one of our (cupola-less) outbuildings, so now, I have dreams and plans for an upcycled cupola of our very own.
Practical Man is on the case. So far, he’s going along with putting a cupola on the workshop building.
That’s how you get to 20 years of wedded bliss, dontcha know.
But, I’m not sure I’m allowed to go back to Vermont.
We were camping last weekend in the Boler.
It needs a paint job on the outside but we re-did the inside a few years ago.
The owner of the mega-apartment-building-sized, it’s got walk-in-closets-kind-of-slide-outs trailer parked next to us last weekend came over for a little chat. He was all “oh, isn’t that just too cute” and “you don’t see many of these anymore”.
In other words, J-E-A-L-OUS.
Even though he has a walk-in closet and on board shower and a/c facilities.
The Boler has that effect on people.
I fall hard for the Boler every time I see it, too.
I love the wind-out windows that you can keep fully open during a hot night’s rain.
Pitter patter, pitter patter.
I love the original avocado green stove.
And range hood.
Very vintage, 70s – tra, la, la!
Practical Man and my dad made the doors from ash trees on our property.
They added the flowers with a minimal amount of sighing.
Before I go to sleep in the Boler, I like to wiggle my toes while lying on the dinette/bed and stare in wonderment around the little marshmallow-shaped interior.
Y’know, just for maybe an hour or so.
Wiggle, wiggle. Giggle, giggle.
Ditto for the mornings.
Wiggle, wiggle. Giggle, giggle.
Practical Man just smiles (and sometimes rolls his eyes the teeniest bit) while I’m doing this.
But, he loves the Boler, too.
I can tell by the way he doesn’t really complain about the (optimistically-named) “double” bed being slightly squishy even though he has to share it with someone who tends towards active dreaming (about buying more Bolers) and snoring and stealing the covers.
I can tell by the way he keeps a running list of “stuff the Boler needs”.
I can tell by the way he agrees to pay for camping, even though he’s a northern Ontario boy who defines camping as “parking on Crown land because why oh why would you ever pay for camping?”
And then, when I twirl happily to the creek side on our (NOT free) campsite, wearing my snazzy new trailer/Boler pants (check out the ankle ruffles!) that my aunt, Heather-the-Feather, gave me:
Okay, there might be a little more eye rolling but that quickly turns into twinkles.
Twinkles are the universal sign for “I love you, even though you’re fairly kooky”.
If anyone asks you what I’ve been doing this week, the answer is: sweating and scratching out in The Nature that I love…not so much.
It’s 42 degrees Celsius today with the humidex. That means a balmy 34 degrees REAL temperature and 127 degrees behind my ears and around my ankles. Oh, my ankles are so steamy.
So, like all good Canadians, we’re complaining.
It was only a couple of months ago that we complained about the endless winter and grumbled about the “s” word on the radio threatening more of the white stuff in April. Practical Man sort of sniffs the air to figure out if it’s time to take the snowblower off the tractor yet. He’s like a weather barometer with alluring twinkles so even when the radio is threatening the “s” word repeatedly, I trust the twinkles. Besides, everyone knows that April showers (not snowballs) are supposed to bring May flowers.
Just ignore that little snowbank over by the tulips.
And, it was only last month that we complained about the unnaturally cool Spring and we were still wearing jeans and socks, by golly and socks were the worst thing in the world in June, which is an especially hard month on account of there is not a single holiday weekend in Ontario. Is it too much to ask during such a vacation-desolate and trying month to be able to wear sandals without having blue, frozen toes?
Because, blue toes don’t go particularly well with my favourite vintage-inspired sandals:
Then, it was only last week that we were admiring the unnaturally lush summer verdant surroundings while simultaneously complaining about the rain, rain and more rain and the grass, grass and more grass which wouldn’t stop growing and the never-ending mowing and trimming and mowing and trimming..and by the way, where were the true stretches of sunshine and hot summer weather?
They were in Jamaica, that’s where.
But now, finally, we’re sweating it out in a trillion gazillion degrees and humidity that makes my elbows and the backs of my knees sweat and my hair curly (and not in a particularly good way). Practical Man doesn’t sweat (I always knew he was made of steel) and the only way he can keep from turning into the human torch (I think I’m mixing super hero metaphors here) is to stop whatever chore he’s doing (because hot weather is not an excuse to just laze around, except for me, of course) and jump in the pool every 15 minutes or so.
And then, he complains that it’s not cold enough. Which, I think means he might also be like Aquaman.
I’m not sure.
But, we’re not just sweating, because we’ve been camping and we live in Canada. Which means, inevitably, we’re also scratching. With all the rain, rain, rain, the bugs have been planning and conspiring and working on an advance to contact with my ankles. Now, I have sweaty, itchy ankles. They say that life is what happens when you’re making other plans. I say: bugs are what happen when you’re making camping plans.
We were camping in our 1974 Boler travel trailer, which, you may recall that I l-o-o-o-ve in a way that may be very annoying to some.
For instance, people in RV sales.
When we first bought the Boler, we went to an RV store to source some parts for it and when the salesman heard we had a Boler trailer, he immediately said, “Well, you’re gonna wanna trade that in right away for something GOOD!” Which, of course, offended me greatly.
Greatly, greatly. Because I l-o-o-ove the Boler, as you may recall.
However, I just smiled and told evil RV sales guy that there was nothing better than a Boler but on the way home, I decided that sales guy probably hated classic Volkswagen Beetles and all the other truly joyous things in life too and I got myself into a real state of vintage vehicular protectiveness. I had vintage indignity and outrage out the wazoo and I wasn’t even sure I knew where my wazoo was. But, I did know deep down and finally had to admit, that there are some who don’t like the whole vintage camping thing. Especially those who embrace modern conveniences such as air conditioning and indoor plumbing. So, I tried my best to calm my wazoo down.
Anyway, we’ve been camping in the vintage Boler, which is nearly 40 years old and deserves our respect, love and a little forgiveness if it happens to go a little wacky every now and then, without fear of being traded in for some snazzy trailer with A/C, indoor plumbing and an on-board microwave.
Not that I’m 44 and know anything at all about going wacky every now and then, but I can identify with the Boler’s little wacky elements sometimes. Like, when the right tire was flat when we pulled it out of the shelter to prep for the trip. And, when the bed was just a smidge too short for our tallish frames to stretch out fully, so our toes got a little cramped squishing up against the rounded walls while we were sleeping.
But, there is a completely groovy vintage avocado green stovetop and “range hood”, which in my book, makes the Boler fabulous.
We also have screens in every wind-out window (which means we can leave them open to the breeze, even in the pouring rain, unlike a modern trailer). And there is a completely low-maintenance, sweepable, washable fibreglass floor.
So there, RV sales guy.
Uh huh, our Boler is like the vintage Batmobile…only portly and cute. It’s my idea of perfect camping and I l-o-o-o-ve it.
Plus, my husband was like a sniper with a fly swatter for any errant buzzers that managed to sneak their way in while we had the door open. Such a bonus for my sweaty, itchy ankles that he thought to bring–and can so ably wield–the instrument of my tormentors’ demise. And that reminds me which of the many superheroes he really is:
He’s Practical Man, of course.