Tag Archives: Vermont

** The Point of Vanishing by Howard Axelrod

The Point of Vanishing: A Memoir of Two Years in Solitude is a memoir by a young man who, after suffering a freak sports accident and a sad breakup spends a couple years in an isolated cabin in the woods, with only isolated trips to the grocery store, which may not happen for weeks when the road plower fails to show up after the frequent winter storms.

He talks movingly about the woods and his relationship with nature, as well as his awkward re-entry into society, along with the events that brought him to the cabin in the first place. A lovely reflection on what busy-ness and noise can destroy.

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Goat Song by Brad Kessler

Goat Song tells how the author and his wife set out to acquire a herd of goats and make cheese in the mountains of Vermont. (What is it with city-dwellers wanting to live off the land and finding it challenging, as in Farm CityHeirloom, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle?) This author is not too preachy about his choice and freely mixes literary discussions of the goat origins of tragedies together with the fine art of separating (actual) kids from their mothers, which makes for an interesting narrative, and thankfully so since the excerpts from his diary are enough to put the reader to sleep with their tallies of milk and mucking the barn.

Worth reading for the stories and the reaffirmation that good cheese is very, very hard work!

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Forward from Here by Reeve Lindbergh

Forward from Here is a mix of memoir and essays on being “young in old age”, which for the author means turning 60. It also brings the last high school graduation in the family, a brain tumor (yikes!), turtles, and hot tubs that don’t fit into the front door. Reeve Lindbergh is one of Charles Lindbergh’s daughters (many daughters, since is seems the famed aviator collected families, as they were shocked to discover years after his death) but the book is not about her childhood, and not about the famous aspects of her family. When she talks about her mother it’s to relive what it’s like to take care of someone who is not quite there anymore. When she talks about her father, it’s to remember how his moral lectures jar today with his hidden behavior.

For the most part she talks about her life in rural Vermont, about keeping her seventeen-year old son and his friends fed (I can relate to that, although their drinking a half-gallon of milk seems paltry: I certainly have witnessed just one boy drink that much!), and about tiptoeing around the swallows that colonize her porch.

A funny, deep, but never self-absorbed reflection of what happens after the children leave home.

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