Between Times: A Long Saturday Meander
When is the last time you had one?
I’ll be getting to artist Edward Hopper and Eleanor Roosevelt and the Upper Valley spot they had in common in just a minute . . .
After 15 months of near isolation in our home, my husband and I had a Saturday that felt like the before times. We’re vaccinated, and in the last few weeks we have had quick forays to a local restaurant for lunch or dinner, and an actual in-person food shopping experience or two. But it all felt a little surgical. Leave home, enjoy a single external activity, then hurry home, as if being away from the nest for more than an hour or two would seem like altogether too much.
On this past sunny Saturday, we had the better part of an entire day away from home, with a list of errands and places (plural, not singular.) We began with a trip to Crossroad Farm in Fairlee, where I ran into a friend and got a sorely needed actual and robust hug instead of a weak pantomimed one via Zoom. Still masked, we wandered through the farm’s greenhouses. Some herbs here, a pepper plant there, some annuals for garden and hanging baskets . . . And two bunches of fresh asparagus because I could not bear to leave with just one.
North to Chelsea and then south to South Royalton for lunch at The Worthy Burger. Crowds and a wait for the outside tent, but we snagged a table indoors, where the burger and fries tasted just as good—and all the better to eavesdrop on the conversation of a 68 year-old cardiologist who was biking from Maine to the left coast state of Washington. If you go and if you can, buy a “Round for the Cooks.” A $5 donation goes into the pockets of the folks who are manning the grill.
After a year of mostly curbside shopping every two weeks, we casually dropped into the South Royalton Market, a food coop in South Royalton’s brick block, for just a few essentials. It’s a tidy little market with great selection and a drool-worthy display of local and other produce.
Finally, and this has been on my list since a former post on Artful about Edward Hopper, we found the historical marker on Route 110 that testifies to Hopper’s connection to the Upper Valley. The Wagon Wheels Farm was the artist’s home base when he and his wife Jo spent part of two summers in South Royalton, scouting out and painting scenes of the White River. Not to mention that it provided overnight shelter for then First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt while she was on official business in Tunbridge.
In these times between pandemic isolation and maskless, fearless freedom, where might you meander?
(Photos by Susan B. Apel. Thank you to Bonnie Clause for directions to the Wagon Wheels Farm.)
Welcome! You’re reading Artful, a blog about arts and culture in the Upper Valley, and I hope you’ll subscribe and then share this with your friends and on your social media.
And in case you are wondering . . . Susan B. Apel shuttered a lifelong career as a law professor to continue an interest (since kindergarten) in writing. Her freelance business, The Next Word, includes literary and feature writing; her work has appeared in a variety of lit mags and other publications including Art New England, The Woven Tale Press, The Arts Fuse, and Persimmon Tree. She connects with her neighbors through Artful, her blog about arts and culture in the Upper Valley. She’s in love with the written word.
I've only just now discovered your column! It'd wonderful! Several happy hours ahead, reading it all!
So enjoy your posts. I would recommend a stroll through Brookfield. A new post there will show you where Justin Morgan lived.