Not having to watch a clock has given us the really precious gift of being able to go with the flow, follow our intuition and just let things happen. How sad that life as working fools, we are all too busy to meander down streets of different places, or stop to chat and get to know people. Why should this great learning experience be reserved for retired folks only?
Not charting a strict course is less about aimlessly wandering around the map, and more about listening to intuition, so that we can open ourselves up to what lies ahead. Doing so has brought us many adventures, and helped us to learn tons about where we might want to set down roots.
We Found a Contender: Plainfield, Vermont
Recently, after leaving Burlington and moving toward New Hampshire, Jim and I were completely starving for some grub. We kept looking for a good place to turn into, but the countryside’s driveways don’t give much room to stop an 8,000 pound trailer. Finally, we spotted one of Vermont’s unobtrusive roadside business announcement billboards (Vermont, Maine, Alaska and Hawaii are the only four states that have outlawed billboards).
“Turn right at the blinker for Positive Pie New York Style Pizza.”
So we did. We turned off the main highway and into small town that had one main street, no traffic signals, a great looking bookstore, and lots of old houses – many of which had some kind of leftie poster in the window, or art in the front yard.
We walked the tiny main street and looked around for a sandwich place. I spotted a Co-Op down the street. It was so tiny on the outside, we weren’t sure if it was an actual food Co-Op. We went up the stairs of the old house and entered the Plainfield Co-Op, a super nice grocery store with a huge selection of local produce and products.
A bushy-beared clerk seemed really friendly, so after asking him where to go for a meal, I then asked, “How could a town this small have such a great co-op?” His eyes lit up, and he explained that by stopping in Plainfield, we had stepped into one of Vermont’s best counterculture lifestyle arts communities. It’s where Phish got it’s start, as students at ultra-liberal Goddard College. That should explain it all.
After leaving the Co-Op, we wandered into Positive Pie Pizza. A really friendly guy named Scott was practicing the art of pizza crust throwing. He was busy but friendly and super talkative. We wanted the scoop on Plainfield. What was this place like? Everyone is so nice. Why is the vibe here so different from other places we’ve been to?
Scott the Pizza Guy filled us in on Plainfield. About everyone there is some kind of creative type. Neighbors pitch in to make this little rural town a fun place to be. There’s always a concert or weird parade or event happening. It’s a small place, but everyone stays out of eachother’s business as long as nobody’s getting hurt. There’s a small medical and dental center, many local farms, and they’re within a 15 minute drive of Montpelier, the capital. Plainfield is a completely hassle free environment — they don’t even have a sheriff. Gotta love that. You can see some of what he had to say below: