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  • Stephen D'Agostino

A View of Reading From Yosemite National Park

Greetings from Yosemite National Park! For a New Englander, whose only real exposure to mountains has been the Greens, the Whites, and the Catskills, I am in awe of the peaks that soar to seven, eight, ten, twelve thousand feet. The trees, too, make me rethink my definition of tall.

Driving from the coast, where it was damp, cool, and cloudy, to the park, where it was dry, warm, and sunny, reminded me of the changes of weather that can happen in our lovely state at this time of the year over the course of a single day. With thoughts of my newly planted garden, I’ve been checking the weather at home. Looks like there has been some rain. That makes me happy. Even if I were home, it would do the same. When I get back to Reading, I’ll get up to the garden as soon as I can to see how things are going.

Being in a place where the flowers seem to be in full-summer bloom, makes me love Vermont even more. Our compressed growing season means lots of day-to-day changes with plants doing the best they can to make the most of their time in bloom. It is up to us to enjoy it as well as live the same way. So I hope you have been!

Gerry Marletta, a Rec Commissioner, told me that the 30 or so attendees of last week’s first-ever Outdoor Game Night enjoyed the evening. As hoped, people formed wiffleball teams of kids and adults. People of all ages pitched horseshoes and enjoyed each other’s company at this community event. Gerry also told me that he received several suggestions on how to make Game Night even better. These are things the Recreation Commission will take into consideration, no doubt! Just so you know, the next Game Night is on June 15. It’s on my calendar. I hope it is on yours.

This is Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial kick off to summer. For Reading, though, I think the unofficial kickoff happens on Friday, June 1. That’s going to be a busy evening in town. It’s the first First Friday of the season at the Hall Art Foundation, running from 5pm to 8pm. Tours of the museum are self-guided and free. Like last year, Ed Reposa will be there with the La Pizza Lupo truck serving up delicious pies for purchase.

That’d be noteworthy enough, but that is just one of four events happening that evening. From 5pm to 7pm, the library will host an Open House. Stop by one of Reading’s most beautiful buildings for lemonade and cookies and a chance to admire its beauty. While you’re there, browse the Seed Library and pick up some things to plant in your garden. If you didn’t find what you’re looking for—or even if you do—make your next stop the Reading Greenhouse for their extra hours (also 5pm to 7pm). Check out the array of colorful plants and take advantage of their special offer in honor of our first First Friday in Reading.

The fun’s not over. At 7pm, the Reading Historical Society, in cooperation with the Vermont Humanities Council, will host “Vermont History Through Song,” a discussion and performance by VPR Classical’s Linda Radtke. The title of the presentation says it all. It sounds like a magical event, and I’m sure it will be nice to hear music in the old Reading Christian Union Building, which is now the Reading Historical Society Museum.

Not that I don’t love writing this column, but I am on vacation. I’m going to wrap it up, by noting one more thing about being here. It’s taken me a while to get used to the lack of internet access. Oddly, with El Capitan over my left shoulder and Half Dome over my right, on the floor of Yosemite Valley, I have cell phone service that most Vermonters would kill for. However, at the place I am staying, there is no cellular or wifi access. My morning routine of checking online news services, perusing social media, and answering emails has been disrupted. I am hoping the feeble signal from the Yosemite guest router is strong enough for me to send this file. Otherwise, these few words I’ve written will end up being for my eyes only. If you’re reading this, you know I was successful in transmitting the file across the country.

By my last day here, Wednesday, I feel I will long for the days when we weren’t so well connected and therefore so distracted. Maybe I can take that home with me, and instead of fiddling with my phone or tablet some fine June afternoon, I can look at the maple in my yard and the hills in the distance and be happy that I don’t have to do anything more than look out my window to see something beautiful and natural. Just on a much smaller scale.

Happy Memorial Day!

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