• Stephen D'Agostino

Let’s Welcome Another Family to Reading

When I experienced the very first day of my very first mud season in Vermont, I decided I needed a car with a bit more clearance. I got it in 2015, and for the past three late winters and early springs, everything’s been fine. Last Wednesday, though, showed me what a muddy road really looks like. I left my home around 6:15am, and the road was rough but passable.

Twelve hours later, after the road spent the day basking in the 70-degree warmth, I returned. Jenne Road wasn’t so much cratered like the Moon but trenched like a battlefield. The ruts were almost deep enough to repel down their walls. Okay, I’m exaggerating (a little), but still, for the first time, my car scraped the road for the three-quarters of a mile I drove on it. Twice I had to choose between losing momentum or going off the road. Luckily, I made it home and counted my blessings that I didn’t have anywhere to go the next day.

Special thanks to the town for bringing out the grader on Friday. It helped immensely!

Another family moves to Reading

One of Reading’s newest families doesn’t have to worry too much, I think, about mud season. They live on Route 106, so they may need to deal with the other driving scourge present at this time of the year: frost heaves.

Gerry and Erika Marletta moved to town in late January, and from the sounds of it, are doing a great job of settling into not only Reading but also rural life.

After living in New York City for over a decade and realizing that much of their energy was devoted to making that existence work (for example, lugging laundry three blocks to the laundromat), they decided they wanted to give themselves and their daughter, Zoe, a different kind of life. Erika grew up in a town in Connecticut that had a small population, so she knew there was a different kind of existence to be had by returning to what she knew.

They tell an interesting story of how they chose the Upper Valley as their new home. Erika’s parents still live in Connecticut on the southern section of the river that bears the states name. Her family also has a camp in Pittsburgh, NH, on the upper part of the river. They have good friends in Maine. They narrowed their search area to some place that was equidistant to all of these places, which put them in the Upper Valley. They chose Vermont over New Hampshire because the vibe felt both different and right.

Gerry and Erika looked at several places over the course of a months-long search but ended up falling in love with the house they live in now. Erika jokes that it was the purple door that sold her.

There is, of course, more beyond the door that they love. The house is big enough that they can grow their family and maybe get a dog. Plus, Gerry says, he loves the view from their kitchen window. Every day, he takes photos and sends them to his co-workers to show them what they’re missing.

Like me, Gerry and Erika took their jobs in New York City with them and now work remotely. Gerry is an information technologist at an event planning company, and Erika works for a music theater licensing firm.

They both graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston. Gerry plays the bass guitar and other instruments, and Erika sings and plays the violin.

One of the biggest differences about their new life that they noticed immediately, is that instead of receiving the side eye from people they don’t know, as was the case in New York City, so many people in town have gone out of their way to introduce themselves. They’ve met Esther Allen, Calista Brennan, and neighbor John Malcolm. The Macris had had them over for dinner, and they received many introductions at Mama Mia Pasta Bistro.

Gerry said they’re looking to get more involved with the community. I asked him how, specifically, and he said he found pictures of the town’s Halloween events. He said he loves holidays and would love to help with things like that. I told him I could hook him up with someone who knows a thing or two about the sponsor of many town events, the Reading Recreation Commission.

Welcome to Reading, Gerry and Erika Marletta!

Game Night to Start March 16

Speaking of the Rec, the commission and the Reading Public Library are teaming up for Game Night on March 16 at the library! Whether your favorite game is Monopoly, chess, or cribbage, or something else, there will be plenty of fun to be had! Plus popcorn, which is enough to get me there. The library has several games, but feel free to bring your own. The fun starts at 6:30pm and runs to 8:30pm (or however long the last Monopoly token is in play, or I, ahem, accidentally tip the board over).

We all know that spring begins this month (yippee!), and soon enough we’ll be thinking of outdoor activities (hint: Game Night will move outside once the weather is warmer). But what other community outdoor activities would you like to see? The Rec Commission wants to know! Take their four-question survey and share! You can find the survey link on the Rec Commission’s Facebook page: facebook.com/readingparks/.

I’m a sap. And so is the stuff that comes from maple trees

Also, proving my point from last week that I know very little about sugaring, I said that Jason Dow was tapping his trees for maple sugar. Of course, he, and all other people in his profession, tap the trees for sap. I hope this doesn’t blacklist me and condemn me to a future of Mrs. Butterworth’s on my waffles!

Happy birthday to Tom Singleton (March 1).

See you at Town Meeting!

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