Weird weather, locals birthdays and Virus in VT ~ Margo’s Plymouth report

Reprinted with permission from The Vermont Standard
5/10/20
There is no other way to put it – weird weather persists!  We only received about an inch of snow in Tyson during the snow storm Friday into Saturday, but I understand that three or more inches fell in the higher elevations.  Tee shirts one Sunday and heavy sweaters and jackets the next.  I thought our bird feeder hanging high off our dining room was going to blow away.  Tell me, how do the birds hang on?
The trees seem to be taking a beating.  One was down on Scout Camp Rd this weekend, but no wires were involved, so I believe someone on that road revved up his chainsaw and removed it – thank you.  I did learn something unfortunate about the tree that came down on the Tyson/Reading Rd last week.  Apparently a car proceeded to drive over the downed wires and one became entangled.  As the person drove away, it pulled taut and broke the pole in half.  First of all, it is not prudent to drive over wires and it certainly caused considerable more work for the line crew to fix it, meaning area residents were out of power for an extended period of time.
I haven’t been noting birthdays lately, but I did happen to hear about several in May.  I believe Justus Pingree might have had one on 5/5 and I am bit late for Amber Bergey (5/7) and Marcia Bender (5/10), so belated congratulations.  However, you still have time to extend birthday wishes to Colton Kowalski (5/13) and Julia Baldwin (5/18).
It appears that VT is doing fairly well containing COVID -19, but I hope folks will continue to be vigilant in maintaining appropriate safeguards.  Although some people are consistently wearing face masks, not everyone seems to realize that it is a courtesy to others as well as safeguard.   I guess folks will be thinking twice about blowing birthday candles out on a cake to be shared with other people now.
How to be Resilient During This  Pandemic
Somehow I need to learn how to relish the down-time and change it into up-time.  I would like to stop seeing the inconveniences and start being inventive and find new ways of doing things.  Now there is time for long walks – helpful for a number of reasons.  One of them being that there are many more neighbors with whom to share a greeting, albeit from a distance.    Then, I could peruse all of those recipes I have accumulated and use them to spice up our menu.  Ah yes, there are a myriad of projects to be tackled and as a last resort, I could undertake a few!
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Birthday Congratulations to Griffin LeBrun last Saturday!

Happy Birthday to Griffin LeBrun! He turned 7 years old and enjoyed the Plymouth Fire Trucks making a drive by appearance in honor of him.

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Special birthday celebrations, assistance through Ottauquechee Health Foundation & Woodstock Area Relief Fund available ~ Margo’s Plymouth report

Reprinted with permission from The Vermont Standard
5/3/20
What an amazing weekend weather-wise!  Lunches out on the deck, long walks in the sunshine, and of course a few mundane tasks, like washing windows and potting some plants. My daffodils have finally popped open and the cat and I enjoyed watching a couple of chipmunks playing tag.  No, my cat is not a hunter, but she was quite attentive to their antics.
The Plymouth Fire Dept added some extra excitement to the special birthday party for Griffin LeBrun, who turned seven years old on Saturday.  It was arranged by his mother, Jodi, outside their home on Rte 100A.  There were banners and balloons and cupcakes for the many carloads of family and friends who came to offer congratulations from a safe distance.  Steve Radonis and my husband, Tom each drove past in a fire truck with lights flashing and sirens blaring.
The fire trucks and several volunteers were again called into action on Saturday afternoon for a fallen tree on the Tyson/Reading Rd that took down both electric and telephone wires.  Traffic control was needed until the repairs could be completed.  So nice that we have folks so willing to serve within our town!
Please know that the Ottauquechee Health Foundation serves Plymouth and can be of assistance in meeting health related needs.  During these confusing and difficult times, they would like to help.  Call 802-457-4188 or email info@ohfvt.org for more information.
Additional help is available through WARF:  COVID -19 and I am including a letter to that effect from local residents:
Dear Plymouth Area Neighbors,
We are writing to you today representing a group of Plymouth volunteers trying to get the word out about the Woodstock Area Relief Fund: COVID-19 (WARF: COVID-19), serving Plymouth, Woodstock, Bridgewater, Barnard, Pomfret, Killington, and Reading. The Fund provides immediate and timely financial assistance to individuals and families in the greater Woodstock area who are unable to meet their basic household needs for food, medicine, and shelter due to the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 crisis.  A few things you should know about our efforts:
  • The Fund is 100% supported by private donors and managed by a team of impassioned local volunteers, dedicated to distributing grants to individuals and families in need as quickly as possible.
  • Residents of all the towns listed above are eligible for funds.
  • All applications and donations are confidential.
  • All Windsor Central Supervisory Union area residents are currently eligible for one-time funds of up to $1,000 to assist with basic household needs that arise as a result of the COVID-19 crisis (food, medicine, shelter) not covered by other local, state, or federal relief programs.
This crisis is like no other in our lifetimes— all of our lives are affected, whether you catch the virus or are simply staying at home. In a small town like Plymouth, imagine the challenges faced by neighbors — some of whom have lost their jobs on top of all this — who worry about feeding their children, paying their rent, or being able to afford medicine to keep their family healthy.
As of today, we have received almost $200,000 and about 100 applications. We are asking any of you in our Plymouth community — both primary and secondary homeowners — to help us reach our goal of $500,000 with a donation to the Fund in any amount that you can afford, as well as to spread the word so that all who might want to apply for assistance know how to go about it.
To make a donation, visit www.woodstockarearelieffund.org. Donations can be made by credit or debit card, or by check payable to Woodstock Area Relief Fund (WARF) and mailed to PO Box 802, Woodstock, VT 05091. The Woodstock Area Relief Fund: COVID-19 is administered by the Woodstock Community Trust, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. All contributions are tax deductible. To apply to the Fund, please visit www.woodstockarearelieffund.org for a simple application page.
Your friends and neighbors in Plymouth and the surrounding towns are deeply grateful for your help in getting the word out about WARF-COVID-19, both for donations to the Fund and applications for assistance from it.
Stay safe & healthy!  Karen Bruyn, Tesha Buss, Jim and McKey Berkman
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Pictured: Tom Marrone and Steve Radonis
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Turkey hunting, Zoom Book Club meeting, & WARF aid ~ Margo’s Plymouth report

Reprinted with permission from The Vermont Standard

4/26/20

As I write on Sunday, the rain has begun to fall and snow is expected a bit later. I hustled to get out for a walk before lunch and I met others trying to beat the approaching inclement weather, too. Such a change after that simply beautiful day on Saturday. I was glad to have worked on outdoor tasks, but I admit my ambition has waned for indoor projects today…..

We had a strange occurrence the other day and perhaps some of you can shed light on what this ridiculous creature was doing. We began hearing an occasional thumping noise outside that quickly increased in intensity & frequency. Slipping on shoes, I tromped down the steps off the deck toward the corner of the house where the dining room addition meets the main structure. I don’t know who was more startled, but suddenly a female turkey flew up from there and took off across the driveway. Any thoughts? By the way, spring turkey hunting begins May 1st.

Thanks to Rose Vetere for hosting our first Zoom Reading Group meeting last Thursday and to Tim Sink for providing and making sure we could all participate. We had a delightful time discussing Girl Waits with Gun, which actually has some basis in history.  It was fun to see folks in their own homes. Nancy Hagge even showed us the sunset from her mountaintop vantage point. Our next book is Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes, which we will discuss Thursday, 5/21 at 6:30 PM, probably via Zoom.

I had previously mentioned The Woodstock Area Relief Fund (WARF). This volunteer effort has a dedicated leadership team that includes Alison Clarkson, Ana Dinatale, Barry Milstone, Carolyn Kimbell, Charlie Kimbell, Daphne Lowe, Geraldine Fowler, Jill Davies, Jill Rose, John Endicott, Jon Spector, Karim Houry, Liza Deignan, Mary MacVey, Mary Riley, Meg Seely, Sally Miller, Seton McIlroy, Wendy Spector. Anyone interested in making a donation may do so on the website or by sending a check to Woodstock Area Relief Fund and mailing to: Woodstock Community Trust (WARF), PO Box 802, Woodstock, VT 05091.

The group has submitted the following: Asking for help isn’t easy—we all know that. But these times are unlike anything we’ve ever seen. That’s why (WARF) has made getting money for household necessities as simple as possible. More than 160 neighbors and 50 friends from other states have contributed over $215,000 so far to help those in the Windsor Central Supervisory Union (which includes Plymouth). All the money will go toward grants of up to $1,000 for those needing help with rent, groceries, and other household expenses.

To apply for aid: www.woodstockarearelieffund.org

To ask questions: woodstockcovid19@gmail.com / 802-281-9902

To donate: www.woodstockarearelieffund.org

To see regular updates on Facebook: @woodstockarearelieffund

I hope that everyone is continuing to be prudent and safe. VT has done a good job of containing COVID 19, so I pray we can proceed slowly to open back up, which seems like a sensible approach. Little steps like buying plants at the WUHS plant sale on 5/1 can help to bring a renewed sense of hope.

Ponderings: Watching the stream, swollen from recent rain as it flow fearlessly over rocks and branches. It does not stop to ponder, it simply rushes by. Where is it going so frenetically – pushing obstacles from its path? I can be that way, but for now I choose to move more slowly and to observe the beauty that is so often missed when I dash furiously on my way.

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More resources for this time ~ Margo’s Plymouth report

Did you know:

1. In addition to the lunches available from Thompson Senior Center in Woodstock, you may call the Black River Valley Senior Center (802-228-7421) in Ludlow for those 60 and older to obtain midweek pick-up lunches.

2. The National Guard in conjunction with the VT Foodbank will set up and operate Points of Distribution (PODs) at several state airports including the one in North Clarendon on Friday, 4/24 and in Springfield on Monday, 4/27.  Between the hours of 9 AM & 6:00 PM you may pick up a seven day supply of Meals Ready-to-Eat (MRE) for each household member.  If you have further questions, please call the Vermont Foodbank at 1-800-585-2265.
 
3. Food is available on a limited basis at the Ludlow Baptist Church when Pastor Jerry Scheumann is there, often between 10 & 4, Monday through Friday.  Call ahead (802-228-7600) and please wear a face covering.
4. Currently, state lands (State Parks, Forests and Wildlife Management Areas) remain open and accessible to the public for outdoor recreation, although most facilities like restrooms are currently closed and not being sanitized. Please maintain appropriate distances during use.  Some roads and trails are gated this time of year and closed to all but foot traffic.  The Long Trail System on state lands is currently closed.
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Sunny skies, up-to-date Virus info, a relaxing Podcast and local plant sale! ~ Margo’s Plymouth report

Reprinted with permission of The Vermont Standard

4/19/20

What a glorious day it was on Sunday. Awakening to sunny skies is always a good start to the day, especially since there were snow showers on Saturday morning! Even the cat wanted to be out on the deck at lunchtime.

Tom and I decided upon a change of place for walking, so we drove to the Hawk parking lot and walked up Billings Rd, then took Scout Camp behind Lake Amherst. We met so many people – some fishing, others walking, and also a few biking. A cold wind scurried through on occasion, but it felt so good and freeing to just be out and about.

If you would like to keep up-to-date with the latest virus stats for VT, you may go to https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid19 for the information. Also, please know that the Woodstock Farmers Market is open again for curbside pick-up Tuesday through Saturday, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m beginning 4/21. You need to place your orders online and can check the website for what is available and the order form.

I received permission to note a Podcast hosted by Heidi Spear, www.heidispear.com for an eleven minute session that includes relaxing breath work, meditation, and visualization. It is episode 3 of her new podcast called Storybook. During these uncertain times, I am finding the need to explore various ways of coping. I hope that all of us will reach out to find new resources.

Speaking of ways to cope and bringing cheerfulness into our lives, please note that the Horticulture Dept of WUHS will be holding a plant sale on Friday, 5/1 outside the greenhouses at the school. Just drive around the righthand side of the building and you will find a wonderful array of plants for reasonable prices. The pansies that I purchased previously attest to the loving care of the students engendered by John Hiers and staff. So, brighten you day and help the program at the same time.

Did you know that Okemo Valley TV is a great place to view local meetings and to learn about community events? If you are not on cable, you can access programs and videos by going to www.okemovalley.tv. For instance, you can watch the 4/11 benefit concert by area musicians that was a fundraiser for the VT Foodbank. Also, Dr Linda Thomson recently recorded a thirty minute meditation to help ease the stress of COVID-19. Consider taking advantage of this wonderful resource.

Well, as you can see, properties are still changing hands here in Plymouth. I was very pleased to meet our new neighbors, David and Jennifer. Welcome!

255 Davis Rd $250,000 Christopher Bowen(Trustee) to David and Jennifer Wasilauskas

102 East Ash Rd. $299,000 Sandra Rothman to Alistair and Margaret Rogers

5460 Rte 100 $170,000 Robert Hubbard to Jessica Boudreault

5340 Rte 100 $150,000 Arthur and Julie Lynds to Amelie Fabre

Lynds Hill Rd, land(10.53 ACRES) $46,000 Jill Davies to Tadeusz and Katarzyna Bebenek

115 Osprey Pl $350,000 Nicholas and Diane Lopardo to Mario, Arlene and Nicholas LaRosa

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No Tag Sale this year

Dear Plymouth people,

This year’s Tag Sale at The Community Center over Memorial Day weekend will not be held, due to COVID-19.

In 2021 we will have a great Tag Sale!

Stay safe!

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Spring showers, summer planning and take out options ~ Margo’s Plymouth report

Reprinted with permission of The Vermont Standard

4/13/20

Well, as I am writing this on Monday, spring showers are definitely falling! The weather doesn’t seem to know where it wants to settle – warm and sunny, cold and blustery and any place in between. What a blessing to be able to easily get outdoors, walk and watch spring emerging. Nice to see (from a distance) neighbors emerging, as well.

There is so much uncertainty about the future, but it was delightful to see the video put together by Bethany Birches Camp for Easter. It was a cheerful reminder of the fun that takes place in our town during the summer. It also gave a lovely Easter message. If you would like to experience the energy and camaraderie, you may do so in one of two ways. On Youtube: https://youtu.be/3DjfgqD6I9c or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=933852223751819.

According to Brandon, they are working toward summer camp this year by hiring staff, making preparations, etc. but they are cognizant that the fact it is all dependent upon what will be safe and allowed. Things are moving forward, he said, “whether that is exclusively virtual, small group camping, or more typical large group camping, we will give precedence to those who signed up and deposited first. Our goal is to serve local families!”

At the moment, they are posting nature crafts that are easy to do at home and regular programs on Friday’s at Noon on their Facebook page and Youtube channel (bethanybirches) plus hosting a Wednesday evening fireside singalong (Zoom meeting). You can email camp@bethanybirches.org for the link to those Zoom calls.

Just to update folks, Tyson Store (802-228-2284) remains open. You may call ahead for items to be picked up curbside or go instead to shop. There is no toilet paper or hand sanitizer, but many other items are available according to Tina. Make sure to grab one of their terrific sandwiches while you are there!

Neal’s Restaurant in Proctorsville is offering meals-to-go every day of the week. They are open from 3 until 7 and you can check the Facebook page to see the menu or simply call 802-226-7251. Neal has adjusted the menu for simple meals and he is also offering the Feed a Friend for Five program, where you can add an additional $5 to the cost of your order that will allow someone in need to obtain a meal for free. Call ahead to place your order and give your credit card number – no cash is accepted. Neal is preparing Meals on Wheels on the weekends, that are delivered by the regular volunteers that assist with the mid-week program. Golden Stage Inn and Big Eyes Bakery are donating cookies for the program.

Please note that the Woodstock Area Relief Fund COVID-19 is up and running and includes Plymouth residents. The information is included below. It is indeed wonderful to see the way so many people are coming together to use their talents and means to help one another.

People are still on the move as noted with these property transfers:

820 Rte 100 A $148,000 Todd and Robin Bebo to Casey and Kristi Farrell

43 Goshawk Dr $284,630 Faustino Cortina to Patrick and Jennifer Dwyer

83 SALT ASH ROAD $217,500 Stephen Wogen to Evan and Jennalise Eiswerth

May the emergence of spring brighten your day

And the source of this virus stay away

May loved ones call if only to say

That they care and send greetings to bless your day

Woodstock Area Relief Fund Handout

Woodstock Area Relief Fund Poster

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Emergency Services are active & assisting!

We are fortunate that Emergency Services (Fire Dept. and First Response) are still active during COVID 19.  Also, please note the Plymouth Emergency Management Team (Emergency Management Director, Selectboard Chair, Head of the Highway Dept., Fire Chief and EMS Coordinator) is up and running. There are also active volunteers involved.  Services are being provided for “at risk” individuals.  

 
You can access help by sending an email to covid19plymouth@yahoo.com or calling Sue Poirier at 802-236-2683  in addition, she has asked that these important guidelines be shared.
  • Wash your hands with soap & water for AT LEAST 20 seconds (you can sing Happy Birthday in that amount of time)
  • If you can’t immediately wash your hands use a hand sanitizer and then, as soon as possible, wash your hands
  • Keep at least 6 feet away from the nearest person (6 feet is the size of a tall person, 6 1′ square tiles etc)
  • Stay home as much as possible. Walks are ok and get the yard cleaned up.
    • The use of meeting apps like Facetime, Skype, Whatsapp and Zoom may help with any social distancing anxiety.
  • The CDC has now recommended that everyone wear at least a cloth mask when you have to go outside of your home to do critical (read groceries, medications, supplies) .  The mask could be a bandanna tied around your face covering nose and mouth or a home sewn mask.  There are a number of patterns out there to use for the crafty citizens.
  • Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough then wash your hands!  Or you can sneeze/cough into your elbow or as my grandkids told me you can pull your shirt/blouse up over your face to cover the cough/sneeze. Wash your hands.
  • Drink plenty of water…stay hydrated.
  • If you feel ill isolate yourself from the rest of the family.  Call your health care provider.
  • Disinfect frequently used countertops such as in the kitchen or bathroom and disinfect other items like doorknobs, steering wheels and door handles.
  • Shopping:
      • Wipe down grocery cart handles with sanitizer
      • Avoid crowded isles or isles where they are restocking
      • When buying groceries wash the fresh produce, wipe down non perishable containers, quarantine what can stay outside for 3 days.
      • Did I say ‘wash your hands’?

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Resources for Plymouth residents, photo sharing and some humor~ Margo’s Plymouth report

Reprinted with permission of The Vermont Standard

4/6/20

Well, I typed an entire page of resources for this report, but somehow managed to delete it, so I am starting all over again and hoping I can recreate the information. It will most certainly not be with the flair and creativity that I had included initially!!!! Monday morning and the sun is shining brightly, so I am trying to let it cheer me and I hope it is cheering you, as well!

Plymouth is a geographically divided town, so some services apply to parts of town, but not necessarily to others. We seem to drift in different directions for shopping and services as well.  Please know that you can call in and order meals before 9 AM during the week from the Thompson Senior Center (802-457-3277) in Woodstock. Just access the daily menu on their April newsletter via their website. You can stay in your car and they will bring the meals out to you between noon and 12:30.

The entire Town of Plymouth is able to obtain food from the Black River Good Neighbor Services Food Shelf at 37B Main Street in Ludlow, located behind the former armory. You need to call 802-228-3663 to make an appt between 10AM & 3PM, Monday through Friday.

With the current financial situation causing undue hardship for many folks, the Plymouth Memory may be a source of help for some of your needs – rent, utility bills, and such. Anne Brown has posted a sample application at the Plymouth Post Office, but you may email her at abrown@vermontel.net and she will send you one. I believe that most people are aware that Post Offices are still maintaining their regular schedule, albeit with a few protective measures in place.

I had requested that people send me some pictures or stories to share and I am pleased that has actually happened! Thanks to Kathy Lynds for telling the story of her aunt and uncle in CA sharing the fruit from their prosperous lemon tree and also making lemonade for others. Living out that wonderful adage!

Some of our folks who were wintering elsewhere have sent pictures. Thanks to Dana Dolloff for this one from a FL movie theatre when he was there and Katherine Pingree for wildflowers that had bloomed in AZ. Our patches of snow are greatly diminished these days & green shoots are beginning to emerge. I know that many of us are eager to clean up winter debris from our yards, but please note that no burning permits are being issued at this time.

This pandemic is providing lots of time for reflection during this season of Lent/Easter and Passover.  The Facebook page for Tyson Church is including sermons by Pastor, Terry Bascom.

I hope that folks are enjoying some of the funny videos & emails that have been circulating. I decided to include one that my brother-in-law David sent. I’ve been talking about this with the microwave and toaster while drinking coffee and we all agreed that things are getting bad. I didn’t mention anything to the washing machine as she puts a different spin on everything. Certainly not to the fridge as he is acting cold and distant. In the end the iron straightened me out as she said everything will be fine, no situation is too pressing. The vacuum was very unsympathetic… told me to just suck it up, but the fan was more optimistic and hoped it would all soon blow over! The toilet looked a bit flushed when I asked its opinion and didn’t say anything but the door knob told me to get a grip. The front door said I was unhinged and so the curtains told me to …yes, you guessed it – .pull myself together!

We have much for which to be thankful here in our community. Be prudent, safe and well.

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