Monday, February 1, 2010

We Inaugurate the West Pawlet Salon Season

(My TV Show will resume in the next post.)

It couldn't be simpler. During the winter months, on a predetermined Sunday afternoon people drive up our steep driveway, stomp the snow off their boots, and cram into our living room. There is a fire in the stove, some wine, some dips, some nuts. Then things get quiet, and one of us tells her story--or his--while the rest listen.

The speakers are neighbors and friends, people whom we know but haven't had the chance to really hear in crowded fire department benefits or holiday parties, people with interesting lives and strong passions. There are lots of them around here. There is the world-class glass blower who lives just the other side of our woods. There is the painter/graphic designer/garden inventor who also teaches me yoga. And many others encrusted like gems in these woods and hills.

Yesterday's interesting person is Angela Miller, of Consider Bardwell Farm--see it and sigh here. She showed up straight from the little cafe that she runs on weekends in the antechamber of her barn--a kind of civic gesture on her part so that the citizens of West Pawlet will have somewhere to go. She was carrying an assortment of her magnificent cheeses in an unassuming plastic bag (and I'm not the only one saying that these cheeses are magnificent--I'm merely agreeing with a bunch of national cheese judges).

This is a woman who uses not only the right and left frontal hemispheres of her brain, but the back parts, too. Four days a week she's in her farm, turning cheese wheels, hefting hay bales, dealing with goats in childbed. The rest of the week she's in New York City, being a literary agent. After her talk, I tried to get her to say which world she would rather be in, but it became apparent that she needs both to be happy. And she is.

We passed around little plates with samples of cheese--cow, goat, aged, more aged, each named after a nearby village. We drank more wine. Cheeks grew rosy, and the talk turned to books. Then the sunlight grew dim and people had to go do evening chores, let out the dogs, see to the children, get home before dark. On went the hats, boots, coats and scarves, and the first salon of the 2010 season was done.

4 comments :

  1. Hmm, it looks like I'm going to have to take my husband up on the offer to take me to dinner at The Inn at Little Washington if I'm going to be able to taste some of this woman's cheeses.

    Salons intrigue me. Maybe I should have started a salon in our neighborhood instead of a book group. No homework involved.

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  2. In a way, salons are easier than book groups. No homework, as you say, and since one person is in charge of talking, you don't have to deal with the problem of certain individuals monopolizing the discussion.

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  3. I am still devastated that this happened without me. Sigh.

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  4. It was a good one, Indigo, and we missed you.

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