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Chester Chatter: A joyful, early Green Up Day

Chester Chatter: A joyful, early Green Up Day

By Ruthie Douglas © 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC When driving around our state, one quickly realizes how beautiful our countryside is. And why is that you wonder? Is it because there are no billboards cluttering up our roadsides? Is it because there’s little trash or rubbish to be seen? Earth Day and Green Up Day […]

Chester Chatter: Sowing seeds for a fine harvest

Chester Chatter: Sowing seeds for a fine harvest

By Ruthie Douglas © 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC About this time of year, seed catalogs started to arrive in the mailbox of the old Douglas farm house. It was not long before they were spread out on the kitchen table. Pages were turned, prices compared and much thought pondered. First came the farmland seeds, a […]

Chester Chatter: A simple life close to home

Chester Chatter: A simple life close to home

By Ruthie Douglas © 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC My mother-in-law grew up many years ago in the hilltop town of Windham. Before electricity, before central heat and in the days of the one-room schoolhouse. It was a peaceful, quiet place to live with no Main Street, no general store or diner. Children walked to school […]

Chester Chatter: In the company of young and old

Chester Chatter: In the company of young and old

By Ruthie Douglas © 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC Old time Chester was a hub of activity. There was always something to do, whether it be sports or of a more intellectual pursuit. During the winter months, the townspeople got involved with community plays and musical concerts. Many times, a troupe from Boston or New York […]

Chester Chatter: My Canadian grandfather

Chester Chatter: My Canadian grandfather

By Ruthie Douglas © 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC My grandpa was born into a large family in Canada. Being the oldest child, he was bonded out to work at the age of 9. He worked on a farm and his pay went to his father. Grandpa slept in the barn, and it was clean and […]

Chester Chatter: Easter dress-up and bunnies

Chester Chatter: Easter dress-up and bunnies

By Ruthie Douglas © 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC Easter, when I was growing up, always meant coloring eggs the day before. My mother bought a dozen eggs each for my sister and me. She laid out newspaper on the kitchen table to catch the mess and spills. Several colors were mixed up with a single […]

Chester Chatter: We need to talk about the elephant in the room

Chester Chatter: We need to talk about the elephant in the room

By Ruthie Douglas © 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC Many folks know I collect elephant figurines. Long ago, my grandmother told me that you should never keep an elephant in your house whose trunk is facing down. Years ago, I realized a beautiful purple glass elephant that I had bought on Cape Cod had stayed much […]

Chester Chatter: Those old Town Meetings brought community together

Chester Chatter: Those old Town Meetings brought community together

By Ruthie Douglas © 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC In times past, Vermont folks looked forward to Town Meeting Day, mostly because it allowed one a chance to express themselves and suggest their ideas. Town Meeting was an all day event, starting at 10 a.m., which gave the farmers time to get their milking and some […]

Chester Chatter: Matching furniture isn't always a blessing

Chester Chatter: Matching furniture isn’t always a blessing

By Ruthie Douglas © 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC When Don and I were first married, we had three rooms upstairs in the big farmhouse. One had been Don’s bedroom, then a kitchen and living room. The thing was we had no furniture. We ate our meals all together downstairs. I went to used furniture stores […]

Chester Chatter: Knee-deep in granddaddy bullfrogs

Chester Chatter: Knee-deep in granddaddy bullfrogs

By Ruthie Douglas ©2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC The frog pond at the end of our street provided us kids with hours of fun. When the ice went out in the spring, we would start to build a couple of rafts and paddle up and down the length of it, which was quite long. We had […]

Chester Chatter: I had no beef with my calf Elvis

Chester Chatter: I had no beef with my calf Elvis

By Ruthie Douglas ©2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC When we sold the farm, we wondered what do we do now? Our lifestyle as we knew it took a turn. Don got a job at Fellows Gear Shaper and I worked at Magic Mountain. Don thought we should raise a calf for beef, so we got a […]

Chester Chatter: A sweet-filled Valentine’s Day in grade school

Chester Chatter: A sweet-filled Valentine’s Day in grade school

By Ruthie Douglas ©2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC Excitement was running high in the classroom. Soon it would be Valentine’s Day. We kids knew that meant a party. The art teacher helped us make mailboxes for our Valentine cards. We brought in boxes to be decorated. A shoe box was just the right size. Available were […]

Chester Chatter: When trains were public transportation

Chester Chatter: When trains were public transportation

By Ruthie Douglas © 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC One thing that has always brought me pleasure is reminiscing with old timers. I spent much time listening to Wally Balch and his tales of times gone by. For 80 cents round trip he commuted to his job in Bellows Falls. The ride home was particularly relaxing […]

Chester Chatter: Town farms were a lifeline during tough times

Chester Chatter: Town farms were a lifeline during tough times

By Ruthie Douglas ©2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC In times past, many towns in Vermont supported town farms, also known as poor farms. This really was a good plan for those folks who had come on hard times. It offered a warm, clean place to live and good food to eat. There were no homeless people […]

Chester Chatter: TV changed the channels of our lives

Chester Chatter: TV changed the channels of our lives

By Ruthie Douglas © 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC When I was 10 years old, my family got our first television set. Out the door went the Philco radio and in its place a large wooden cabinet of polished wood and a round glass TV screen. At the hardware store, my mother bought a piece of […]

Chester Chatter: Down hill to downtown; up hill home

Chester Chatter: Down hill to downtown; up hill home

By Ruthie Douglas ©2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC When I was growing up in Springfield, I could not leave my house without going down a hill and returning back up a hill. Every day that was true just to go to school. Often times, it was true for at least a couple of times a day. […]

Chester Chatter: Ice skating a family affair

Chester Chatter: Ice skating a family affair

By Ruthie Douglas © 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC When it comes to winter sports, I always lacked the skills but for two things, sledding and ice skating. A neighbor gave me a pair of ice skates and I learned to skate on a frozen patch on my aunt’s lawn. I would put on the skates […]

Chester Chatter: Holiday memories in old traditions, new ones

Chester Chatter: Holiday memories in old traditions, new ones

Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing, LLC I have been enjoying a merry little Christmas during the month of December. Daughter Jeanie every year gives me a wrapped gift for each day. They consist of small items that she knows I would like. Each morning with my second cup of coffee, I chose one to […]

Chester Chatter: Friends brighten Christmas after terrible loss

Chester Chatter: Friends brighten Christmas after terrible loss

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Soon after Christmas one year our farmhouse burned down, mostly to the ground. We lost everything along with our new Christmas gifts. We decided to rebuild and slowly began to start work. Come spring and summer, we worked  hard and by fall began to replace belongings inside. […]

Chester Chatter: The Christmas tree-filled living room

Chester Chatter: The Christmas tree-filled living room

By Ruthie Douglas ©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Finding the Christmas tree for my family was the job of my father. His, only. For he wanted to make the selection. It was OK for the rest of us, mostly because we knew it was going to be best: 6-feet-tall, full branches and it had to be […]