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Chester Chatter: A day at the beach

Chester Chatter: A day at the beach

By Ruthie Douglas ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC The phone call came. Jerry’s hearing aids were ready and we needed to go to the V.A. in Manchester, N.H., to pick them up. Sitting in the car at the V.A. Hospital, as Jerry went inside to pick up his package, I spotted a sign that read “Hampton […]

Chester Chatter: The art of stone wall building

Chester Chatter: The art of stone wall building

By Ruthie Douglas © 2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC When early settlers first came to Vermont and began to clear their land, they discovered plenty of rocks and stones. They then built stone walls to show their property lines. Stone walls are Vermont’s land markers as well as our trade mark. Building a stone wall has […]

Chester Chatter: The aromas of warmth, love

Chester Chatter: The aromas of warmth, love

By Ruthie Douglas 2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC Thanksgiving Day is almost everyone’s favorite holiday. Perhaps it is because we get together with family and friends over some delicious food. Thanksgiving is not only a feeling in the air, it is the aromas coming from the kitchen, filling the house full of warmth and love. How […]

Chester Chatter: From trash to treasures

Chester Chatter: From trash to treasures

By Ruthie Douglas 2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC The best thing about Gerald Ford as president was when he allowed for hot lunch workers’ unemployment when school did not open for the summer. It was a great time for my daughter and I to have fun. It was a time when many had taken up the […]

Chester Chatter: Remembering holiday windows

Chester Chatter: Remembering holiday windows

By Ruthie Douglas ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC Store keepers in Springfield began to decorate their store fronts around this time for the Christmas season ahead. Remember Main Street allowed for strollers. Folks could stop by the window displays and get ideas for their gift lists. Up front, close to the store front windows were Christmas […]

Chester Chatter: Stacking up to wood stacking

Chester Chatter: Stacking up to wood stacking

By Ruthie Douglas ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC At our farm house, we were warm and cozy with our oil-fired furnace. However, we had a fireplace in the kitchen as well as in the family room. We had a 15-acre wood lot up the hill. And every year, we cut about six cords of wood. Cutting […]

Chester Chatter: A step back in time

Chester Chatter: A step back in time

By Ruthie Douglas ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC Not too many years ago, cousin Donald died. My daughters and I headed out for his funeral in the Northeast Kingdom. Almost there, we still needed some driving directions.  Stopping at a small general store for some help, those inside fell silent, as they gave us the once-over. […]

Chester Chatter: Welcome to a glorious fall

Chester Chatter: Welcome to a glorious fall

By Ruthie Douglas ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC The hills are alive with color. It is the season that Vermont is the place to be. Down here in the valley, all we have to do is look up. How my sisters could be happy living in Dallas and Miami, I could only wonder. They did admit […]

Chester Chatter: Grandpa's toys create sunshine

Chester Chatter: Grandpa’s toys create sunshine

By Ruthie Douglas ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC A rainy gloomy day, like today, gets me recalling times of long ago. In my grandparents’ home, there was a large attic. My grandpa hung two swings in it for my sister and me. When we were bored with summer school vacation, my sister Marie and I often […]

Chester Chatter: A farm wife prepares for winter

Chester Chatter: A farm wife prepares for winter

By Ruthie Douglas ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC On the farm, there was always something to be done. Come fall, it was time to button up for the winter ahead. Inside the farmhouse, the kitchen smelled of pickles and other canning of late vegetables, which was going on with the big pressure cooker making its noise. […]

Chester Chatter: In a stew over two tom turkeys

Chester Chatter: In a stew over two tom turkeys

By Ruthie Douglas ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC A chicken coop extended from the garage out back of our house. One year, Uncle Kenny decided to raise two tom turkeys. He named them Thanksgiving and Christmas. I liked to sneak into the shed to watch them. I felt sorry for Thanksgiving because he was getting larger […]

Chester Chatter: That clear beautiful tragic day

Chester Chatter: That clear beautiful tragic day

By Ruthie Douglas ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC It was a beautiful clear day. Fall was on its way. The sky was blue dotted with fluffy white clouds. I was angry that I was sick and called into work that I would not be coming in. I wrapped up in a blanket, turned on the TV […]

Chester Chatter: Diary of a left-handed kid

Chester Chatter: Diary of a left-handed kid

By Ruthie Douglas ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC Picture what a first grade classroom looked like in 1946. Now you have an idea of what I had to deal with as a left-handed little girl. Students had to enter the desk from the right side and the inkwells were on the right side as well. There […]

Chester Chatter: When it was time to grow up

Chester Chatter: When it was time to grow up

By Ruthie Douglas ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC Summer had come to an end. I was sad and yet excited to see my friends once again now that school had started. I had a couple of new outfits to wear as I was starting the 8th grade. The first day was a bit scary. I was […]

Chester Chatter: Begin each day with a song

Chester Chatter: Begin each day with a song

By Ruthie Douglas ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC What the world needs now, is love, sweet love. And plenty of hugs. Never have we ever needed kindness and smiles more. Over this past year, I came to realize how much it means. When the nurses and the LNAs offered me comfort and a gentle touch of […]

Chester Chatter: The benefits of eating slowly

Chester Chatter: The benefits of eating slowly

By Ruthie Douglas ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC My grandfather, who was born in Trois-Rivières in Quebec, Canada, and was bonded out to work at the age of 9, was a slow eater. The farmer that he worked for made sure Grandpa always had plenty to eat to keep him strong and healthy. Since it was […]

Chester Chatter: Our magical mystery tours

Chester Chatter: Our magical mystery tours

By Ruthie Douglas ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC When my daughter Jeanie was a little girl, she did not care to go shunpiking with me on the backroads of Vermont and New Hampshire. She was afraid that we would get lost and be unable to find our way back home. Now, as an adult, all that […]

Chester Chatter: When neighbors are like family

Chester Chatter: When neighbors are like family

By Ruthie Douglas ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC Moving to the farm on Green Mountain Turnpike in 1957, I was surprised to learn that our nearest neighbors lived three-quarters of a mile away. They were John and Elise Edwards. Nicer neighbors there never were.  Our families blended. Many people thought we were related. We spent a […]

Chester Chatter: Taking the roads less traveled

Chester Chatter: Taking the roads less traveled

By Ruthie Douglas ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC In the sweet old Vermont countryside, it is time for shunpiking — a time to hit the back roads of rural Vermont, a time to kick up dust, gravel, stones and some rocks all to take in the beauty of the green, very green foliage, the hillside views […]

Chester Chatter: Cherished hand-written notes

Chester Chatter: Cherished hand-written notes

By Ruthie Douglas ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC In this world of electronic devices I have found myself out of the loop. I am perhaps one of the few you might know who does not have a computer, a cellphone or a GPS. I will speak my own mind without hiding behind a text message or […]