Someone Will


The thawing back roads are a mess – rutted, soupy, pot-holed – but I drive them anyway, in part for the challenge, and in part because the back roads of Vermont are where I’m most comfortable, where I can watch the part of the world and the way of life I know and understand best unfurl beside me. The listing barns and haggard cows of the few remaining hill farms, less prosperous by the day, the trailer homes with mechanical detritus slowly spawning through the receding snow, the newer homes (or the tastefully restored older ones) of those retired or with town jobs, the ones that pay decent money, health benefits, 401k. I won’t lie: Sometimes I want one of those jobs. Then a long line of roadside maples warted by sap buckets, one tree after another, sentinel in their bearing. I crest a hill, and in the trough below me there’s a mini-van, rusted and weary looking, buried in mud to its axles, the driver standing fender-side in the road. He’s older than me, baseball-hatted and looking weary as his van, stoop-shouldered and skinny. I stop and roll my window down, say damn, sorry, wish I could help (I’m driving our little low-slung, two-wheel-drive car, as useless to his predicament as a screen door on a submarine), and he smiles, shrugs those stooped shoulders, says it’s ok. Someone’ll be along. 

And he’s right. Someone will.




16 thoughts on “Someone Will”

  1. GREAT to hear from you Ben! Those back roads are where the real soul of Vermont exists. In spite of your 2-wheel drive inability to pull the mired minivan to dry surface, the mere act of stopping represents that “back road spirit.”

  2. Damn. This is a good one.

    On Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 12:32 PM, Lazy Mill Hill Farm wrote:

    > Ben Hewitt posted: ” The thawing back roads are a mess – rutted, soupy, > pot-holed – but I drive them anyway, in part for the challenge, and in part > because the back roads of Vermont are where I’m most comfortable, where I > can watch the part of the world and the way of life ” >

  3. Ben – I’m glad you’re back! Our snow in nebraska is gone – I hope – but the fields are still to soggy to plow/till. I usually have potatoes, onions, leeks, etc., in the ground by March 20, but it looks like it will be at least another 10 days.

  4. Mud Season, not one of the seasons that tourists flock to northern New England for, at least not if they have half a brain.

    Way back when I lived in Hanover, one of the ladies with whom I worked lived on a dirt road in Lyme and mud season was so bad on the Grafton Turnpike that she and her neighbors with low-slung 2WD vehicles would have to park at the Dartmouth Skiway and get a high-clearance 4WD ride home from there for several weeks each Spring. Kind of funny thinking of a dirt road being named a TURNPIKE! Even the Subaru driving, leftist-leaning tree huggers would find it within themselves to accept a neighbor’s offer of a ride home in a gas guzzling V8 quadcab pickup truck when the mud was too deep for the Forester or Outback to manage.

    ‘Saw that a 13 year old is running for Governor of Vermont on an anti-gun platform. That looks like a low probability of success, high ego stroking, waste of everybody’s time to me, but it is the slow winter to spring bridge-season in Vermont.

    For all you leftist leaning anti-gun types, I would accept tighter controls on the purchase and possession of firearms if they were irrevocably tied to mandatory death penalties sentences for anyone convicted of using a firearm during the commission of a felony and for the possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. Executing felons is a sure way to prevent recidivism.

    Have a safe and enjoyable EASTER holiday ya’ll!

    HE is risen, HE risen indeed! Aleluya!

    1. Jeff, you are a hoot and a half! You start out with a interesting memory, segue into politics and leave us with a religious salutation. Even though it’s off topic I think they should take convicted felons and put them on a mirror and fling it into space like in Superman. Now that we’ve all seen the movie we can make sure we put some fail safe so Lex Luther can’t free them!

      1. If my comments provoke thought and comment, my goals for writing them are achieved.

        I feel that it is naive to believe that more restrictive laws will have any meaningful/positive impact on violent crime. There are laws on the books that specifically restrict the manufacture, distribution, sale, and possession of dozens of recreational drugs, but they do no good because we, as a nation, refuse to enforce them to the letter of the law. Likewise, there are laws on the books that govern immigration, yet they do no good because we, as a nation, refuse to enforce them to the letter of the law.

        I’m in favor of legalizing and controlling recreational drugs in all 50 States. If people want to get high, they will find and way and legalization would reduce the enrichment of criminals. If a person dies from an overdose of legally obtained recreational drugs, let them do so legally and cheerfully.

        I’m in favor of making it a Federal felony for anyone to knowingly employ an undocumented alien in the U.S. Most employers wouldn’t be so willing to employ undocumented aliens if the specter of a felony conviction with the associated jail time and payment of a hefty fine was involved. Without employment options, must undocumented aliens would likely go elsewhere voluntarily.

        What if the people of Jerusalem had asked Pilate to pardon Jesus instead of the criminal Barabbas?

      2. Nice to hear from you, Jeff. I actually agree with you on gun control; I think the issues are much more deeply entrenched. I don’t necessarily have a problem with more restrictive gun laws; I’m just not convinced they’ll change a damn thing. I hope I’m wrong. I also agree with you re: legalization of recreational drugs.

        Happy Easter.

        Sent from Mail for Windows 10

  5. Please do not let this space devolve into another forum for trolling and political posturing. We get quite enough of that crap from countless other sources 24/7. I, for one, look forward to reading Ben’s posts precisely because he doesn’t preach or try to stir up trouble. Ad have for several years. Thanks.

      1. I would approve of changing the age of majority to 21, since few 18 year old people have the education or experience necessary to make informed decisions. Of course, 3 years of service to his/her country between 18 and 21 might help to build a better citizen.

      2. The rub, Mr. Bird, is the blandness of both your ideas and use of the language. And also the outrageous arrogance of using so much of Ben’s comment space.

  6. I always love to see a post from you in my in-box! And, I’ve read your work long enough to know you do indeed like to stir things up now and then, it just may not be related to current headline-making topics. Though, in a way, you write about things that get to the root of our modern ills (the distancing of ourselves from our human nature, for one.) As one who always wanted to be doing what others weren’t, I appreciate your lack of “trendiness.” I also always appreciate a photo of happy hens. Peace and thanks for the post!

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