On November 29, 2023

Livin’ the Dream: Base-building snowfalls


By Merisa Sherman

With my sleeping bag nestled snugly around me and a hot chocolate in my mittened hands, I sat on my front porch watching the snow slowly make its way down. It’s my favorite moment, that peaceful time when the snow absorbs all the sound and there is nothing to do but drink your cocoa and enjoy the beauty of winter. Especially after the craziness of the White Circus, it’s nice to just have a cowbell-free moment to myself.

Not that I would trade World Cup Weekend for anything. To watch the fastest women in the world come to our little town and put on an amazing show is something that I never thought would happen here. But I am massively behind on my water intake and my body is still shaking from jumping up and down on the grandstands.

Because we went right into a snow day. Let’s not call it powder, because it was a little thicker than that. But based on all the tracks in the Canyon and on Pico, this storm is going to be the base for a great season! Isn’t that what the classic Vermont response to any storm, whether white or clear? This storm is going to be a good base builder. We will be skiing this snowstorm in May. This should freeze right up when the temps drop and make for a really good base.

Ahhh, the base builder. Where the pine trees are so laden down with heavy snow that they look almost sad. Like the weight of the world is upon their shoulders and they have no hope for the future. Strange that the trees seem so sad when the snow brings us all so much joy.

Well, joy after we finish cleaning up the mess around us. There is shoveling to be done, snowplowing and blowing to get through before we can even think about getting off the property and up to the mountain for some turns. The branches that have fallen and are littered around the lawn from the high winds. The thick wall of snow at the end of the driveway that has to get chipped away. The path around the propane tank that has to be cleared.





The everyday pieces of Vermont life. There is a cost to living in Vermont, and it is not just the state taxes that we all complain about. There are chores to be done and nature to deal with. We cannot just step out our door in the morning and think someone else will take care of our land for us. This is our land, our responsibility and what makes living in Vermont so absolutely special.

I love doing these chores. They make me feel more connected to my land and my home. We check on our neighbors and together we make sure our area of Vermont is cleaned up and ready to go. We look out for each other, checking in to see if the power has come back on or if we can get out of our driveways safely. I just got off the phone with GMP because there’s a branch on a line near my house and it’s my job to report it so I can keep my community safe.

In Vermont, we look out for each other and build each other up. We shovel another’s driveway when they are injured or away on vacation. Even when it is the biggest snowstorm of the year and you have to spend almost an hour a day trying to keep their paths clear for their return. But I also know there will be fancy cheese and homemade jam on my back door when they come home.

Because we are a family, our “brave little state.” Where we look out for one another, where we cheer on every athlete that comes down the course as a sign of respect for all their hard work and dedication to an idea that is more of a lifestyle than a sport. I love watching the Olympic level athletes embrace each other at the finish line or watching my Kindergarten athletes help each other up after falling.

Winter requires teamwork to survive, whether we are ski racing or just shoveling snow. That is how we get by in a state that has big needs and few people. We work hard for each other, for a common goal of getting through the winter safe and hale. Thank you so much to all the volunteers and employees that put in so much extra effort to make the World Cup the amazing event that it is. A true demonstration of what Vermont is capable of, because we work together, we take care of each other and we love our friends like family.

Merisa Sherman is a long time Killington Resident, Realtor and KMS Coach. She can be reached at femaleskibum@gmail.com

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