On May 8, 2024
Columns

Living the Dream: Choosing Killington

My mom moved here, to Killington, seven years ago, after the passing of my father. She was the first widow of her friend group and no one knew what to do with her in a world where everyone was coupled up. She was lonely and alone, so when the needlepoint shop that she worked at started shutting down, she began looking for options. But not too many places in the tri-state area are looking to hire women at what they’ve decided is retirement age.  

Sooooo, the heck with that! She is a super smart woman with over 40 years of bookkeeping experience. So, we got her a job selling tickets at the resort and she became an official Killington resident. Even though she hadn’t skied in over 15 years.

She wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do, but she was closer to me and that was good enough at the moment. We sold her house in New York and dad’s retirement home here, got her one of her own and gave it a blue roof. For the first time in her life, she had her own home, her own car and her own everything. At 67, she was starting over.

Courtesy Merisa Sherman—My most amazing Mommy, complete with boa and tiara, surrounded by the matriarchs of the Killington community for a surprise 75th birthday celebration.

Mom excelled in tickets for a few years, constantly moving up in the department but then switched to retail as tickets became disappointedly automated. She joined the Little White Church, the Killington Active Seniors and the crochet group, helped start the Killington Paddle Ladies with local legend Barb Wood and would eventually become chair of the board for the Sherburne Memorial Library.  

All that and she still wasn’t sure she had made the right choice. She had left her entire past life behind to jump with blind faith into a life here. It’s one thing to come up on the weekends and have your “real life” at home. It is quite another to leave all that behind and choose Killington completely, to take the risk of making a brand new life hours away from everything.

What she didn’t understand at the time, was that once someone chooses Killington, almost 100% of the time Killington will choose you back. This is a town of people who have chosen to live here, to start a new life because we love the mountains. If you choose to share of yourself with us, to make a commitment to join and support the community, we will love you back tenfold. 

A few weeks ago, my mom turned 75 and her friends chose to throw her a surprise birthday party, complete with a blue boa and a sparkly tiara.

It was amazing. To be a daughter and watch so many independent and strong women shower my mom with love, it was one of the proudest, most spectacular moments of my life. To see how much my mom was loved and cherished by women whom I have grown to respect as role models and members of the community. 

I am still glowing from the evening.

And was she surprised! It took her more than a senior moment to realize that everyone was there for her, and not just randomly out to dinner. I don’t know what surprised her more the party or that she has made so many friends from all around the area. Even though she has been here for seven years full time, she still hadn’t quite realized how full her life had become. I did, but only because it has gotten increasingly difficult to schedule some mother-daughter time… I am apparently infamous for calling her during Senior Lunch.

My mom hasn’t just survived in Killington, she has thrived, thanks to amazing friends and a constant willingness to give. To her surprise, she was welcomed with open arms by a community that loves to do just that. If you choose to become part of the Killington community, sit back and watch the magic happen.

A good friend calls us all the Stray Flakes. We all come from completely different backgrounds and walks of life. We all got here from different directions, but something magical about this mountain has created a community where none of that matters except that your history makes you who you are. Together, we create the Killington community, just a bunch of stray flakes stuck together to create something amazing.  

My mom is amazing. From packing ski club lunches to après ski hot chocolates, from scraped knees to ACL replacements, my mom has been the absolute best mom I could ever have asked for. I am so grateful that she chose to share those gifts with the whole community.  Thanks, Mom, for introducing our family to skiing and life. You truly are the best.

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Merisa Sherman is a long time Killington resident, member of the Development Review Board, town lister, local Realtor and Coach PomPom. She can be reached at Merisa.Sherman@SothebysRealty.com.

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