Our yard. Our house is on 86 acres and we're the only house on our road. You can hear the train in the distance sometimes but otherwise it's just us.
What do you think makes Royalton unique or different from other places you have lived or visited?
I've lived in Vermont in all my life so I've been in a lot of Vermont towns. I like the small, less than 3,000. As shy as I can be about people I like it when someone says “hi Mindy” at the CoOp. I teach at the school, right over there. Just being a part of the whole community, not just one factor or another. Everybody gets to wear many hats in the community, everybody's pretty invested.
What is the most challenging aspect of life in a small Vermont town like Royalton?
You can't just make it here necessarily. My husband has to work in Windsor. We can shop at the CoOp for some things but we have to drive 35 minutes to go to a grocery store. Our family doesn't live here so that makes it a little bit troublesome for us. You want to keep everything in the community but just to sustain your own family lifestyle sometimes you have to go further out of the community. I think that's troublesome sometimes.
What Royalton resident made a positive difference in your life?
Charlotte Ballou – she's a teacher who retired after 30-something years at the school. She was one of my mentors when I started teaching there. I just finished my tenth year of teaching at the school. She also lives in town. It was sort of that model of being able to work here, live here, and embrace the entire community and kind of adopt it. It was pretty powerful.
What do you want people to know about your town?
It's pretty fabulous. We come together when we need to be. I didn't grow up here but I really feel like I'm a real member of the community. That's allowable. It's not, “you're an outsider, you can't become one of us. I think that's pretty amazing that they understand that if you're going to make a commitment you can belong.
What is wish for your life? What is a wish for your town?
That it stays this way and that we can stay here. My son is starting Kindergarten in the fall at the school I teach in. I like how it is. I wish it to be this way.