Vermont Scenes 2022

A view from the Island Line Trail, walking north to South Hero Island.  Fall in Vermont is rife with colors and hikers are rewarded with some spectacular sights.  The Adirondack mountains are in the distance.  Causeway Park, Colchester, VT.

Click below for enlarged photos.  More photos?  Look for the 2020-21 pages.  

Photos are licensed: CC-SA   Attrib: Brian Chapaitis

Local Scenes

Giant Reindeer -
Tokens of Winter

You know it's wintertime and close to Christmas, when everywhere you look there are colorful displays and winter themes. My favorites, of course, are the ones depicting the Christ child and His birth. I was returning from Europe and passing through the Charlotte International Airport, where they had these giant colorful animals.  While returning from Germany on a mission helping Eurasia colleagues, Charlotte NC.  December 2021


Oh Holy Night -
The Wonder of Jesus

In celebration of the birth of the Christ, God's great gift to us.

Happy New Year -

Expect great things from the Lord in this upcoming year!

Love Notes -
Sending Christmas Greetings

At the Jericho Congregational Church, families took turns writing and sending personalized Christmas cards to our many missionaries and even prisoners in our local prison system. For some, this might be the only love note they might receive from anyone in this world. When we were overseas, we might get these cards as late as March while living in PNG, but it was always great to receive them from far away friends and relatives. It is always "good news" to be remembered; God remembers us too.  Fellowship Hall, JCC Church, Jericho, VT.  December 2021


Germany -
Visiting My Sister

A special workshop assisting trainers in our WBT/SIL technology related to Bible Translation, had me over in Germany for a while, on business. I took the time to visit my sister Lisa, now a missionary with award-winning, GemStone Media (, with offices in Kandern Germany. She lives just down the road from Black Forest Academy, on the edge of the Black Forest. The town is quite picturesque and Lisa was busy studying the German language at the time.  On the way to her office, near a canal in Kandern, Germany.  December 2021

Great Castles -
Stone Legacies

Something that strikes the visitor is the long, long years of history in Europe spanning millennia. In Germany alone, they say there are around 2300 castles, monuments to a time when there were fiefdoms. A time when Germany was not a country. From these times we get our notion of noble knights and royalty alliances through marriages. All of this is quite foreign to Americans and our relatively young society, by comparison.  Playing tourist in Dillenburg, Germany.  December 2021

Christian Missions -
Encountering the Third-World

At the annual Global Health Missions Conference (GMHC) Helen and I have the honor of representing the medical work of Wycliffe overseas to thousands of young people from all over the US. What a privilege! Among the workshops and plenary speaking engagements, there is also an exhibition area trying to simulate typical third-world scenarios for would-be medical missionaries. Here we see a medical bed complete with protective mosquito net and a model fire-pit with wood fire (off camera on the left) glowing.  GMHC Conference, Louisville, KY.  November 2021

The 7 Damas and Caballeros -
Recruiting at the GMHC

Helen and I have a blast joining the recruitment team at the Global Health Missions Conference (GMHC) in Kentucky. An amazing gathering of thousands with the common goal of preparing and assisting anyone who is prayerfully hearing the call of God on their lives with possible service overseas. Helen of course, represents WBT and SIL and our smallish Papua New Guinea clinic, but really there are plenty of open positions around the world represented by all the medical groups at this conference. Beloved CMDA is here in full force as well. GMHC Conference, Louisville, KY.  November 2021


Annual Rites -
White's Tree Farm

During Advent season, you can find us in that annual rite of Christmas, looking for the perfect Christmas tree for our house. Fir trees arranged in rows, like green sentinels, await our approval and selection. Which one will it be? "Pick me!", they each cry. Soon our house will be filled with the aroma of fresh pine.  White's Tree Farm, Route 15, Jericho, VT.  November 2021

Causeway Park -
The Rails-to-Trails System

Vermont has a network of abandoned train track roadbeds that have long since been abandoned. Years ago, enterprising people from the "Rails to Trails" network converted this rail bed into a wonderful bicycle path that marks the "outer bay boundary" and Malletts Bay. There is a bridge to cross in the first third of the journey out into the lake, and then just near the Island of South Hero is a human bicycle ferry crossing. Large sailboats can use the crossing to gain access to the broad Lake Champlain and sail the islands. Colchester Causeway Park, Colchester, Vermont.  October 2021

Our Street -

Halloween Stick People

Our neighborhood decided to start a unique tradition for late October, where each household dresses their "stick people" on the side of the street. People have been seen cruising our lane to take in the various funny people created. The Andersons made our favorites: this happy skier who obviously appreciates his guardian angel. Our 'stick people' will greet all the parents with kids that safely come by for the traditional "trick or treat" season.  Black Walnut Lane, Jericho VT.  October 2021

Happy Activities -

Kids Playing

Happy kids in our neighborhood playing on a relatively quiet street. Lots of cheerful laughter floats through our windows in the summer and fall, and we love it! Always amazing to see new ways to enjoy ourselves with everyday objects just hanging around the house. Joy in the simple things of life. We saw similar things in the village in Papua New Guinea. Kids, the world over, know how to play regardless of economic status. Black Walnut Lane, Jericho VT.  October 2021

Island Pit Stop -
Sun and Waves

On a particularly windy day, Helen and I stop and rest on the leeward side of tiny "O Camp" Island, according to the topo maps. It was time for lunch after a few hours of paddling. Note the waves rolling by, (perhaps a motor boat went by) and the rather overcast skies. We can never get enough of that gorgeous scenery in Vermont.  On the way to Coates Island (but not a place to stop- private residences there), Malletts Bay, Colchester Vermont.  September 2021

Maine Berries? -
Botanical Gardens

While on an anniversary holiday, we saw this unusual Korean Kousa dogwood (Cornus Kousa) while strolling around a wonderful Botanical Garden. The fruit balls are larger than a silver dollar, and are said to edible, with a mild raspberry taste. The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens hosts the famous giant trolls that are towering wooden statues found in the forest (see Quite entertaining for the kids and you have to hike around the park to see all of them in one day.  Boothbay Harbor area, Maine.  September 2021

More Fall Colors -
Mount Mansfield

It wouldn't be a proper Fall season without a hike around with views of Mount Mansfield. I grabbed a warm jacket and discovered a new-to-me State Park just north of Malletts Bay and went exploring the trails, spending time with the Lord in prayer. A great day to take in the merging colors of Birch, Maple and Evergreen. Plus some water views where I sail a lot.  Looking due east, Niquette Bay State Park, Vermont.  October 2021

A Northeast Kingdom Run -
Sailboard Parts

"Ms. Blu" the solar EV car, carrying highly prized, classic Windsurfer parts found on Craig's List. I purchased three sails, various parts, two wishbones, and two masts, for a song. These were genuine Windsurfer Brand parts, so this is like finding classic automobile parts - they don't make these any more <grin>. Unlike expensive golf or skiing as a sport, Windsurfers are extremely affordable. There is a fixed cost in equipment (inexpensive), and then NO usage fees for lake access around Vermont. It's free sailing at its best. Perfect for that 'unwind' you need from time to time.  Northeast Kingdom, near the dinosaur, near Newport, Vermont.  August 2021

Cool Kayaking -
At Cave Island

As a young buck, around 40 years ago, I sailed to "cave island" and this is what I found. Helen and I went kayaking to the same place, on a very cool September day. Hasn't changed much, I see. There are no bats in this one, unlike PNG. I have no idea who actually owns this tiny island off "Malletts Head", a small peninsula on Lake Champlain.  Near the Marina at Marble Island, Malletts Bay, Colchester, Vermont.  September 2021

Braeloach Point -
Looking South

One of my favorite lunch spots while sailing. On a clear day one can see Mount Mansfield and Camels Hump in the distance. This is a Windsurfer sail mounted on a Magnum Nova sailboard, and modified to hold a kayak paddle.  Now if the wind dies completely I can 'motor' back home, once the furled sail is also lashed to the board. In the olden days, one was a mere pawn to the elements, but not so today. Some of my best devotional times are spent with the Lord in recreation.  Near the Braeloach Camp (private bungalows), Malletts Bay, Colchester Vermont.  September 2021

Dave Visits -
Joy in the Sun

Our son David comes by for a visit! Joy at our place! And of course, we must run off kayaking with momma Helen. Dave's pondering of Vermont goes: "Vermont is so beautiful. You have NO billboards here". Which is true. We tend to take for granted those "little details" that other states long since threw away. It's always good to see Vermont through the eyes of visitors. Our pristine waters await your visit!  Waterbury Reservoir, Waterbury VT.  August 2021

Bottle Redemption -
Whimsical Dinosaurs

Traveling to the Northeast Kingdom, a very rural part of Vermont, I passed by Steve Myott studios, on Route 100. I couldn't help but notice this dinosaur statue out front made from used plastic bottles. Very creative. There was no one home to ask any questions, but the "village" had maybe 10 houses on the road. Plastic bottle recycling, is a big thing in this very green state.  Westfield Vermont, on the way to Newport Vermont near the Canadian border.  August 2021

Traveling Troubadours -
The Barner Family

We had the privilege of hosting the Barner family at our house as they toured many churches in New England. For decades our Jericho Church has supported their Philippine ministry where they administer at a Christian Academy there. The children, now grown, were heading off to college in New York state. Little did we realize that the kids have incredible voices and they even sang a private thank-you song for us. The funny cards are a parlor game that they introduced to us. Definitely a multi-talented family.  Our house, Jericho Vermont.  August 2021

July Means... -
Summer Bible Camp

A huge event, taking a planning team months of prayer and preparation each year, is the Jericho Congregational Church's Summer Bible Camp. A host of families pitch-in and volunteer their time to make the SBC a wonderful time. Children of all ages learn about God and His faithfulness, and there are fun exercises to do along the way. Here a group learns cooperation and teamwork as everyone needs to be perfectly still to succeed in the task of "balance" in their lives. No easy thing as you can imagine! The camp is open to the community, however there is limited enrollment space.  Jericho Center on the Green, in front of the church.  July 2021

Faith and Trust -
Summer Bible Camp

Husband Jimmy has to trust in the loving watch-care of his wife, Justine, as by faith, he falls into her arms. By illustrating Father God and His Trustworthiness, we learned that He is more than willing and able to look out for us. But of course sometimes, we have to completely let go of our lives and trust in His tender loving care. He knows what He is doing, and there are no limits to His Strength.  Jericho Congregational Church.  July 2021

Team Building -
A Coordinated Ball Carry

Frank Hassler coaches one young team, at our JCC Summer Bible Camp to work well together. The goal is to control a central ring by pulling various strings in coordination and then delivering a suspended rubber ball to a safe resting place on top of a weighted plastic bottle. The kids have a great time, and such activities are linked to a Bible theme and lessons for the day. Jericho Congregational Church on the Jericho Green.  July 2021

Old Math Teachers -
"There and Back Again"

We celebrate the gift of many friends from years gone by (sometimes 40 or more), and some that we admire actually take us up on our offer for a place to stay and rest awhile at our place. Cliff White is a fabulous math teacher and musician. He now instructs at a boarding school in Spain. Teaching math skills to high-school age has always been his passion. Note the very appropriate tee-shirt logo here. Many an hour was spent in our living room discussing how life in America has changed so much, which shocks us when we return from life overseas. We also talked about the world-wide advances of the Kingdom of God by His Spirit. At least those that we knew about.  Our living room, Black Walnut Lane, Jericho VT.  June 2021

Waterbury Reservoir -
The Lake of Tranquility

No surprise that Helen and I still love outdoor activities. Summer in Vermont is glorious, with mild temperatures and lots of sunshine. This state park has official tent camping sites along the shore, that are only accessible by boat, canoe or kayak. Fishing is wonderful and once in a while you might even see a sailboat here. Loons are common along with bald eagles. God's creation at it's best.  Waterbury Reservoir, south of Stove, Vermont.  July 2021

Stowe Artists -
Living in Art

Friends of our church and also the Bible Translation movement hosted the inaugural "Assure Alliance" meeting at their fabulous mountain house, hidden in the forest around Stowe. The owner's deeply artistic flair is on display in each and every room of the house. Built on a series of cliff ledges, the rooms are traversed by long, polished, hard-wood, and non-linear corridors like this one. A very bright and airy feeling prevails. To visit is an architect's dream come true.  Near Stowe, Vermont.  July 2021

Old Style Commerce -
Jericho Market

A rite of Jericho VT. in June is an outdoor market on Thursdays, where local artisans and fresh produce can be purchased. This stimulates the local economy and provides an outlet for those with fertile and prolific gardens, to increase their income.  Our favorite vendor is "Delicious Dirt" and their fresh lettuce and vegetables. Some entrepreneurs serve up ethnic takeaway foods, like "Mediterranean" for an easy carry-out meal.  Near Mills River Park and the Browns River, Jericho VT.  June 2021

Outdoor Services -
Jericho Congregational Church

The Pandemic wasn't easing off, and so the church moved to outdoor services during the pleasant summer months. This farm setting afforded a nice view of Mount Mansfield and some members, possibly the Davis family, provided the tent pavilion for us to use. The Browns River meanders nearby.  On the Davis' dairy pasture land, Davis Farm, Jericho VT.  June 2021

Birthdays -
Neighborhood Parties

The neighbors have kids over for a birthday party. I was fascinated by this inflatable "Bounce House" castle for the children to play in, and I just sort of want to crawl in there myself, to see what it's like. No fairy queens in sight, except maybe "The Princess" herself, next door <grin>. It's so nice to have young ones running around the place, and getting together on a hot summer day. Super-soaker battles anyone?  The neighbor's backyard adjacent to ours, Black Walnut Lane, Jericho VT. June 2021

Garden Windmills -
The Rites of Spring

In Vermont Spring only barely begins in May. The trees are just starting to bud at this point, and therefore, off we go to the local florist to purchase flowers for the house garden. Besides all the colorful flowers, store visitors are greeted with a range of colorful mobiles to purchase, and one sees these from time to time in people's yards, catching the wind.  Claussen's Florist, Colchester, VT.  May 2021

A COVID Portrait -
Mirror Masking

During a cold spell, while helping a friend up north, I (Brian) took a moment to catch myself in the car's rear-view mirror. I never get too many pictures of me, because I'm always the photographer behind the lens. Expressive COVID masking was the rage, and I'm into learning lots of useful rope knots. Bowline anyone?  Near Lake Carmi, East Frankin, VT. April 2021

My Hobby -
Sailboat Design

This is what an almost bored, engineer does, to unwind in the midst of high-powered technical ministry (building tech tools for the advancement of the Kingdom of God). I design and build sailboats! Many a creative hour is spent designing and re-designing a portable sailboat. Alas, the CE on the sail is not right here, and Kaya-2 never quite sailed true. In my next design, I re-built the mast step about 7 inches forward on the extruded-aluminum frame. Can you recognize what the inexpensive aluminum boom is really?  Malletts Bay, Colchester VT. May 2021

Church Meetings Return -
Mask Up Everyone!

One of our favorite families at church, the Henaults, were captured here just as physical church gatherings were returning, but with masks. Everyone was tired of endless self-isolation at homes and virtual meetings exclusively on-line. It was so nice to get together almost "face-to-face", except you only saw smiles through everyone's eyes.  Jericho Congregational Church, Jericho Center, VT.  April 2021

Outdoor Meetings -
Church Planning

Since inside meetings were becoming risky, our church went virtual more often, and sometimes sub-committees of the church would meet outdoors. Here, Rev. Dave Coons, (center) armed with a white-board and warmer weather, tries to determine Jericho Congregational Church's core values, with hand-picked members of our congregation. It took many such meetings to synthesize ideas into a short statement articulating just who we are as a congregation.  JCC Church, Jericho Center, VT.  April 2021

Friendship -
Fixing Cars

It was time to sell our year 2000 Subaru Outback. No sooner had we made the decision, then a rather loud "squeak" developed while driving that could not be missed. Our long time friend, Jody van Horn, jacks up the car in one of his barns, and we crawl under to inves-tigate. Turned out to be a frozen joint in the anti-sway bar, but we never did actually fix it ourselves. A happy end-ing?  Yes. Jody liked this inspection of the under-carriage so much, that he purchased the car from us!  Van Horn's former dairy barn (I think).  Off Beartown Road, Underhill, VT.  April 2021

Local Hangouts -
Westford Country Store & Cafe

In the heart of town, right on the green, one finds this beautiful country store. They offer homemade baked goods, deli specials, and many local products, such a Vermont Maple syrup and farm-to-table fresh eggs. The cafe inside is the perfect place to gather with friends, and one church has a Friday morning men's Bible Study that meets there regularly. Like all country stores here, there is a rustic feel once inside- something not experienced, as for example, with a "McDonalds". Our EV LEAF parked here.  Westford Vermont, April 2021

A Blessed Easter -

On holiday, just before Easter this year, Helen and I ascended (by foot) to the ancient sanctuary of Athena, now in complete ruins.  We celebrate conquering this physical hill of around 500 ft..  Once there we were greeted with fantastic views of the Euboean Gulf, (not shown) and the Cross of Christ!  So fitting to find this here, where Christ's resurrection conquers everything, including death itself.  The acropolis (high city), overseeing the port town of Eretria, Greece.   April 2022

Porch Repairs -
Rev. Peter Anderson

I had the privilege of assisting Rev. Peter Anderson (wife Sharon) when severe ice weather damaged the porch supports for a summer camp on Lake Carmi. The upright support was completely gone, and needed to be replaced, as shown here. On a sabbatical leave years ago, Peter and Sharon visited us while in Papua New Guinea, and they are now retired. Today, it's amazing to realize that God organized events such that we would settle down in their neighborhood. We are blessed to have them as near friends. Carmi Lake water front (white out), near Franklin Vermont, April 2021

Skiing -
Trapp Family Lodge

Friend Ben Courtemanche and I go cross-country skiing at the famous Von Trapp Family Lodge. Remember "Sound of Music"?  Yes, the same Von Trapp family, and this is the backyard forest of where they settled. Ben leads the way on an extensive trail system with nicely maintained trails. There's a chapel and a "tea room" lodge deep in the forest with a hand-pump well for water. Ben helps me unpack disciple-making issues, particularly with younger Christians, since he is on staff with the Navigators in my region. Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe Vermont, March 2021


Outdoor Fireplaces -
Trapp Family Lodge

Deep in the woods, is a cabin with an indoor fireplace for skiers to come rest and warm up, but this is Covid season! Yikes! Socializing just got a whole lot trickier. So enterprising people set up an outdoor fireplace where one can feel a bit safer meeting up with fellow outdoor enthusiasts. A great oppor-tunity to sit around and reminisce about "the good ol' days" of carefree skiing (and also what God might be doing). Classic S'mores anyone?  Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe Vermont, March 2021

Plant Friends -
Our Christmas Cactus

Despite the name, this plant actually originates from the tropical rain forests of South America. Ours seems happy, content, and blossoms right on cue around Christmas time and then drops all flowers. But this one goes on to show its revitalizing powers, by celebrating up to two more blossom cycles well into March. I know a few Christians like this too, having ups and downs, but in the end flourishing.  Our living room, Jericho Vermont, March 2021

My Favorites -
Two Women Chatting

The two most important women in my life, Helen and my sister Lisa, enjoy a moment together via the wonders of Zoom. A very common sight in the winter months where people are cooped up in their houses, and trying to stay more isolated. Although we all grew tired of virtual meetings, I wonder what the 1918-21 pandemic was like, in an age where there was no Internet. In 1914, at the start of World War I, there were 10 people for every working telephone in the U.S.  Our house, Jericho Vermont.  January 2021

Snowman Burials -
Saying Goodbye

A large snowstorm descends upon Vermont and our friend, the snowman, (see a few weeks back) says good-bye. A "bump" is the only reminder that he is "sort-of" with us still. Our regional weather systems come from Canada mostly, and often our weather patterns are different than the southern New England states. So for example, New York City gets buried, and we hardly have any snowfall. In this case, after digging out their driveways, the skiers rejoice and soon hit the slopes in droves.  Our house, Jericho Vermont.  January 2021

The Workshop -
Kayak Custom Covers

Kaya-2 the kayak catamaran, needed custom splash guards that had to be hand-made. After finding a suitable water-resistant material, stainless steel grommets were mounted and elastic pull down straps attached to anchors that were added to the hull. I found out that stainless steel rivets are a lot harder to work with, than standard aluminum. I've never done anything like this before, but I thought it came out quite nice, in the end. Another wintertime project while staying indoors away from the the Pandemic.  The downstairs shop at our house, Jericho Vermont.  January 2021


River Cascades -
Winter Tranquility

The Browns river, like any river, awaits the fresh snow melt of spring, where new meanders create sand bars in new places from the year before. The abandoned threads of years past are where the very first grasses grow, and wild-life make new homes. There's something special about cascades with ice in the "frigid" weather. And of course, a special quiet tranquility, because there are no birds and insects to be heard and the snow dampens sounds while walking about. Our visible breath is a constant companion.  Off Old Pump Road, Jericho VT.  January 2021

Backyard Skiing -
Winter Sports

Vermonters generally speaking, know how to play with snow. Neighbor Peter Anderson, shows off his cross-country skills on a track running through our backyard. It's normal for skiers and snow-shoers to pass through your property, and for the most part, no one minds. For my part, I had culture shock figuring out all the different cross-country ski types and incompatible shoe/binding systems that had changed while I was away for 30 plus years. Gone are the days of simplicity, even for Nordic skiing.  Our house, Black Walnut Lane, Jericho VT.  January 2021

Store Shields -
Coping with Covid-19

As the retail industry in Vermont copes with the Pandemic, they started placing clear poly-carbonate shields everywhere, protecting both the customer and the worker (shown here). Helen (the walking miracle) wanted to get back into cross-country skiing, so we made the trip to the "big city" to try to find affordable ski boots for her.  Alas, the ones found were way, way too expensive. It seemed that everyone and his aunt, had turned to out-door sports, and there was a purchase run on this type of equipment. Church Street, in the "big" city of Burlington, Vermont  January 2021


Bicycle Restoration -
Indoor Activities

As the Pandemic forced everyone to isolate more, what better time than to get those "back-burner" projects done?  This classic 1985 vintage Univega bicycle was waiting in our storage over 35 years for someone to apply some tender-loving care and restore it to new life. (Kinda like Christ with us, correct?) My efforts paid off handsomely after re-taping the handlebars and stringing at least one new cable. Note the simplicity of the design back then. The continuous movement shift-levers are mounted on the front down tube. What could be simpler to repair?  Note the very exotic bicycle stand built into the workbench <grin>.  Our house, downstairs workshop, Jericho VT.  December 2020

A Visitor -
The House Snowman

Helen made a tiny snowman out on the back porch. This little buddy brought joy and cheer to us, as he grew in stature with each fresh snowfall, but alas, like all snow-persons, this one had to say good-bye in the end. If you can't think of fun things to do with snow in Vermont, you will go stir crazy in the wintertime. Some call it "cabin fever".  Our house, back porch area, Jericho VT.  January 2021

Browns River -
Winter Sunshine

Out on an errand, in cold but gorgeous sunny weather, I stopped to take in the Browns River which meanders all through the Jericho community. In the distance is Mount Mansfield and the Green Mountains covered in clouds. I never tire of the beauty of the State in all seasons. Such a contrast from the tropics where we spent most of lives. Here the climate and views change all the time, leading to refreshing respites.  Off Cilly Hill road, Jericho VT.  January 2021