For Elizabeth Ricketson, There's No Resisting South Pomfret's Pull

Submitted 10 months ago
Created by
Mark Travis

For many people around here, the Upper Valley might as well be a hilly green magnet -- because they're drawn here. And happily stuck here. It's as if they have no choice. Take our new blogger, Elizabeth Ricketson, for example. I'll let her explain -- and then you should check out her blog!

Your first post was about skiing for the first time in 15 years. Exciting! But why Suicide Six? If I were brave enough to ski again, I’d pick a mountain with a name like Easy Peazy.

I have friends in Massachusetts with a young child who is just the right age to start skiing. I believe they may have lost some enthusiasm or possibly some trust in me when I wanted them to journey up to Vermont and entrust putting their beautiful child on skis at a resort called Suicide Six!

The reality is I have many friends from other nearby states who fondly remember their children learning to ski at the Six. I know the name can throw you but I assure you there is something for everyone and at every level. I felt easily at home, in capable hands and took in all that lovely local Vermont warmth! (Is that an oxymoron to suggest the warmth of Vermont in February?)

My incredible experience at Suicide Six has led me back to the mountain again and again. We are so fortunate to have Suicide Six just down the road … spoiled really!  Easy Mile and Bunny’s Boulevard are my favorites but I am venturing out and exploring new trails with each outing.

(The origin of the title “Suicide Six!” “Circa the 1936-37 season, Dartmouth graduate Wallace “Bunny” Bertram installed a tow on Hill Number six, noting that it would be suicide to ski straight down the face.")

How long have you lived in South Pomfret, and what brought you there?

My husband and I purchased our little house on the hill close to four years ago but began imagining it when we were 14 and 15 years old! I am not going to do the math for you but suffice it to say it has been a number of years. As young teenagers and over the course of our dating years we often dreamed of moving up to Vermont, living high on a hill and in the woods. Well, life has a way of altering dreams and plans or at least postponing them. Over the years, we have lived in many different places inside the U.S. and out … having some great adventures for sure.

Happily, we revisited our youthful dream, house hunted for a number of years, found our place in South Pomfret and made our dream a reality. We had fallen in love with the town of South Pomfret and its beautiful landscape years ago. We love the proximity to Woodstock and Barnard finding all that we need and the life we desire.

You’re a painter! Can you share a favorite piece that captures winter in Vermont, and tell us a little about it?

I have a number of pieces hanging in our home that tell the continuing story of our life in South Pomfret. Focusing mostly on the nature that surrounds us and inhabits our land, which includes a Thanksgiving Day hike up our hill that led us to a black bear! I am creating a visual history of living here. The first painting in this series is titled "Sugarin’. " The previous owner used an image of his sugaring pails in their real estate listing so I thought it would be the perfect first painting! The image I have selected in response to your question is a piece that represents the start of the snowy woods just behind our home. I love this painting as I used some unusual colors to describe both the woods and the snow … love to paint snow!

What’s something you love about South Pomfret that people who don’t live there wouldn’t know about?

There is an incredible art community in South Pomfret. Artistree is an amazing visual and performing art center. There is ALWAYS something wonderful happening at Artistree ... always! Classes, open studios, art exhibits, openings, musical performances in the loft and of course the new fantastic Grange Theater for plays, etc. A blog will need to happen as there is just so much going on at this fantastic art center year round that a paragraph just doesn’t do it justice! Highly recommend as truly a gem!

Your winter paintings are beautiful. But winter is hard. How about sharing another Vermont painting that will make us all think of warmer days to come? They are coming. Right?

I happen to love winter but I do adore all of the other seasons here as well. Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock is often a source of inspiration for me. I often pass by Billings during early morning long runs, visit the farm frequently, admire the Jersey Cows and even have painted Stratton (one of the steers). I was pretty excited when my painting was used as their Facebook profile picture! 

Yes, warm weather is coming but do not want to rush this amazing winter! This past autumn we were enjoying some ice cream from the dairy bar at Billings, and I looked out over the fields which was just so very inspiring. The image I am sharing is still in progress, but the colors will provide a glimpse into the feeling one might have while enjoying the beautiful Billings Farm landscape. Hope you like it!

(Talk about an artist who paints what she sees! This is all so beautiful. Have you subscribed to get alerts when Elizabeth posts? Because you should! Also, remember to check out her DailyUV blog.) 

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