Wood Stove Booger

She knows the infamy of my husband’s family name, and after working with Nurse Gracie over the course of a few night shifts, she told me, “I bet you get asked all the time if you’re related to the bad Breers, Harley and all. Well, you know what! I’m gonna ask you if you’re related to the good ‘uns!” With a crooked smile and a raspy chuckle, she asked about my mother-in-law, Bonnie, and told me that “Scott” (husband) worked for my father-in-law’s brother Wayne during his stint as contractor for Breer Brother’s Concrete. “Greg, too, he’s good! He takes care of three kids — alone! I can’t say anything but good about the bunch of them. Harley’s sad, but, honestly, they just don’t take any sh*t from anyone. Isn’t that kind of what Vermonters do?”

Later, while sitting around the nurse’s station drinking our black coffees and rubbing our tired eyes, she told me, “That lady [a patient], she had a G*d fr*ck*in, dry-heat, wood-stove booger in her nose! Never thought I’d see the day I was picking people’s noses with a washcloth to make ’em breath better. In I went — with gloves — digging out a dry heat booger! But, she’s breathing great!”

She has “piggies,” giant pregnant sows whose offspring she butchers with her husband. She works night shift. She doesn’t dig too deeply into the Breer name or put much stock in a family’s past. And, she knows what a dry-heat, wood-stove booger is. It doesn’t get any better!

This version of Vermonter: catchy quips, common sense, zero tolerance for unneeded flack. It’s good to live in Central Vermont.

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