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This summer was challenging. How are Vermonters feeling?

A view of the sunset on Lake Champlain with the Adirondack mountains in the background.
Guy Banville
A view of the sunset on Lake Champlain with the Adirondack mountains in the background.

Note: This story was produced for the ear. We recommend listening to the audio, but have provided a transcript below.

This summer has been challenging for many Vermonters. As the season comes to a close, Vermont Public's Julia Tanier spent some time at North Beach in Burlington, asking folks to reflect on the past few months.

Gideon Parker: Summer almost never, when you get to the end of it, feels the same way, or like it never quite lives up to expectations or something.

My name is Gideon. I'm 22 years old. I live in Burlington.

man with blonde hair and a white tank top smiles on north beach
Julia Tanier
Vermont Public
Gideon Parker

I feel like summer is always this like, insane thing when it's coming up. And then once you're there, it's like you're continuing to just be alive.

Man in grey t-shirt smiles mid-laugh. Bright skies and lush green trees in the background.
Julia Tanier
Vermont Public
Andrew Bergeron

Andrew Bergeron: My name is Andrew Bergeron. I'm 44 years old. I grew up in the new North End of Burlington, which is the most wonderful place in the world. And I currently live in La Jolla, California.

I'm going from one bubble to the other. San Diego's weather's been actually very mild this year, high has been like 75, overcast, the rest of the country is on fire. I come here to Vermont and like it's raining. I'm like 'You're not on fire. What are you complaining about?' Flooding? There you go. And I came up after the flood. So you know it's been it's been just blissful. Yeah.

I do live in a bubble. I go from one retirement community to the other.

Gretchen Irwin: My name is Gretchen Irwin, I'm 54, I'm 10 years older than him and I'm his sister. I am from Johnson. So I've lived there my whole life. And I'm here with my grandkids today. Enjoying the lake.

Woman in navy blue tank top and rose-gold metallic glasses smiles into the distance. Bright skies and lush green trees in the background.
Julia Tanier
Vermont Public
Gretchen Irwin

Summer's been really sad, actually, our whole town was flooded. Seeing a lot of devastation. A lot of friends have lost their homes and lost their belongings. So it's been a pretty rough summer for us down that way.

Andrew Bergeron: Don't watch the news. You won't leave your house. It's gonna rain every 13 minutes.

Gretchen Irwin: It still might, but that's OK.

Look over there Andrew.

Andrew Bergeron: There's clouds over there, take cover. Adirondacks looks like it's comin' down, it's gonna come north!

Paul Yarin: My name is Paul. I'm 22 years old. I live in Burlington.

man with dark curly hair in a blue-green t-shirt smiles on north beach
Vermont Public
Paul Yarin

Every summer, I've just been hoping it lived up to the first summer that I've been here. And they've been great, but I'll never get that same first high of the Burlington summer. And it'll probably be my last one here. But I've enjoyed it.

Man in a white t-shirt smiles on the beach at night
Julia Tanier
Vermont Public
Sammy Leo

Sammy Leo: My name is Sammy Leo. I currently live in Burlington, Vermont. I'm newly 23 years old.

It's crazy to be alive right now. You know, like the whole like, flooding happening way more often. And like violence on the rise as it gets hotter. That's all wild, but I was also thinking today about like how much people my age just take it in stride because we've grown up with like all the headlines and stuff. We like weren't— we didn't have memories when 9/11 happened. So we've been in like, the crisis mode America-wise for a long time. So we're kind of just good at it. And I'm kind of excited about the future in a weird, perverse way.

Lauren Good: I'm really excited about melon season. We just got cantaloupe in last week at work, and we're getting watermelon in I think maybe tomorrow, and there's peppers in and like just all this fresh produce, which is awesome, and makes it feel like it's not the end of the summer or like the end of something. It makes it just feel like it's the continuation of the cycle.

Brunette woman smiles at the camera. People and sand and trees in the background, sun setting.
Julia Tanier
Vermont Public
Lauren Good

My name is Lauren Good. I'm 20 years old, and I live in Burlington.

I feel kind of weird because I feel like the summer has been really rainy and the floods destroyed the produce that we get pretty devastatingly and it's like weird to have that impact my life but not super directly.

Gretchen Irwin: It's beautiful down here. I do enjoy Lake Champlain. So it is nice, and my grandkids love it here.

Andrew Bergeron: I get to reflect on life and I slowed down, my brains not caught up and all the other garbage.

Paul Yarin: I just get to listen to the gentle waves.

Gideon Parker: And I've always just loved looking out at the lake, so it's nice.

Julia Tanier: That was Gideon Parker, Andrew Bergeron, Gretchen Irwin, Paul Yarin, Sammy Leo and Lauren Good. Thanks so much for sharing about your summers.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message.

Julia Tanier was a News Intern during summer 2023.
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