CANAAN, Vt. (WCAX) Rural letter carrier Annette Boyton has made the journey to the Canaan post office for close to 35 years.
Six-days a week she delivers the mail. First comes the sorting.
Reporter Joe Carroll: Do you do some of your numbers in French?
Annette Boyton: Oh yes.
As a young girl Boyton and her family crossed the nearby Quebec border. Learning English was difficult. Overwhelmed, she quit school in the 9th grade. "I just couldn't study like the others," she said.
Work became her priority. And that's still a constant for the 83-year-old.
Reporter Joe Carroll: How's your car running?
Annette Boyton: Not that great... It's getting old -- 178,000 miles.
Boyton's mail route is 42 miles in her trusty but rusty Subaru. Her route takes her through some of the most rural parts of the state.
Reporter Joe Carroll: Are we going to see a moose today?
Annette Boyton: I Hope so. Or a bear or a deer.
On the tranquil back roads you're more likely hear Boyton coming before seeing her.
Reporter Joe Carroll: You see yourself doing this in 10 years?
Annette Boyton: Nope. Maybe the last year, this year... Maybe.
But the truth is, giving up this job will be difficult. Her retirement will also be a loss to the folks on route. Along with the police, Boyton is the eyes and ears for the community. "If they haven't picked up their mail for three days maybe, then I go to the door and knock and see if they are sick or something," she said.
It happened to a woman just a few years ago. "She fell and she had broken her hip and she said I was her only hope," Boyton said.
The lunch break is also on the road. A ham and cheese sandwich she freely shares.
Annette Boyton: You can eat it...
Reporter Joe Carroll: There. Oh no, no, no.
Annette Boyton: You can eat it whenever you want to. Oh yes, I have some here.
A two-minute break and then back on the road, greeting everyone she sees along the way.
Reporter Joe Carroll: Why do you enjoy your job?
Annette Boyton: Something to do, and everyday you see the scenery.
She paused to observe a deer. It's wildlife watch delivered along with the mail.
"Now I can finish my mail run," Boyton said.