Another Soul-Restoring Trip to Vermont

I finally submitted my Fulbright application. It has been an intense, yet very rewarding process. Everyone who applies for a Fulbright Scholarship grant needs to find at least one affiliate researcher who agrees to oversee the candidate's project. I am fortunate to have not one, but four professors who have offered to support and oversee my research in Germany. They cover several aspects of my project: a history professor who has studied the social history of Anabaptists, a professor who chairs a transatlantic history of education project between Germany and the United States, a religion professor who studies American religions, and a researcher who is chairing the archives in Weierhof, Germany (the Mennonitische Forschungsstelle) whose scholarship on Anabaptists is parallel to the research I propose to carry out. Here is the abstract of my proposal:

I intend to delve into the annals of German history to discover how the Anabaptist ancestors of the American Amish educated their children in Southwest German lands before they began emigrating to the United States. Because the Amish cherish a strong sense of continuity with their European ancestors, these practices may well have carried over to North America where the Amish today uniformly end their children's education at the eighth grade.

Friday night I submitted the application. Then on Saturday morning, we traveled to Vermont for David's niece's wedding. We had beautiful weather, so the trip up was soul-restoring as it usually is for us. Driving through Vermont on I-89, especially the trip between Randolph and Williston, has so many breathtakingly beautiful scenes. We drove the length of Vermont from south to north because we were staying with our long-time friends, Janel and Paul Gamm, who are innkeepeers at the "Inn at the Isles" on Isle LaMotte, the northernmost island of the Champlain Islands. 

View of Lake Champlain with the Adirondacks on the other side.

Photo by David Furlong

How peaceful can a place be?

Photo by David Furlong

It was so good to visit with Janel and Paul. We usually see them several times a year, and they are the kind of friends with whom we can pick up where we left off. They serve a gourmet breakfast every morning. I chose a Norwegian waffle with strawberries, and was it ever delicious with Vermont maple syrup!

Like all good things, this visit, too had to end. We left around lunchtime on Sunday to go to the wedding in Williston. Along the way, David took several photos as we were driving down through the islands.

Look at those cotton clouds!

Photo by David Furlong

Kristin and Aaron make a handsome couple, and their little four-year-old daughter, Addie, was flower girl. They were married in a garden, surrounded by their friends and family on a picture-perfect day.

Aaron and Kristin Wood

Photo by Saloma Furlong

And the flower girl, Addie

Photo by Saloma Furlong

Entering through the gate of married life

Photo by David Furlong

Weddings are such a beautiful testament to cycles of life. There is something positive about two people being in the prime of their lives and wanting to live together the rest of their days. It promises those of us who are in the autumn of our lives that life goes on beyond our time here on this earth. The beauty of this is like seeing an awesome rainbow in the heavens.

Both our sons, Paul and Tim, attended the wedding. Tim has a new girlfriend, Nadia, who accompanied Tim. David and I have grown fond of her and she was welcomed by Tim's extended family.

Tim and Nadia

Photo by Saloma Furlong

Our son, Paul

Photo by David Furlong

David's sister, Bernadette, and her husband, Maurice

Photo by Saloma Furlong

David's brother, Daniel, and his wife, Cherry

Photo by Saloma Furlong

David's sister, Claire, and her husband, John (and also the parents of Kristin)

Photo by Saloma Furlong

Spending time with our sons, David's extended family, and friends in the beautiful state of Vermont was just what we needed at the end of our summer. We started our trip home, just as the slanted light of an early autumn evening was waning over the Green Mountains of Vermont. David and I enjoyed sharing our observations of the weekend with one another on our way back home.

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21 thoughts on “Another Soul-Restoring Trip to Vermont”

  1. Pingback: Another Soul-Restoring Trip to Vermont | Former Amish News

  2. Congrats on finishing up your Fulbright application and taking time to lay back and spend time with friends and family. I haven’t been to those isles in years and sometime soon would love to go back.

  3. Congratulations on completing your Fullbright application! I foresee lots of good things coming your way.

    And the photos are beautiful. I love the rugged wildness of Alaskan scenery but there is a peacefulness in low hills and shallow valleys that we in Alaska can’t provide. :)

    1. Elva, thank you for sharing your positive thoughts.

      Each place has it’s own natural beauty. I would LOVE to see the Alaskan wilderness someday, but in the meantime we sure are loving Vermont scenery so near and dear to us.

      It is always a pleasure to hear from you!

  4. Hope you get that Fullbright. It sounds like interesting research. Enjoyed your description of your weekend and the pics from the wedding. Nice to see your sons and David’s family.

    1. Sadie, it is SO good to hear from you! Thank you for your good wishes in the direction of the Fulbright. And I’m glad you enjoyed the photos.

      I wish you all the best with your endeavors.

    1. Thank you for your good wishes, Mary Ellen, and for the compliment on the pictures. I hope you get to realize your dream of visiting New England. It is beautiful here. And Vermont is my favorite state in it.

  5. Congratulations on completing your Fulbright application. I love the photos. The lake images could be from Switzerland … :-)

  6. Pray you get the Fullbright, sounds promising!!! Your Amish roots have certainly taken you places I’m sure you never dreamed of. I’m so excited for you!Thanks for sharing your family and weekend with us. Been to Southern Vermont several times. Told my husband Paul, if I could move to any other state that would be the place. There is a quiet beauty about Vermont that speaks to my soul.

    1. Thank you, Pamela, for your good thoughts and prayers. You are right, my Amish roots have taken me places I could never have imagined as a child.

      It was my pleasure sharing about our weekend. Thank you for listening.

      Your description of Vermont are my feelings exactly.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Check in to see if you completed that Fulbright. It sounds like both a great application (four scholars!) and a great relief.

    I enjoyed seeing pictures of your whole family and the beautiful place that had the power to pull you out of Ohio so long ago.

    Fingers crossed for you on the application.

    1. Shirley, thank you for checking in, and for the compliments of the photos. I know… isn’t Vermont beautiful? That is a great way to phrase it… that the beauty of Vermont had the power to pull me out of Ohio.

      Thank you for your good thoughts on my application!

  8. Congratulations on submitting your Fulbright application! I know that was a challenging task. I’ll “think positive” about the outcome!

    1. Thank you, Julie! I have been thinking about you SO MUCH. I still have a few details to take care of on the Fulbright, and David and I have a porch project under way. But one of these days, I want to have a good catch-up conversation with you!

      I hope you are doing well… we’ll be in touch soon.

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