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.
How peaceful can a place be?
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!
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
And the flower girl, Addie
Entering through the gate of married life
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
Our son, Paul
David's sister, Bernadette, and her husband, Maurice
David's brother, Daniel, and his wife, Cherry
David's sister, Claire, and her husband, John (and also the parents of Kristin)
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.