Looking Back

Labor Day Weekend. Our first summer in Vermont is officially over. It’s been winding down for a while, but now the leaves are starting to change color, the corn is taller than most people, last week Fiona started preschool, and next week Middlebury College’s academic year will begin.

Fiona leaving for her first day of preschool.
The Gong sisters pick up Fiona (who, in typical Fiona fashion, has changed clothes) from her first day of preschool.

So, on this Labor Day weekend, I am taking a moment to list our favorite memories from this special first summer in our new home.

  • Fiona yelling “Gross, cows!” whenever we smell that bovine aroma (which is often).
  • Georgia busting out with huge belly laughs and beginning to roll over. And sleeping through the night!
  • Swimming at Lake Dunmore.
  • Ice cream at Sama’s and the Kampersville Deli (“Ganilla” for Campbell, whatever disgusting novelty flavor catches Fiona’s fancy, including Bubble Gum, Cotton Candy, and Play Doh).
  • Calamine lotion on mosquito bites.
  • Full moon over shadowy mountains.
  • Owls calling at night.
  • Dappled sunlight through the backyard trees.
  • Fresh maple syrup on pancakes
  • Soccer on Friday mornings.
  • Picnics and naked children in the wading pool.
  • Long drives along country roads (“Cows out Campbell’s window!”)
  • Cams turning 2 years old, talking even MORE, and cracking us all up with her wacky humor.
  • Mona Rogers at the East Middlebury library.
  • Festival on the Green (with cousins!).
  • Learning how to paint a room.
  • Having our own dishwasher, washer, and dryer! AND more than 1 bathroom!
  • Visits from family. We love family.
  • Fiona making “A Vermont Announcement!”
  • Dancing to “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” in the sun room.
  • Sisters sleeping together.
  • Berry picking at Champlain Orchards and Lower Notch Berry Farm.
  • U2 in Montreal on our 9th anniversary.
  • Erick’s new talent for homemade iced coffee.
  • The car shopping carts at Hannaford’s grocery store.
  • Popsicles on the deck on hot afternoons.
  • Playing with the toys & eating greasy food at the A&W picnic area
  • Standing on the bridge looking down on Otter Creek Falls.
  • Itsy Bitsy Yoga at the library.
  • Peonies & hydrangeas in the yard.
  • Lunch at the taco truck in town.
  • Dinner at American Flatbread.
  • Sunday mornings at First Baptist Church.
  • Healthy checkups at Rainbow Pediatrics.
  • Neighbors stopping by to greet us.
  • Catching (& releasing) bullfrogs in the creek at the Bridge School.
  • Fiona catching a newt in our yard with her bare hands.
  • Campbell sitting atop a picnic table eating fresh snap peas.
  • Crocs for the whole family!
  • Throwing pennies in the fountain on the town green.
  • Chocolate milk fresh from Monument Farms Dairy.
  • Meeting Erick on campus for lunch at The Grill.
  • Milking cows and feeding baby goats at Shelburne Farms.
  • Running around the yard, climbing the rocks, and playing in the little cottage with new friends.
  • The nice people at Middlebury Bagel who frost the donuts with fresh chocolate icing for our girls.
  • Cruising Lake Champlain.
  • Playing in the children’s room at the Sheldon Museum, and the garden outside.
  • Visiting the new foal (Trinity) at the Morgan Horse Farm.
  • Pony rides at the Addison County Fair & Field Days.
  • Listening to the Disney Princess cd (especially the Pocahontas & Mulan songs) over and over and over….
  • Family flashlight tag during power outages.
  • Hiking with the girls in Moosalamoo Recreation Area (Campbell charging ahead shouting – unsuccessfully – “Here moose! Here moose!”)
  • Realizing that, after only 3 months, whenever you leave the house you WILL see someone you know. You really will.

It’s been an amazing summer — better than we could have ever imagined! It’s incredible that exactly 3 months ago we were boarding a plane in San Francisco to follow our belongings to Vermont, when now we feel so completely at home. We are so thankful every day for our girls, for our family, for this house, for being able to live in this beautiful place, for all the wonderful people we’ve met since moving here. And we look forward to many more summers like this one…if we can survive our first Vermont winter!

How the Gong Girls have fun.
Baby Georgia, ready to move!

2 thoughts on “Looking Back

  1. Betty Gong

    I love all the Gong girls…..

    They are beautiful, smart, talented, creative, and they are our “shining stars”
    Of course, they are our granddaughters………

    With Love,
    Grandmommy & Granddaddy

  2. Kristin

    Awww…we can’t wait to visit you next summer and partake in all the fun summer activties! Georgia is growing so fast! We should skype this weekend. Mom and Dad will be with us.
    Hugs from cousin Aiden!

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