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Blog“Just Over the Hilltop”

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Come along with me on a trip to southern Vermont where the West River flows to the Connecticut and out to the ocean. Where the stone walls define a property or yard and where the longest covered bridge in Vermont still connects West Dummerston to Dummerston Center and on to East Dummerston.

Dick and I traveled this Memorial Day weekend to visit my Mom, help at a yard sale fundraiser for our daughter-in-law Lori, celebrate our granddaughter Alysa’s thirteenth birthday, and see our grandson Byron’s first car: a lovely hunter green Mustang! Oh, I do love the looks of a Mustang.

While at the yard sale, we also saw Jami, Karen and grandchildren who had come over to support the fundraiser as well as my sister Peggy and husband Roger, who graciously donated the use of tables for the sale as well as numerous items to help this become a huge success. Our granddaughter Maygan and husband Ariele with great-granddaughter Kaylie were there, too. A great mini reunion and we were glad to be of small assistance and see how this family can work together like a well-oiled machine and still have fun.

Brooks and flowers

We stopped at one of my favorite spots which was just across the river from my childhood home, Stickney Brook where it branches into the West River. The small falls meandering over the granite base is a soothing sound and calms any unrest in one’s soul. Boulders have been set at the entrance where for years one was able to back his vehicle out onto a flat area and wash their car in the cold, cold flowing water. It was also a spot where the young stopped in the late of evening after a special date to hug and kiss with the sound of the waterfall in the background. How do I know? I heard about it when I was growing up and well, then it happened to me after I was allowed to date at age sixteen. Pleasant memories there at Stickney Brook.

when the River Pinks were in bloom and remember the delight in playing on those banks

As we followed the river north from Brattleboro, Dick spotted my favorite childhood flower along the other side on the river bank – River Pinks. That’s what we called them though they may have another name. It was wonderful to be there when the River Pinks were in bloom and remember the delight in playing on those banks with my siblings and my best friend, Linda, and her little sister, Faith. They lived just two houses down from us. More sweet memories.

Longest bridge

After having pizza with our oldest son Eliot and family at the close of the two-day yard sale, we climbed over Dummerston Mountain coming down the other side to the longest covered bridge in Vermont in West Dummerston. Under that bridge is where we spent many an evening swimming (after our days work was done), and as I got older was allowed to ride my bicycle, probably about 2 miles from my house, to swim with friends. While there, one of our activities was to have two or three people stand at each end of the bridge. Then when the coast was clear, one person would make a wish, take a deep breath, and run through the bridge. The others kept watch for incoming cars. If you made it on that one breath – your wish would come true. We also would swim underwater against the current to see who could go the furthest in one breath. Wow, I guess we practiced deep breathing while having a great time.

The water was quite high for this time of the year both in the brook and in the river but Dick went down under the bridge to skip stones across the current and waves. He says he was only able to get up to four skips with the stones and he was able to find more heart shaped rocks for his collection. It was worth the climb up and down the steep bank.

we just took a ride back inn time; “I sha’n’t be gone long – You come, too

These are a few of my favorite places where I grew up and I do hope you enjoyed coming along with us. It reminds me of another Robert Frost poem, “The Pasture” and though we just took a ride back in time: “I sha’n’t be gone long – You come, too.”

The in-between time was spent with my Mom catching up on her life and little community. She prefers I not write about her so you can skip this part if you like. She looks great, watches a neighbor’s little dog regularly and loving it, and is still active with scrabble, bingo, and planning and attending pot luck dinners in the building. A quote from her during one of our conversations was “negative thinking prevents positive doing.” As you can see, I get my inspiration from her and am grateful for her positive outlook on life. I will sign off on that note and glad you came along with me this trip. Love, Sharon