As a child, summer was my favorite time of the year. School was out and the schedule was so much more relaxed without having to meet homework deadlines. I remember lying in my backyard with my hands behind my head gazing up into the dark sky. The stars were bright and I tried to imagine what lay beyond them. Were there other civilizations out there and, if so, what did their inhabitants look like? It was a great time for dreaming about life in general and what the future might bring.

We gathered with friends to do fun things like swimming, biking and walking. We would bike on the back roads in St. Johnsbury Center. There was no need to worry about strangers stopping us. The neighborhoods were safe. As we became teenagers, kids would get together at night and play badminton under the street lights in front of my house. We lived off the main road so few cars came by. One night another girl and I decided we would try to keep the birdie in play as long as we could. We made it to 960 times that we batted it back and forth and finally were so tired, that one of us missed it. I still remember that game to this day.