When I was young, our family vacations were a trip to Vermont for two weeks in August. We would pile in the car and head north from New Jersey.. It was our tradition to spend our first night at the Motel on the Mountain in Suffern, NY, and then to head to Sharon, VT. I couldn't be so close to the place without stopping to visit.
Sharon was home to the High Lake Farm, a former fishing camp around a small lake now known as Standing Pond. There was a collection of various ramshackle old cabins, each one different, and we most often stayed in one with a big screened porch overlooking the lake. There was a large barn, a smaller barn-like gathering space, a tiny beach, and the lake. I have such happy memories of being turned loose for two weeks to run with whatever pack of kids was there with their families, while our parents would get some much needed R&R. I remember riding the old Jeep pickup to the dump. It was a real honor to be old enough, and trustworthy enough, to hold on tight in the back with all the trash cans and bouncing kids for a wild ride around to each cabin, and then to the dump where we backed precariously over this enormous pit, emptied each can, and then clattered back to the farm holding onto the cans, and each other, for dear life. It was also an honor to be able to swim well enough to get from the dock to the floating platform in the lake unaccompanied by an adult. There were cookouts at the beach, dances on Saturday nights, trips to church potlucks in town, salamanders and lightning bugs to catch, and lots of time just to hang out.
The place was owned by a guy named Bill Meaney. We took his name seriously, because he was a little gruff and there were tales about how scary he could be. We came to learn that many of those tales were conjured up by the teenager he would hire to help him out around the farm. I think they both hoped those stories would keep us somewhat in line and out of their hair. He became great friends with my parents, who kept in touch with him long after we moved to Ohio and stopped making the annual trip to his place. I do remember him actually getting angry with us only once, when we dragged hay bales from the barn and blankets from our cabins and built a huge tent city in the field by the barn.
One of my fondest memories is paddling a canoe around the lake with my Dad looking for turtles, lily pads, dragon flies, and such. It was so quiet and peaceful.
Ann, Doug, Moose, Darla, Sunny, and with gratitude, Winnie and Chinny.