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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

It was a big day for our family - Monika became an American citizen.  We were in Burlington for the Naturalization Ceremony at the Edmonds Middle School this afternoon.  It was a very nice ceremony and the 23 new citizens were enthusiastically greeted by friends, family and the young students at the school.  Of course we got some pictures.  Top picture is the group, Monika at the far right; next, a view of the auditorium audience; and the third photo is of the officials who presented Certificates of Citizenship to each petitioner.  Honorable John M. Conroy, U. S. Magistrate Judge presided, and other dignitaries present were representatives from Sen. Leahy's and Sen. Sander's offices, Rep. Peter Welch's Office, U. S. Immigration Services, the DAR, Vermont League of Women Voters and Mayor Weinberger, who welcomed the new citizens on behalf of the City of Burlington.  We were disappointed that nobody from the governor's office came.   

Monika was radiant.  It's been a long process for her, eight years.  For some of the others it had taken longer.  The process is rigorous; there are certain criteria that need to be met  and a lot of studying and rigorous testing to go through.  It is not an easy task, becoming a U. S. Citizen. 

After the ceremony, we went to a restaurant at Taft's Corners and continued the celebration with a great lunch.  This is Monika with Bill and their daughters, Jo-Ann (17) and Tangeni (5).  Friends of the family, Doug and Deb Haselton, were on hand to celebrate with us - pictures here from lert to right, Bill, Fred, Jane, Monika, Deb, Jo-Ann, Tangeni and Doug.  We had a very nice time and we're all very proud of Monika's achievement.  We are planning another celebration this summer when more of our family can be present.

It was very spring-like in Burlington.  Almost no snow at all.  The sun came out during the latter part of the afternoon and that sent the thermometer into the 50s.  It may not have been quite that warm here at Joe's Pond, but by the time we got home this evening, West Shore Road was slightly muddy - nothing serious, but we could tell there was some thawing going on.  The temperature tonight is 35 - a little too warm for a good sap run tomorrow, actually, but Deb was telling us that friends of theirs have tapped their trees and the sap was running well today.  It's going to be nice for a few more days and then the temperature is going to drop again, but that's normal springtime weather.  We'll just enjoy these lovely spring days and take the rest as it comes knowing spring is on the way.

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