December 26, 2018

Christmas . . . the Beginning of All That Can Be

Six weeks ‘til Christmas!  Only 5 more shopping days until Christmas!  Holiday sale ends in 4 hours and 32 minutes!  All the hype in today’s society lead us to believe that Christmas is the culmination of all things “holiday.”  But, when you think about it, the focus is not on Christmas itself; the focus is on getting ready for Christmas.  Or, more to the point, it’s about how many ways retailers can get you to part with your money before the dawn of Christmas Day.  Why does Christmas seem to mark the end of something when, in fact, it celebrates a beginning?

December 17, 2018

"Thanks a Thousand!"

I recently came across a new book called “Thanks a Thousand: A Gratitude Journey” written by A. J. Jacobs.  The premise behind the book piqued my interest and this summary is quoted from the inside of the book jacket:  “The idea was deceptively simple:  A. J. Jacobs would thank every single person involved in producing his morning cup of coffee.  The resulting journey takes Jacobs across the globe and reveals secrets about how gratitude can change us all.”

December 08, 2018

Branson, Missouri, Here We Come! (National Parks Trip #2)

This post represents another installment in the series detailing the second of our three cross country National Parks camping trips with travel trailer in tow.  At the time of this trip in 2010, our son, Ryan, was 16 and our daughter, Kyra, was 11.  When I looked back, I found that the last installment had been posted nearly three months ago!  I’m not sure where those three months went, but it looks like I’d better get back on the ball!

As we left Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, the rising sun was at our back and our wheels were pointed west toward Missouri.  While the focus of this trip was definitely our National Parks, our itinerary included stops at places other than the Parks because our family enjoys a wide variety of travel experiences.  Indoor, outdoor, educational, just for fun – you name it and we’ll consider it.  My husband, Alan, and I decided a long time ago that it was important for our children to learn there was more to life than the small town in which they were growing up.  Our travels throughout the years have provided opportunities for all of us to explore different regions, foods and customs in this magnificent country of ours and I can only hope that our kids’ varied experiences have served to broaden their knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of life.  In my heart, I sincerely hope that the two of them will remain explorers forever.  The next National Park on our trip list was Gateway Arch in St. Louis, but our next destination was Branson, Missouri.  Because, after all, who could pass up Branson, home to the Silver Dollar City amusement park and many notable musical and variety show venues?!