Scene for Sunday

I am running out of time on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, so I am simply going to share a photo with you. Earlier this week, we were out on a drive and came across this scene. It reminded me instantly of my mom, who is a very talented quilter and painter. Combine the two, and what a beautiful pair they make.

Learning about Lincoln

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than
any other one thing. ~Abraham Lincoln

Today found us in Hodgenville, Kentucky, where we visited the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. After a short film in the Visitor’s Center, we climbed the 56 steps to the top of the Monument that protects Abraham’s birthplace. The 56 steps represent the 56 years of his life.

Once we reached the top, we enjoyed a history lesson from one of the rangers. He helped the kids with some Junior Ranger questions, explained all about the very large chestnut tree that was the property’s boundary marker, and took us back in time to what life may have been like for the Lincoln family. There were 16 stars on the ceiling and 16 poles around the cabin, all in honor of the 16th President of the United States.

When we left the cabin, we took the nature trail that went around the property. A skunk had chased a visitor off earlier, so we were on the lookout for one, but did not encounter any on our walk.

The Sinking Spring that supplied the Lincoln family with water is still running today.

We were the last visitor’s at the Memorial this afternoon. The rangers were kind enough to complete the Junior Ranger certificates for the kids, even though they were technically closed by the time we were finished. When we left the Memorial, we stopped into Hodgenville to see the statues in honor of Abraham Lincoln. There is one of him as a little boy, book in hand, straight across from him as a grown man. I found the display to be very powerful.

We did not have time to continue down the road to Lincoln’s boyhood home, Knob Creek, so we will have to do that another day. We learned a lot today and the kids each earned a new badge for their vests. I was also able to put a new stamp in our National Parks passport. I’d say that it was a very effective history lesson.

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.  It’s the life in
your years.  ~Abraham Lincoln

Welcome Autumn!

Hello, my friends, and Happy Autumn!

I must confess that autumn and I have not always gotten along. I love the changing of the colors, the harvesting, the crisp air, but it is what follows autumn that I fear: the dreaded winter. And, in always being aware of what comes next, it has made autumn and I have a somewhat strained relationship. She tries her very best each and every year to make me see her beauty, to embrace her for what she is, but my blinders have always been on. I have failed to fully appreciate the transformation taking place right before my very eyes.

This year, however, I  have a feeling will be a little different. While some trees have begun to change, most have not even started yet. The air has a definite crispness to it in the evenings, and mornings are brisk, but the warm days still allow for you to soak up the sunshine. Summer lasts a little longer here in Kentucky, which can only mean that winter will last a little less. Perhaps there is a chance that I will not sink into my desperate longing for spring and warmer weather and sunshine, as I seem to do every year. The desperate longing that consumes my entire soul. The desperate longing that makes it hard to breathe.

The warmth and sunshine called to us today, beckoned us to join them. So, to celebrate this first day of a new season, we took a drive, and what a beautiful day it turned out to be. We played outside, had a picnic overlooking a lake, the kids gathered acorns for the squirrels and ran free as the wind. There was a carefree feeling in the air today as we soaked up all there was to see. I have only just begun to realize what I have been missing all these years.

Rather than fear what is to come, I am embracing what is. I am enjoying all that this beautiful life has to offer, without fear or anticipation of what tomorrow may bring. I am living in the moment, and that, my friends, is the best place to be.

As we were pulling out of the campground earlier today, Rob handed me an old fortune he found on the floor of the van. This could be an almost perfect day, it said. I think it was right.