Field Trip Full of Family History

Summer break is nearly over but we were able to squeeze in an impromptu trip to Cannon Range, in Fort Leonard Wood, MO.  This place is special because it is where Heath has some of his most favorite memories from his childhood in the mid-1980's.  Cannon Range is an aerial gunning and bombing range that is open to the public.  After some coordination to ensure there would be missions flying that day we gathered the families and traveled down there.  Not much has changed in the thirty years since Heath lived down there when his dad was the Commander of the Range.  There are new targets and a more automated way of measuring the accuracy but the the experience is just as thrilling as it was growing-up.  After an introduction to the Range staff and a thorough pre-brief we donned our protective glasses, climbed the tower, and awaited the arrival of the A-10's from Whiteman AFB.  There were two missions of two A-10 that practiced dropping bombs from 7000 feet, shooting rockets from a high altitude as well, then the more exciting close strafing runs just above the treetops.  After they completed their training they gave a nice fly-by on their way back to Whitman AFB.  

After the Range we went to see the Gasconade river near where Heath lived.  Here we caught a frog and baby snake, we skipped rocks, splashed the cousins, walked across to the other side, hurt our feet on the rocks, watched the fish, and enjoyed being in nature.   I didn't think anything else that day would have been able to top the excitement of the Range, but everyone left with great memories from the fun we had at the river.

On the way home we stopped in St. James, Missouri at Ruby's, Grampa's favorite ice cream stop that was around back in the 80's.  The ice cream was delicious and was a great treat.  It was the perfect way to finish off the day being able to talk about what we just saw and explain the feelings we felt.  We were able to talk about childhood memories and what the highlights of the trip had been.  Before we got home we were already planning the next trip back for the others that weren't able to make it this time.

Summer Vacation

Last week we returned home from a week long Florida vacay. We decided to drive the 12 hour ride to Destin, Florida, instead of flying due to the price of airfare lately. This was our first really long family road trip. Typically, we don't do anything over 5 hours. Lol. Luckily Harry Potter and a few car games helped the time go by. I was excited to take a long car ride and see part of America's countryside. I am not sure how excited I would be to do another long drive like this though. Suffering car anxiety isn't pleasant. 

The beach in Destin made the long trip VERY worthwhile! It was perfect! White sand and clear water. We swam and boogie boarded for hours on end. It was so fun! I even colored for awhile on the beach for a creative outlet, which was amazing. The only bummer for me was having severe poison ivy, but honestly I was filled up with fun beachy vibes that I didn't mind lugging around my bag of alcohol and calamine, and constantly reapplying.  

The first part of our trip we stayed at Hurlburt Field. We were able see the aircraft memorial of LTC Jones III and read about the heroic rescue of Heath's Dad and see the plane that was instrumental in rescuing him, which earned that pilot a medal of honor. It was amazing to see this in person. Staying on base definitely brought back memories of our time in the military. The second half of the trip we stayed at the Sandestin Beach & Golf Resort, which was quite a different atmosphere than staying on base for sure. It was a beautiful resort and we felt very tropical there. 

The very last night we were hit by a bad thunderstorm, so we couldn't spend one last evening on the beach, but after 5 beach days, it really was fine. I think we actually got "beached" out. So, it all worked out. 

The car ride home was the worst part for me because of my car anxiety. We did make a stop in Tupelo, Mississippi which I was excited about ever since we planned the trip. Such a cute little nostalgic town.  It is the birthplace of Elvis Presley and we even got to pick-up home some amazing tupelo honey! 

Stubborn Love

After a few months of hibernating and being in a creative rut, my imagination has been reignited. Spending time with other creatives will do that, and I am so thankful for my creative community.

In a photography group I am in, we were challenged to come up with a shoot based on a song. I struggled with this a lot. But, then was hit with loads of ideas while out running the other day. (Another reason I love running....it fuels my creativity) Anyway, Stubborn Love by the Lumineers was the song I chose for this shoot, and I know the song is about a wife or girlfriend who has had an affair, but for whatever reason, I always think about being young and wild and free when I hear this, and I wanted to capture the kids doing just that, innocent, young, free.

Frozen Forest

This past weekend we were hit with an Ice Storm. Most of the city shut down and we all just hunkered down. Which, I didn’t mind. I must admit, I am a creature of habit as well as an ambivert, which is a person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert features. As I said in my previous post, I am always mixing things up. While I do love to be social, and can definitely thrive in a social setting, the Holidays just completely exhaust me of socializing. So in January, I enter my hibernation and pretty much don’t like to come out of it until April. I like to use this time to reconnect with myself, with my family, pause, meditate, write, clean/purge, and as well as pursue my projects and regain my creativity, clarity and inspiration. I love the Holiday Season, really I do, but it really zaps me. 

 

I had an internal struggle this past weekend. Should I just stay inside by the fire soaking up being warm and snuggly, or round the family up and take a nature walk through our frozen forest out back. I really hate being cold, so this was a tough decision. Lol! I finally decided that it would be very beneficial to go on this walk together. I mean, how often are we just frozen over? The view of the forest looked magical. I just had to let the kids experience this and I am SO GLAD I did! Seeing everything covered in ice was amazing to all of us. It was one of those situations of everyone saying “Oh, look here!” “WOW! Look here!” “Oooooh, look at that!” It really was true natural beauty that you don’t often get to see. I definitely felt so alive and inspired, and I could tell the kids and Heath were too!

So thankful for days like this.