Saturday, August 25, 2012

Walking Through History....

One of the perks of living up this way is that we are in the mecca of history--not just history but specifically Civil War history. My secret passion (well, not so secret) is Civil War history and although the move up here was met with a lot of resistance, I was thrilled to be in the middle of EVERYTHING.
Before I get into our trek through history, let me back up to last fall, which I just realized was the last of journal posts. Again, time has gotten away from me! Last August, my husband passed his 20th year in the Army. Simply amazing. Before I knew it, August 2012 had arrived and we were at the 21st year. He will do enough time to pay back AECP and we'll see what happens next. Nonetheless, things are going good for him and I think his 2 years of nursing have been educationsal and rewarding.
My first year of teaching ended in June with a bang. I have to say I loved every second. God is good. I wanted something that would keep me with our youngest daughter and not having to depend on a babysitter. God answers prayers, no doubt. I love each and every one of my students. I am so excited to see what God has in store for them. The Senior students I had in my class have now all entered college and I have no doubt at all that they will all excel at whatever they do. Absolutely wonderul. I was able to see not one--but two open heart surgeries as field trip opportunities came about through this wonderful job. Fascinating. I used to BEG as a new nurse many years ago to see this miraculous surgery but never was afforded that opportunity. Who knew years later I would be able to watch this with 18 high school students and other adults who accompanied us on this field trip.
Summer starting with a great visit from my oldest daughter and her boyfriend (who I think it just wonderful) and we had the best time staying up late and playing cards and laughing. We were able to see the Space Shuttle which is now stored in one of our museums here and that was something. I have to say--it is much bigger than I ever imagined! The visit ended on a bittersweet note. Bittersweet because I knew that I was sending my precious girl back to Auburn to continue her studies in the care of this sweet young man. As much as I want her to enjoy her college days and grow as a young woman, it is hard to watch her go through airport security with the love of her life. I still see the pig-tailed girl climbing trees. I am thankful for that girl. She is a blessing to all who know her and especially to me, her mom! After the much too short visit, I flew to Jacksonville, Florida through tropical storm something or another to be with my family as my dad had surgery at Mayo Clinic. It was a very scary time. Even though I had not seen my parents since Christmas and I was thankful to be able to spend that little time with them, it just broke my heart to know that my dad was there to undergo this surgery. After many days in the hospital and many scares-along with many prayers, he was able to come home. The visit was short and I flew home to welcome in a "land hurricane" to the area which would leave us with no power for about 17 hours. Many of our friends did not have power for DAYS.
A nursing conference with a co-worker in Philadelphia was next and I learned so much. I have been very blessed to be working with some wonderful nurses and educators!! I have never been to Philly and trust me, we had a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich! A couple of days later after we returned to VA, my little family and I drove down to Alabama to spend a week with my parents. It was a great time and seeing my dad doing so well was wonderful. Unfortunately I did not get to see my brother, niece and nephews but next time..... Life is busy for everyone! I cried for days after we left Alabama. I cannot say how much I miss being at home. We stayed up late playing cards and dominos with my mom and it was like I'd never moved! We did manage to slip away this week to Williamsburg for a few days and that was nice but next week the rat-race begins and life gets busy at least until May! It's all good though. I know that we are blessed.
So back to the title of this journal. All of my life I have loved history. My momma used to say that she figured that someday I would become a history teacher and spend my life teaching the younger days of our wonderful Country..but here I am some 15 years later, living this history through my books and old DVDs. In the South, I only thought I was in the mecca of history. Up here though, it is a different story. We are right in the middle of so many Civil War battlegrounds. We had the opportunity to visit Gettysburg this summer and I thoroughly enjoyed every second. The Pennsylvania hills are amazingly haunting. I can only imagine the thoughts of the soldiers who trekked through that beautiful land. I visited there as a young girl and it has not changed a bit. Breathtaking. The state statues are the best--the Alabama statue and the statue of Robert E Lee on his horse (VA) are both my favorites. We visited the Cyclorama (remember that, Momma) and it was just as I remembered. We live in the center area of many of the battlegrounds: Petersburg, Fredricksburg (and the places in which it encompasses,) Antietam, Appomattox, Gettysburg, and the list goes on and on. We've made many trips to Manassas (were Stonewall Jackson got his name) and I never tire of that battleground. It's just down the street too! I was there as a young girl to watch a re-enactment of the first battle of Manassas on a hot July day. As we drive around here in our everyday life, I cannot help but imagine the footsteps that came through! I have my list of places I intend to visit already made and slowly but surely checking off the list. I love standing in front of the display of General Grant and General Lee's chairs at one of the Smithsonians and simply imagine what must have been going through these military genius's minds as they sat across from one another at Appamattox in April 1865.
Williamsburg was nice. I also went there as a young girl but I always end up back in my Civil War history books.  I have read and re read many books and never tire of my favorite writer, John Jakes. Although fictional characters are in his books, he has meticulous intertwined historical figures with his fictional characters to set the stage for a historical drama. Also, the Time-Life Civil War series my parents bought for me when I was in Middle School have worn pages from my continuous thumbing through them, looking at pictures and reading accounts from the lives of those before us.
At any rate, as much as I miss home I decided when we came here to make the most of the opportunity we have been given. I don't know how much longer we have here or where we'll end up next (preferably not West of Texas) but whereever it may be, I know there is a purpose and reason.
I hope and pray for those of you in the path of Isaac and pray that the effects of this storm are not as bad as predicted. Maybe it won't be a year until I update this journal but knowing me, it might. Much love to all...

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