Friday, July 31, 2009

PhotoStory Friday-Hodgson Mill

While I was in Missouri for my class reunion/vacation, my mom, sisters, and we set aside a day to take a drive to the cemeteries, to the river, and to a couple of mills we have always enjoyed visiting and photographing. During this outing we visited Hodgson Mill. It is a beautiful mill in a beautiful setting. The last few times I visited Hodgson Mill it had been closed down and was for sale. It is open once again with a little gift shop inside and once again contains historical facts about the mill and area. These places have always fascinated me!

Doesn't that look REFRESHING?!

aaahhhh! Tastes refreshing too! Mmmm fresh spring water!

Me and my sister Regina

Just a goofy shot of me with both my sisters. (Lacey, me, Regina)

My niece Danielle and my sister Regina

The view of the spring from the mill

My family (me, Heather, Marty)

To participate in Photo Story Friday or to take a gander at everyone else's photo stories, see the following:

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My First Canoe Trip

From the time I was 8 years old until I was 18, I spent part of every summer at Hammond Mill Camp...either at 4-H camp, White Oak Camp, Dow Camp, or Bible Camp (am I forgetting any of them???) My mom was a stay at home mom, but cooked for camps and reunions all summer long and often we were able to attend with her. Most of those camps included a time slot each day for canoeing. Granted, you could only paddle so far upstream and then back down again in a very short distance but most thought it was great fun! Until my high school reunion in Missouri last week, that was the only canoeing I'd ever done.

I was so looking forward to the planned canoe trip with my classmates! My husband Marty had canoed before, but we'd never been together. I tried to convince my daughter to go as well but she wasn't interested. She'd love to canoe sometime, just didn't want to go with all these people she'd never met. I am sure that had she known how cute some of my classmates' teenage sons are she'd have gone with me! lol

I think of all the reunion activities planned for that weekend, the canoe trip was my favorite. Many did not participate and what a fun day they missed!

There were a few along on the trip that had floated that portion of the Norfork River many times and knew all the cool places to stop and explore! At one point we all stopped our canoes on a large bank and pulled out our coolers and had a picnic.

As we all first headed down the Norfork. Those of us who didn't rent canoes put in at Blair Bridge (among many SNAKES!!!!), and we met up with the rest at Sunburst Ranch.

Don't scenes like this make you want to grab your paddle and come along??? Well you CAN!!!! After so much fun was had on this trip it has been decided our class is going to do this ANUALLY!!! Can't wait to see you all again next year!!!

Stacey and Melissa chillin' at one of our stops along the way.

Marty and I really enjoyed our first canoe trip together and are ready for another!

We paddled up this little creek that runs into the Norfork River, to take our group picture. I'm so glad there were some so familiar with this river and knew of places like this!

All of us, minus the kiddos, that attended the canoe trip. You all were a blast to float with! Thanks for one of the best times I've had!

Marty and I floated alongside Stacey and Melissa for much of the trip.

You have to DUCK under Patrick Bridge!!!

Near Patrick Bridge, we all stopped and hiked up a trail I had never been on and enjoyed the sites of Althea Springs and dam. Wow! That place was awesome but the water was so very cold! I got in the water and by the time I waded across my legs were so numb! Brrrrr!

What a beautiful place!!!! Thanks for showing it to us Kurt!

Behind the waterfall!

I magically emerged from behind the waterfall with dry hair!!!!

Scott parted the waters of the dam so we could come out from under it without being pummelled by COLD water! Thanks Scott!!!!

Marty and me above the dam

I just like this photo I snapped of Marty when I was above the dam:

Saying goodbye to those who had to take out farther down to return their canoes and kayaks.

Our awesome tour guides: Kurt and Tara. Thanks for showing us so many awesome places along the river and thanks Kurt for organizing this trip!

As always you can click on any picture to see it larger or to be taken to the site where ALL my canoe trip pictures are located!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

1989 Was HOW Many Years Ago????

For the past several months I have been anxiously waiting for/looking forward to/dreading/worrying about/ excited about my 20th high school reunion. Honestly I think reconnecting with many classmates on facebook created a lot of enthusiasm for many of us for the reunion.

I moved, along with my husband and daughter, from my hometown of West Plains, Missouri eight and a half years ago. Each year we usually go back to visit family for vacation, but every year until this one, those vacations have been during WINTER for Christmas or Thanksgiving! You'd think knowing how much I like SUMMER and how much I hate being COLD it would not have taken me NINE summers away to realize I should go back "home" during the summer!!! But, no, it did take me that long to plan a summer vacation and it took my 20th reunion to get me there in summer. I had a wonderful time at all my reunion activities and have since decided that vacations in Missouri will be in summer from now on!

Among the reunion activities, the one attended by the most alumni was our reunion dinner. The food was great and I think everyone had a wonderful time visiting and catching up with one another.

Before we headed out to the dinner, my mom snapped a photo of Marty and me

Although I certainly loved seeing everyone I think I most enjoyed catching up with my gradeschool pals Cindy, Melissa and Anita. None of us had classes together in high school but have known each other since about third grade. Here are myself, Cindy and Melissa. The three of us reminisced a lot about attending church camp together and hay rides and Cindy's house!

Anita and Me. Had our friends Russell and Diane been here our group would have been almost complete!

Throughout the evening various prizes and awards were given.

The couple married the longest is Richard and Rhonda at 19 years. Congrats guys!
(I did not get a good photo of these two so I swiped Melanie's off of facebook. She got a GREAT one!)

Laura looks fabulous and won the award for having the most children: SIX!!!!

Alumni nominated females they thought had changed the least since high school and someone even nominated me. (from the left: Amy, Melanie, Tracy, Christy, me, Angie, and Shelley) Angie said to me "you still look like you did when we were in 8th grade!!!" I told her "Nope, I was a whole lot shorter then!" :0)

Adorable Melanie was voted least changed female. I have to agree!!

The males nominated by alumni to have changed the least since high school were: Kurt, Casey, Lonnie, Brad, Marcus and Andy.

Marcus was awarded an Ogilve Home Perm for being the least changed male.

Among the decorations were Kurt's helmet and jersey. He wanted to prove he could still get them on!

Kurt and Scott were eager for the next day's canoe trip and showed us how to paddle our canoes!

I could not have survived Chemistry without my lab partner Sherry!

Junction Hill Gradeschool pals Kim and Tracy

Our superb table won the awards for answering the most correct trivia questions about our class! We rocked!

Some of my pals: class clown Kurt with his wife Tara (she and I grew up together and are practically related!), Kevin who attended the same trade school as me in Arizona, Jesse who worked with me at McD's in high school and his wonderful wife Christy. It sure was fun catching up with you guys!

Two of my grade school friends and classmates married this past January. I couldn't be happier for Stacey and Melissa!

Our Class President Scott MC'd the evening along with his wife Karmen and a few other committee members. Thank you all for an outstanding job putting everything together!!!

Each table was decorated in a different theme, either from school activities or of the era. I sat at this 80's table:

The alumni present at the reunion who attended FairView Elementary together:

The Class of 1989 Reassembled:

I doubt I will be able to make it back to Missouri for the Homecoming portion of the reunion this fall so I will see you all next summer for the annual float trip!!!

Oh, and because I have been asked frequently "What is a Zizzer anyway???" go here to find out how our school mascot came to be! There are others who say a Zizzer is the sound lightning makes when it strikes. You decide.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I ♥ Faces: My Story in Photos: Patriotic Edition

This week I ♥ Faces is hosting "My Story in Photos: The Patriotic Edition." Click the button below to head on over to check out everyone else's patriotic stories or to find out how to post your own.

On the 4th of July, it is tradition for my family to attend the "Biggest Small Town 4th of July Parade" here in our town and then afterward the afternoon is usually spent with friends or family and then we all return at dark to the park downtown for a huge fireworks display.

My family and I watching the parade.

Watching the parade, I was surrounded by patriotism. From the spectators who stood with hands over hearts as American flags were marched past, to sites such as this little boy waving his flag out the window of a bus.

To me, this photo and those that follow, represents all that is patriotic.

To me the most patriotic part of celebrating our Nation's independence are the soldiers who march in the parade. They always bring tears to my eyes for what they represent. So, to all the soldiers, both here at home and abroad, we salute you for what you sacrifice for your country.

And what better way to end a day such as that, than with a bang such as this:

Proud to be an American!


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