When we kicked off on this adventure, I knew Andy and Woody would have fun, I knew they would like seeing new things and I knew Maureen and I would enjoy the change of pace. So far, what my boys have learned:
1). Sometimes things may be culturally accepted but aren’t morally right. It takes courage to do what’s right and sometimes that courage shows up in unexpected ways. We’ve had the chance to talk about slavery while at a National Park Service plantation, segregation while at Central High School in Little Rock, and all the crazy harassment stuff being talked about on the radio.
2). Family are not only an important part of who we are, they are those who we can rely on! Family can be blood or even those close to us. We had the chance to spend Christmas at Lucy’s, camp in Frisco with my parents, tailgate at the NCAA Division I FCS Football Championship with our Bison friends and family, and establish a bit of a routine as we move from one location to another.
3). Control the things you can and respond rationally to everything else. As they’ve experienced, sometimes things don’t go as planned. We didn’t plan to break down in Joplin, but as we dealt with that, we had to work through issues, wait for information, change our plans and ultimately buy a new truck. As they’ve grown up, they have learned that I am very frugal with cars. Sometimes reliability is more valuable!
4). You’ll never regret having more power(or as Rick Giesel said–Ummpapa)! After we decided to trade in the truck (which ended up needing a whole new engine courtesy of Ford), I started looking at F250’s. Given that our new house is on wheels, it only makes sense that we ensure we can get our house to go where we want. After almost 1,000 miles, I can say I’m happy with the purchase!
After we’ve gotten through the “planned” part of our travels, we’ve now set off on the unplanned part. We made it to Fontainebleau State Park just outside of New Orleans. Those of you who know me well know that I like to plan. I like to know what’s happening next and what’s planned for after that, all while having contingency plans in place. We don’t have any of that. We know we just reserved this spot for seven nights. We begin the exploration tomorrow!
4 thoughts on “Experiential Education”
Love New Orleans! St. Louis cemetery number 1, where you can spin around three times, mark 3 ‘x’s on Marie Laveau’s tomb (the voodoo queen) and make a wish. Jackson Square, the French Quarter, the Garden District…such a wonderful historic city! I took Mom and Neil there once on the way to the casino in Biloxi!
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Oh, and while you’re in the area, check out the local plantations. The Myrtles Plantation, in St. Francisville, LA, is reputed to the be most haunted house in America, and has a fascinating history. Stay overnight at the B&B and get the ghost tour, where they’ll tall you about Chloe, a house slave that got caught listening in to a private conversation, and as punishment had her ear cut off. When trying to get back into the family’s good graces, she baked a birthday cake for the boys with oleander in it, but just enough, she thought, to make them all sick. When she nursed them back to health, they’d fall over themselves with gratitude and invite her back in. But an overdose of oleander killed most of the family, and when Chloe confessed to her fellow slaves, they hung her from a tree in the woods so that the Master wouldn’t take it out on them. I’ve been there twice, and even stayed overnight. I experienced smells and sounds that no one did. One in particular that stuck out was going downstairs for the ghost tour, I told my friends that we ought to stay for dinner; I smelled fresh shucked corn. Later, during the ghost tour, the tour guide mentioned that folks often smell cigar smoke in one room, and “fresh-shucked corn” on the grounds. My friends were gobsmacked! Later that night, after everyone was asleep, I heard the dresser drawers on the landing opening and closing, and early in the morning, footsteps downstairs (we were the only ones in the house). It’s a very cool place! http://www.myrtlesplantation.com/
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Laissez, le bon temps roullais!
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And roll, and roll, and roll!