Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A new President and Civicfest

I cannot believe that November has come and the Electing the new president was a fascinating experience for my children. Discussing our government process and view was very exciting. We are thrilled that so many people were involved in the choosing of our new president. A friend from Virginia called on the phone and was crying for the truly important historic event.

Earlier we had had an opportunity to see Civicfest--the Presidential history exhibit at the Minneapolis Convention Center during the Republican National Convention in September. I had thought hard about not going to this great exhibit, but, thankfully we went. It was the final part of our vacation and we saw the detailed miniatures of the White House. We also got to pretend to take the oath of office. There was a great map of the Minnesota State parks, dishes and exhibits on every president of the United States, the mobile semi truck with Lincoln exhibits, the C-Span bus where they interview candidates, a flag exhibit, some information on the founding fathers who served under the Articles of Confederation--the precursor to the Constitution, an opportunity for children to cast a ballot on a real voting machine. It was great to see old presidential limos and a mock of air force one. What a wonderful day to learn about our government!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Finishing up our hikes in the Minnesota State Parks

We enjoyed this a great deal the past several weeks. In the end of September and a couple weekends in October, the kids and I made a concerted effort to get the rest of the parks done that we had left in the Minnesota State Parks' Hiking Club. There were several days that the kids and I visited several parks and walked over 10 miles per day. I was SOOOO proud of my kids. They really toughed it out--even our last day we hiked on the North Shore. The North Shore has some of the most rugged hikes in the state because of the volcanic geology that has been exposed because of the glaciation.

In the periods of hiking that we did, we visited the other three corners of the state. We did Camden and Lake Shetek one weekend. We took several days and did six of the parks up by Fargo and Grand Forks. We took another to do Cascade, Temperance River and George Crosby Manitou. WOW! What an experience and I am sooo proud of my kids for getting through this. Our last camping this year was at Temperance in mid-October. The wind was very cold--it reminded me of the ocean in the winter in Virginia.

I was kind of sad when we finished our last hikes on October 16. We did both Lake Carlos and Lake Maria to finish up. Ironically I was incredibly sad. Working on this project of the state parks was something I had shared with Dad weeks before he had passed away. I have felt him with us as we seek out people to interview about local history. Multiple times, the right person just fell into our laps as we worked to learn about our states history. I was sad that this time was coming to an end. I still have a hard time missing my father--even though it has been two years. He was the one person in the family that understood me the best in my family and losing "our" project made me feel like I had lost him all over again. I miss him so very, very much.

I am grateful for the time I had with him after growing up. I am equally glad that my kids all have fond memories of him--that is in itself a precious thing that they alone have of all the grandchildren. We truly have been blessed.