My parents were hard working people in their working years. They always made sure that we had whatever they needed to have a good life. One of the greatest gifts they gave us was travel. For as long as I can remember, we took a summer vacation and went somewhere! The places we went were varied. But, I can say that we have been in more states than many of the people we knew, and our teachers were surprised when they asked us what we did on our summer vacation. It was one of the richest, most priceless gifts my parents gave their daughters. A unique view of the country we live in.

Mom and Dad loved the outdoors. They loved being in their garden and backyard. They created many new gardening designs and they were beautiful. Their yard was their favorite project. I remember so many family gatherings being held there, under the shade of the several big trees they had. Dad would be at the grill cooking our meat, and us girls would be helping Mom in the kitchen getting things ready for the family dinner that would follow. These days, families just don’t eat together as much as they used to. I notice that even Bob and I, with the caregiving obligations we both have, will eat our evening meal alone as often as not. Not so in my childhood. Mom and Dad wanted our family to have as many meals together as we could. I suppose that was because they knew that all too soon, that would end.

They loved their home, yard, and garden, but the places they loved the best were when they were out in the woods, camping. They loved to wake up in the morning and make breakfast over the campfire, with the smell of the pine trees heavy in the air, and the birds singing all around. They never liked the lake much, but the mountains, were their place of refuge. Their chance to get away from the hurry up world we live in. So many people can’t seem to allow themselves to slow down or sleep in, and just take life at a slower pace, but when we traveled, Dad was never in a hurry. We would get where we were going…and see the beauty of the world around us along the way. Yes, Mom and Dad gave us a wonderful life, and opened the door to a world of beautiful places and things…the places they loved the best.

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