A Time to Remember

It’s personal for me.

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It’s Memorial Day and a time to remember those who have sacrificed and those who died for us.

On this day each year, I always think of the uncle I never knew that died in WWII.  We actually know much about him, but I will always be sad that I never knew my father’s handsome little brother who endured such great hardship and suffering in war.  My father never talked too much about him because I think it was just too painful to do so.  But, he made sure we knew about him and how he died.

Perhaps that is the reason I’ve always taken Memorial Day to heart.  It’s personal.  Because it is personal for me, I appreciate how it is personal and painful for many, many other family members and dear friends today, too.

Today, we remember and mourn together for our loved ones gone much too soon, and we also show our appreciation as we are moved to do so, including taking time to be with family.  These days, that is certainly something to celebrate, and I think many loved ones gone before us are smiling when we gather.

Today, I hope you will remember those gone and celebrate those present.  We are truly blessed indeed.  May we never take that blessing for granted.

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Memorial Day Weekend Recap

We visited our two beautiful canyon state parks in one day!

First, my heart is breaking for my fellow Texans downstate today.  Devastating floods have hit many areas, and there is so much hurt right now.  Of course, the much-needed rain will be very welcome once this crisis is over, but many are paying a heavy price for it right now.  The dam on the lake at Bastrop State Park failed, and the lake water has now mostly run out.  This is the same state park that was hit by a devastating wild-fire a few years ago, too.  Scenic little Wimberly in the hill country, which is a huge tourist town, saw a flood of epic proportions over the weekend, with the Blanco River rising 30 feet overnight.  Many cities and state parks have been impacted or shut down.  To have such a devastating situation hit on a holiday weekend just made it all the more challenging for those trying to keep people safe through it all.  I honestly don’t know right now how many people are missing or have lost their lives.  Please pray for those impacted by floods in Texas today. 

Texas Flooding Photos – The Boston Globe

Our decision to forego a long weekend camping trip due to the weather was a good one.  Storms hit our general area, but nothing like the unbelievable storms that hit downstate.  Hubby and I made a long Sunday drive instead, visiting both Caprock Canyons State Park and award-winning Palo Duro Canyon State Park in one day by car with the dogs and a picnic lunch on a beautiful little outing while the weather was nice, and I will share some pictures of our “grand canyons” adventure soon.  Visiting both of the canyon state parks in the Panhandle in one day is always a great scenic drive and a fairly easy one for us.  After all the recent rains, it was beautiful in a way we’ve not seen until now.  We did not start visiting the state parks regularly until 2011 when we bought our RV, the first year of the drought, and it is only getting better and better as more rain falls and renews our land at last.  I also took some great photos of the baby bison at Caprock Canyons.  (I am loving the new camera and lenses!)

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Later on, I will also share a few suggestions for anyone that is interested in visiting the canyon parks, as we learned some new information on this little outing that opens up new options, especially for anyone that would like to see Palo Duro Canyon but not take their RV down that fairly scary mile-long 10% grade road (with no shoulder and lots of people on bicycles at times) into and out of the park.  We were quite surprised to see a number of improvements in the park, which will make visiting an even better, and more reliable, experience in the canyon.  If we are “experts” on any state parks, it would be these two.  We have been visiting Palo Duro Canyon for five decades and have watched its popularity absolutely skyrocket with visitors from all over the world.  However, we actually prefer taking our RV to Caprock Canyons most of the time.  More to come on these wonderful parks!

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Wide-angle view of a portion of the 10% road into Palo Duro Canyon State Park, as shot from a pull-out on the road.

On Monday, we just relaxed at home and enjoyed a nice dinner at home with our son.  I definitely missed Mom joining us for this little family time, but we had a wonderful time together.  Hubby finally showed our son his pictures from his most recent trips to China and Europe, and we had a tasty dinner of spicy sausage and cabbage, which is quite possibly their favorite dish ever.  Son requested it, and Hubby prepared it.  My kind of meal!

I have so much to write about from our “grand canyons” adventure and also our week-long trip to Maui.  Unfortunately, I also have quite a bit to do right now at home, but I will eventually catch up on writing and sharing pictures here.  I’ve also committed to editing pictures for a friend and her hubby, who just returned from Kauai for their 40th wedding anniversary.  It is my little anniversary gift to them.

We don’t have any more vacations firmly planned at this time, but we will likely make a trip north somewhere over 4th of July week/weekend.  Hubby will be on the road for business more than usual over the next couple of months, and I hope to finally make some real progress on catching up on chores at home, in addition to writing and sharing photos of our most recent trips.  I have some great photos to share!

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