On the Prairie


On the Prairie

I feel refreshed, restored, renewed

On the Prairie

I see the darkest night, the brightest sunrise, the biggest open sky

On the Prairie

I smell scared skunks, fields of fresh dirt, farms of cattle

On the Prairie

I hear the wind, familiar voices, grandpa’s polka

On the Prairie

I find healing, hope, direction

On the Prairie

I remember, reflect, dream

On the Prairie

I breathe.

Every November, my family and I pack up our van and drive 20+ hours to visit family in the Northern Plains. I cherish this time of “escape” from my normal routine.

I’m  attempting to post every Tuesday as part of the weekly Slice of Life over at Two Writing Teachers.

Easter – Spring Break Recap Part2

Easter egg hunts and ham. We had the traditional Easter fare in an untraditional way – on the beach and at a resort.

Easter morning started with an egg hunt for the boys in the resort lobby. When we called the front desk the day before, we were told the hunt was at 10 am. When we made it to the lobby a bit before 10, we were told the Easter bunny wasn’t showing up until 10:30, so we wandered outside near the lobby area. Not all families did. Some of them went back to their rooms.

When the hunt started, it was over in a flash. It is amazing how quickly kids can find the “hidden” eggs. As we were admiring the boys’ stash of plastic eggs full of sugary things, in walked a family with two kids. They were only a few minutes late, but that was all it took for the Easter egg hunt – a few moments. I later found out they had arrived at the earlier time to only go back to their room until the hunt started.

The two kids looked devastated. They had missed the hunt. I leaned over to the boys and whispered, “I want each of you to give an egg to those little kids who missed the hunt.”

Kory immediately gave one of his biggest eggs to the little girl around his age. Cade wasn’t as willing to part with an egg, but he eventually gave one to the little boy.

I heard the kids and the father say, thank you. I heard the father say to his kids, see what happens when you don’t get somewhere on time. We were both teaching our kids life lessons. He was teaching them to be responsible with time. I was teaching mine to give out of our excess.

But the best part. Later that day we ran into the family again. You should have seen the little girl look at Kory. I know that look. I have given that look as a little girl admiring boys on vacation. Oh the silly memories that flashed before my eyes when I saw her eyes. And no, I’m not going to share them here. 😉

She said hi to him. She told her mom, that is the boy who game me the egg. Kory bashfully said hi back. Oh, he had become some little girl’s vacation memory, which clearly embarassed him when I said something to him about it later.

The rest of our Easter was full of beach time where we saw a church having a water baptism. It included a full ham meal courtesy of take out from Bob Evans – along with a great aluminum container we used the rest of the week when we grilled. The day also included an outdoor Easter egg hunt my parents had for the boys.

It was an untraditional Easter at the beach – the perfect way to celebrate the day!

Dog Poop and Salt & Pepper Shakers – Spring Break Recap – Part 1

We had our spring break this past week!  Our destination was Ormond Beach, Florida near Daytona Beach.  We were so looking forward to a break from our reality! What made it even better was knowing we would meet my parents in Florida as they would be joining us for our vacation!

Our vacation didn’t quite start the way we expected it to when we started our drive.

It started with traffic. Now we love to travel and have a great system in place to travel. Our boys are pros!

This time, however, the expected 15 hour drive became even longer when we met a big traffic construction project along I-95. Yikes!  We sat in traffic at 11 pm at night while three lanes of traffic merged to one. Then to have that one lane go back to three to immediately merge back into one.  We were tired. We were just wanting to get to our hotel.  Keith even called the transportation offices of that state to complain – while we were sitting in traffic. How nice they were to call him back later this week to follow up with his complaint. 🙂  Who plans these road construction projects anyway?  Have they ever driven on the roads they are detouring, blocking and merging together?

Anyway, we finally made it to our hotel for the night.  Keith checked in, and we moved our sleeping boys into their beds.  By 1 am, we were settled and getting ready for bed. That’s when we saw it. We closed our bedroom door in the suite. And there it was quietly behind the bedroom door that had been open.

A pile of dog poop!  Yes. Dog poop! And we don’t even have a dog!  Ick. Ish. Ick.  How I wish I would have taken a picture of this gross pile from someone’s pet.  Yes. It was a pet friendly hotel. And obviously, the friendly part did not include making sure the dog poop behind the door was cleaned up.  We were too tired to complain that night. Too tired to have housekeeping clean it up right then. Too tired to move to another room.

Instead we waited until the morning. Complained. Received a small discount. Ate our measly breakfast. Checked out. And then I did what any “normal” person using social media would do. I tweeted about it and made sure to include the user name of the hotel chain. 🙂 Promptly customer service tweeted a request for details with the promise of a formal complaint. Got to love twitter.

We continued on our way along 95, and I saw trees, and trees, and trees. But that I’m saving for another post.  Instead, just know that we finally made our resort destination. And instead of being greeted by dog poop, we found these adorable little salt and pepper shakers in our kitchenette.  They were so cute that I had to take a picture.

Our traveling that started with traffic and dog poop ended with these adorable reminders of the comfort and luxury we would have for the rest of our week.

And check out this beautiful view from our balcony.  Worth the traffic and dog poop!