Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rambling Through Hometown USA

Having lived in the western U. S. for many years now, I have grown accustomed to desert landscapes and very low humidity. After all these years in arid climes, I’ve come to think of ways to create a “xeroscape” that minimizes the need for water instead of a “landscape.” The last few months we have been working and traveling through the Heartland. It has been a pleasure to see the lush landscaping with lots of green everywhere and the expansive lawns. (They must have riding mowers with so much to mow!) We enjoyed the wildflowers lining so many roadways in Illinois and Indiana and the Kentucky horse farms that looked like calendar pages. With the many rain storms that refreshed us came a healthy dose of humidity. What a difference! Traveling through the small towns of the Midwest reminds you that you are truly in Hometown USA—and the people are so friendly. For example, we attended church in Litchfield, IL and were invited to stay for the luncheon honoring their new vicar. As we visited, we found some new friends who knew other people that we know. The old saying is true: It’s a small world! We took the opportunity to tour a little in various places along our route as well as spend some time catching up with relatives along the way as we traversed the Midwest and North Carolina on our way to a project that we’ll begin soon in Virginia. I recommend these places that you might also enjoy visiting: 1. Springfield, IL is celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s Bicentennial this year and they are hosting many events as well as special displays in the museum. We visited the Lincoln House and nearby neighborhood houses that have been restored. We also toured the Lincoln Museum and Library where we learned a few things about Abraham Lincoln that we didn’t know: He started the Department of Agriculture and established land-grant colleges. Our time in Springfield was educational. To get more information, see the website: Abraham Lincoln Museum & Library 2. The Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY is just a little west of Cincinnati. All the displays were interesting and well done with multimedia presentations, but our favorite part was the presentation we viewed in the Planetarium. Another exhibit we enjoyed the replica of Noah’s Ark with the cutaway view. If you are interested in learning more about this museum, check out their website: Creation Museum. You can find many helpful videos-on-demand on the website as well. We enjoyed our day touring this museum. 3. The Western North Carolina Farmers Market west of Asheville is a wonderful place we discovered on a previous journey. There are several large buildings lined with booths displaying a variety of wares and produce. We couldn’t pass by without stopping to pick up some sourwood honey and a few other items, like a huge cantaloupe that measured 11” long! If you’re ever in the area, be sure to allow a few hours to meander through this market. Visit their website to get more information Western N C Farmers Market. 4. The Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, NC was the best place we toured this summer. It is a wonderful tribute of how God used one ordinary Carolina farm boy to take His message to the world. The tribute to Billy and Ruth Graham is done in good taste with state-of-the-art presentations and with the emphasis on God’s message of love for us. I’ve never been to any museum or library where the staff was more gracious and thoughtful to the visitors. This place is well worth your time to visit. You can learn more on the website: Billy Graham Library. If you are within a day’s drive of any of these places, any of them would make a good vacation location that is manageable on a small vacation budget—and we found them more enjoyable than some expensive places we have been in our lifetime. Happy trails to you!


Ridgetatter said...

Sone times we can "go home again." It's good to revisit the places where our families reminds us that even though we've traveled far; our roots are still in the home places. In addition, speaking of our roots, when we visit a group of like-minded Christians we realize that our family roots are first and foremost the family of God. And they can be found everywhere, even in out-of the-way places when we take the time to stop and rest in the presence of God with our family.
Our next 'trip' will be to Tucson as Loyal faces Aortic valve replacement..remember us in your prayers. He has always given me strength as my day and I shall certainly need that to be a helpmate to my beloved husband of 53 years!
May the Lord protect and bless you in your work for Him, Ridgewoman (Silver City)

Anonymous said...

I find it amazing how so many people will spend several days to travel thousands of miles for a vacation, when there are wondrous places to see close to home. Then they come back home, with pictures and exciting tales, yet too many times exhausted, with thousands of dollars less in their bank account. Yes, I believe there are times you must plan for special trips -- honeymoon, milestone anniversaries, first visit to the ocean, trips across the country to visit grandchildren. But too many times we neglect trips closer to home, which would entertain and refresh us, yet not empty our pocketbooks. You are very wise to take the opportunity to visit such places, as you travel towards your goal. I feel blessed to have met you on your trek, as your stopped overnight to visit with family and friends. God has blessed me with your friendship and I will hold you near and dear to my heart.
I cannot think of one place you mentioned that I would not enjoy seeing. Now I just need to decide which place to visit first!

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