Monday, April 28, 2008

get out of dodge

With the price of gas creeping towards the $4 mark, seems pretty logical that folks will cut back on their 'for fun' driving trips. The cliched Sunday Driver may become a thing of the past. Over the past two weekends our family has done quite a bit of driving. We went to a soccer tournament and just this past Saturday the oldest and I took a field trip to Shiloh with two of her teachers. I'm thankful that hitting the road is still in our budget.

We've been to Shiloh before. Shortly after we moved to the area, we took my folks over there for a visit. My father is a Civil War buff and the hubby is also interested in stopping by battle sites as we come across them. Shiloh is a beautiful place and the kid and I along with the rest of the group took an enjoyable bike ride through the park's 10 mile loop. Visiting this park is a much more moving experience from the seat of a bike versus from a seat in the car. So much easier to hop off and investigate.

On our last visit I was quite astounded by the national cemetery on the banks of the river. The white grave markers lined up. The sheer numbers of them underneath the trees canopies. The river running off in the distance where the Union soldiers docked and disembarked. The oldest has reached the age to also experience the emotion of standing where so many men fought and died. She had tears in her eyes as she stood by the mass Confederate grave at one of the stops.

She has to write a reflection paper on the visit and has chosen to focus on the emotional impact of her visit to the park and bypass the nuts and bolts approach of how the battle was fought and why the Union ultimately won Shiloh. Best to write what is in your heart I told her, so she worked on her first draft right after we got home Saturday night.

Taking that trip got us out of dodge, I used half a tank of gas ($30), and we created a memory for us to share. Best yet, it provided her an opportunity to write about how something historical made her feel. How it touched her. It took her outside of herself, something that teenagers periodically have a difficult time doing, and gave her a window to another time and place.

What more can a mom ask for....especially one who loves to write and loves to read.

1 comment:

Kim Smith said...

YAY! this story made me smile. i needed that. miss ya!