In my last blog post I mentioned that instead of confronting the end of the outdoor/exterior house work season head-on, I put my paintbrushes down and left town.
That I did. Twice. I was feeling restless and burnt out, and even though my time was running out, I knew things weren't going to go well if I kept plugging away at it without a break. The book festival weekend wasn't quite enough for me, so I also headed south to my Dad's house in Missouri to get some fall hiking in, and to honor an anniversary of sorts. My sister Dyan met us there so we could all get some family time in.
Last year, we'd run an inaugural 5-mile race hosted by Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, in Republic, Missouri. We were so proud to do it together. And finish!
On the one-year anniversary we returned, to do some hiking and appreciate the history of this place. It saw the first Civil War fighting west of the Mississippi, and the death during combat of the first Union general, Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon. I even wore the same shoes:
Dyan, Dad and I have developed the tradition of always bringing my Grandad's (my Dad's father, who passed away in 1996) favorite candies on our hiking expeditions. These are the Official Walter Millsaps Memorial Chick O' Sticks:
The battlefield is a quiet place, beautiful in autumn. It's hard to believe that 535 men gave their lives here over 150 years ago. And that the Ray family, whose farm is pictured below, turned their home into a field hospital to tend to the wounded and dying.
Another day, we visited the Nathan Boone Homestead, a Missouri State Historic Site. Nathaniel was the youngest son of Daniel Boone, and the cabin and barn are preserved in an attempt to give visitors an idea what life was like when Missouri was a frontier state in the 1830s. Every year, they have a festival encampment, which includes 19th century re-enactors dressed as frontiersman, tradesmen, and soldiers, and craft demonstrations.
For some reason I've always been fascinated by stone chimneys, and Nathan Boone Homestead's are beautiful.
I loved the underside of the porch awning, as well.
The beautiful frontier garden was wrapped up for the year:
The long weekend also featured a fish-fry with okra and hush puppies, large mugs of coffee, reclining deep into the cushions of my dad's big leather sofa, and watching a John Wayne movie. In other words, it was nearly perfect.
Both trips were mental health imperatives. Now that my soul's been fed and my travel itch scratched, I'm beginning to take up some small indoor projects in advance of the holidays. I'll be back with a few of them soon!