09 June 2007

Can you do a favor for me?

It's not a stitching favor, so I don't know if I have a right to ask. Well, heck, it's alright to ask anyway, because, gentle readers, you don't have to do a lick of what I tell you to do. I won't know any way. But, if you have time, or you are willing to make time, go visit places around you, be a tourist in your hometown. You live in the most beautiful place in the world, you just might not know it yet.. Someone, no matter where you live, is dreaming and planning, and saving money to go on a trip that will inevitably end up in your area, even if it's just to stop for gas, or because there was a brown sign 50 miles back on the road telling them to turn off for some obscure thing.

I was struck by this idea because I always wonder what compells people to come to the DC area. I live here, I wouldn't trade this life for anything, but I never think of it as a place that, if I didn't live here, I would scrimp all year to visit. And yet people do. And then, today, because I have been down lately (I swear, Bee, I am trying real hard after our talk at the airport about that), I decided to go back to Gettysburg, because the last time I was there it was a miserable experience, and I wanted to go just where I want to go, without thought of time or other people. Now, Gettyburg is the veritable Mecca of Civil War buffs, and it's probably not the ideal place to be between now and the 4th of July, because of the battle anniversary, but there were license plates from all over the country there. There's lot of stuff to do that aren't outside, but I think you have to pay for those, and I was doing it on the cheap. So I just did the visitor's center, then got in the car and drove around. I always realize what a real hell the bettle was, because it's south central Pennsylvania, meaning it's hot as crap this time of year, and they were walking in wool uniforms, lugging equipment, poorly fed, across fields. If you have ever walked across fields, it's not fun, let alone in the heat. I know I will faint if it gets too hot, and you wonder how these people didn't say, Forget y'all, and leave. My great-great grandfather was there. I get a sense of connection to him to see where he fought, looking at things he looked at, and knowing he survived. Not only that, he survived other hellish battles, and had a daughter who was strong enough to raise 8 children after my great grandfather died of cancer, and her youngest was my grandfather. maybe strength is genetic, cause it takes a lot to survive a war, and losing your helpmeet, but if they did it, I can get through the bad times. And I was reminded that I am blessed to live so close to a place where my family walked and helped save the country.

And I know I am not the only one who lives close to something spectacular. Everyone does. And so, I am asking you to go on a quest to explore your blessing. And if you do, let me know!


Anna van Schurman said...

Just yesterday, we went to Elfreth's Alley, the oldest continuously inhabited neighborhood in the US. You can read about it here.

Joan said...

Hi Rachel, I got your blog address from a post on 123Stitch where people were leaving their addresses. I popped in to read some blogs tonight and I had to tell you about my visit to Gettysburg.

I live in Central PA ~ and have for 36 years. Last year was my FIRST visit to Gettysburg EVER. I have no idea why I never visited there before. My girlfriend and I spend the day wandering around ~ it was wonderful.

We were lucky enough to happen upon a Civil War re-enactment. Watching the Civil War soldiers was a large group of current soldiers. What a great picture ~ the past and present defenders of our country! It was almost a little eerie seeing them together.

You've inspired me to explore more of the local tourist attractions.

Have a great day!

I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls