Almost every year our family takes a quick jaunt somewhere to regroup and refresh and build memories together. We go camping, hiking, rafting, sightseeing and some shopping.
But this summer went so fast our family didn’t have time to take a quick trip away.
So we took a staycation. It’s often hard to stay home because my husband may get a call that the cows are out. Or I may need to cover a story for the paper. But this time it worked out.
We got to hang out in the backyard around a fire for hours, we canoed the Arkansas river, fished, and drove around looking at wildlife and I took pictures.
The river was up and the trees, flora and fauna were lush. We saw a sandhill crane fly right in front of us while fishing. We took in gorgeous sunsets. My husband grilled in the backyard and we made smores by the campfire. I even snuck in a little catching up of house chores like mowing and throwing out boxes that had built up in the garage.
We made memories. We went to bed with smiles on our faces and never left Hamilton County.
Yes I would have loved to do a little shopping and go see some new places but building memories at home is pretty important too.
When we went down the river we saw spots where there was quite a bit of trash. And we plan on going back to clean some of it up. While it was a little irritating, I wanted to enjoy the trip. So I kept my focus on the red winged blackbirds and my daughter laughing. And people calling out our names as we floated down the river.
There is a story I recall about a man who walked into a town and saw nothing but ugly. And another man who walked into the same town and saw nothing but beauty. Attitude can change a lot of your perspective.
If you asked somebody about Hamilton County, they could show you the weeds that need removed, the empty lots that need some businesses to come in or some housing that needs fixed up.
But they could also show you our swimming pool, golf course, movie theatre, sand park, river access, Sam’s Pond for fishing and our campgrounds.
If you drive through Hamilton County on a dry year the farmland doesn’t look so great and a layer of dust covers everything.
On a good year, you can see fields of gorgeous golden wheat. In the fall you can spot deer under a full moon in a rich rust colored milo field.
The beauty and perks of small town living in the middle of rural western Kansas is as big as your imagination.
No we won’t have a mall or a Target here but I am ok with that. There is space to roam and move free. There is friendliness and civility that you can’t pay for.
Years ago I couldn’t imagine ever living so rural in the middle of nowhere as I used to call it. Now I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
I can’t leave you without a book or movie quote.
In the movie The Shawshank Redemption, Morgan Freeman said, “Get busy living or get busy dying.”
You don’t have to wait until you have a lot of money or time. You can get outside with your family, friends or dog and take a walk around Sam’s Pond, catch a sunset, put your feet in the river. Take a drive, find some joy. Sometimes it’s right in front of you.
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