Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Nature's Peace

at Two Writing Teachers
"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as the sunshine into trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off you as autumn leaves." 
– John Muir

I missed you all last week, but I was having an amazing vacation in Hocking Hills, enjoying nature and my sweet husband!  After having such a tough year last year, and spending so much of my summer thinking about school, I really needed that week away.  And it was wonderful!

my March Challenge prize!
Actually, it was so wonderful that I couldn't possibly describe it all for you in one slice.  In fact, it took me 25 pages to capture all the fun we had in my travel journal!

that's right, 25 pages for 5 days!

Since I can't share 25 pages with you, here are the top ten things I learned during our five days away:

10. Raccoons like to have big eating parties!  However, deer like to eat alone.
Our cabin had a wildlife feeding station. On our first night, 12 coons came out to welcome us!
The animals, deer included, didn't mind if we were sitting quietly on the deck!
9. There are still tiny fawns around in early August!
We saw 34 deer, and 6 of them were small fawns!
sweet mom & baby!
8. Saddles are heavy and complicated!
Before horseback riding, we got to brush, saddle, and learn about our horses! 
7. Hummingbirds and wild turkeys both make happy little sounds to themselves as they eat!
Three hummingbird friends visited us constantly on our deck.  When they were together, they bickered with perturbed squawks and chased each other away, but when they were alone, they squeaked happily as they ate!
To our surprise, we could hear the wild turkeys gobble as they ate!
6. No gourmet restaurant can beat grilling hot dogs on the deck of a secluded cabin!
our gorgeous deck!
5. It's possible to see 49 turtles in two hours!
That's right! 49 turtles, some on logs and some on beaches like this guy!
We realized that's an average of two turtles every five minutes, which may be my turtle-loving husband's definition of heaven!
4. Music brings people together, and making music is about having fun. (Ok, so that wasn't new, just a pleasant reminder!)
The bluegrass in this peaceful outdoor amphitheater was excellent, but watching the band members have fun playing together made it even better!
3. How to say "thank you" in Shawnee. (It's pronounced "NEE-oh-way".)
Shawnee storyteller Wehyehpihehrsehnhwah was engaging, educational, and inspiring. One of very few remaining native speakers of Shawnee, he sprinkled Shawnee words throughout his presentation.  Through talking with him before the show and trying my best to thank him in Shawnee afterwards, we made such a personal connection that he gave me one of the wampum bracelets he was wearing! I couldn't STOP saying "NEE-oh-way"!
2. Vacation isn't about the distance. There are many treasures hiding closer than you think, and REAL time spent together (with no distractions!) is the best gift of all.
Ash Cave. See the tiny person at the bottom? That's Husband!
And the number one thing I learned on our vacation was...
1. While I love being connected, being unplugged is good for my soul.
It really felt like home!


  1. If you read my slice, you'll know what I mean, Jennifer. Loved your photos & the descriptions! I love the woods. The words " REAL time spent together (with no distractions!) is the best gift of all." mean much. My vacation with family was wonderful too, just being together! Thanks for sharing yours!

  2. What a fabulous vacation you had! I loved your photos and captions. So many creature surround us that we never see. You were lucky to get a glimpse of them.

    1. I know, elsie! It kind of reminded me of your usual posts, with all the wildlife! :-)

  3. Jennifer, what a fun post! I love the pictures. Thanks for sharing all the wildlife with us. I would love to share this post with my students to show them how to combine lists with photos.
    Our family time together this year was in two different cities attending two graduations. I just checked out your mom's post, and I can see why you're such a fabulous writer! When you asked us to visit her post, I had to come to your blog to be sure you were the Jennifer I was thinking you were. I identify more with the visual look of the blog than I do with names. Names have always been hard for me. But when I click on the blog, then I recognize the blogger.

  4. Wonderful pictures! I am all for unblugging to rejuvenate (though I am not sure I could relax in the wilderness:-).


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