{Fab Finds Friday} Independence Day Edition

About Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the man who dreamed Lady Liberty.

Triple Berry Pie on this holiday weekend? Yes, please!

Did you know that Congress actually voted aloud to declare independence on July 2, two days prior to signing the Declaration of Independence?

Must make these festive chocolate and sprinkle ice cream cones.

American flag etiquette reminder, along with a little flag history. Don’t forget that it should always be lighted when displayed and should never touch the ground.

Next year I really need to get my act together and put a festive wreath on the front door. Like this one. Or this one.

And because I couldn’t settle on just one video this week, I leave you with a little John Philip Sousa.

Be safe today. Please don’t forget exactly what we are celebrating and the sacrifices made by generations for us to have our beautiful freedom. Happy Independence Day!

 

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{Little Gravel Road}

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Between our subdivision and town is a gravel road. Just one. It curves its way through fields and rocky hills, over an almost-creek, and toward another subdivision. The beginning and end are far from country; yet the space in between is a slice of rural heaven. Husband grumbles his wish that it be paved every time we use it. But I – I secretly hope it never is. That the gravel road lined by horses and cows somehow never ages. For even in its beautiful Colorado state, this dusty, random path is a nostalgic slice of Kansas.

When I drive it I’m thrown back to childhood. Age five. It is summer and we are going to my cousins’ farm to play. The same farm where I hauled the barn cat under my arm like a football and insisted I always be carried inside because the sweet, harmless dog was somehow terrifying.

I am still five. We have driven a dirt road to Daddy’s childhood home and are now traipsing beyond it through the woods to the river. He knows them both like the back of his hand. Some days we hunt the woods for morel mushrooms. Others we find a sandbar to picnic. Sweat from the sticky Kansas heat molds my shirt to my back. We all smell of bug spray and sunscreen. This is how Daddy was raised – hunting, camping, and fishing on the land just beyond his doorstep. My young mind almost cannot comprehend it, but I am comforted knowing he is so strong and capable. I am proud.

Suddenly I am 15 and learning to drive. There is immense comfort in learning to operate a car without the pressures of city traffic. Dad is constantly reminding me to relax my death grip on the steering wheel. He occasionally reminds me to stop watching the road directly in front of the bumper and is terrified by my square turns, insisting he has never seen someone turn the way I do. It is on a maze of country roads that I learn how to read them – to evaluate the looseness of the gravel, their washboarded depths, and sopping wet edges which bid us closer to companionable ditches. The hills scare me as I approach, filling me with worry that someone will fly over the top right in the middle, taking us out as it goes. Those Eastern Kansas hills. Some rolling and others steep, ensconced between the fields of corn and wheat.

Now I am 17 and a senior in high school. The angst of adolescence pushes me to those roads. Quietly driving them brings solace. They center me as I over-analyze every nuance of this chaotic existence.

I miss those dusty paths. My old stomping grounds. They cause me to crave our little Colorado gravel road. My beautiful reminder of the past. A small, unexpected piece of Kansas to share with my son. It’s a place rich in sunsets much like those of childhood. Shades of pink caress the hilltops and tuck in the fields for a long night’s sleep with Chipmunk softly shushing them from the backseat.

It never escapes me: the beauty. Whether the road pulls me to the past or keeps me solidly in the present, the quintessential allure is always there. Beckoning. Welcoming. Engulfing.

My little gravel road.

 

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{Fab Finds Friday}

I’m guilty of apologizing for things I shouldn’t. What about you?

Apparently food trucks are safer than restaurants.

My missed opportunity as a middle child. Nice effort, Hammie!

A good Ikea hack makes me happy. Maybe I should do some work on our matchy-matchy Ikea nightstands?

We all know sitting all day is bad for us. But just how bad is it?

We love seeing progress in the diabetes community. Type I is very much a part of our lives.

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

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{Fab Finds Friday}

Thanks for making me feel approximately 87-years-old, YouTube. “There was no Google.”

Little League turns 75.

Gorgeous.

That’s a lot of Legos.

As someone who loves putting a smooth black pen to a crisp sheet of paper, this article about what is lost as handwriting fades gave me mixed emotions. I am thrilled to see someone highlight its importance. At the same time, it saddens me to know its focus in school has faded. Don’t even get me started on my favorite form of handwriting: cursive.

I think owning a home is worth it. How about you?

19 foods you should always have in your kitchen.

Bad TV confession? Celebrity Wife Swap. Can’t. Look. Away.

Happy Friday! Hope you get to relax this weekend!

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