Highway 51

Sometimes we get tired of taking the interstate, so we’ll take alternative routes, even if it adds extra time.

One afternoon we took Highway 51 from Coffeeville to Jackson.  It is strange to drive through all the little towns that are normally just names on a signs we fly by.  So many empty store fronts & houses & side streets.  It makes me curious about what life is like in these towns– who lives there, what do they do, have they always lived there?  why did the town decline?  will there ever be revival?  

And, then there is just the raw beauty of the (winter) landscape.  This day was a dull gray, until the setting sun broke under the clouds and set tree tops on fire.

NYD 2016: Trace State Park

Walking out of the old year and into the new year is a tradition we were introduced to a few years ago while visiting friends in Northern Ireland.

Rain or shine, the whole family congregates to caravan to a crescent stretch of coastline.  The New Year’s Day we joined them there was an invigorating wind mixed with a fine mist that pushed at our backs. Dogs and children rain ahead.  Adults meandered behind, ruminating on the year past, in clusters that organically moved together and then gently broke apart again into new pairings. 

This tradition has stuck with me, with us.

I like the thoughtfulness of letting go & entering a new year this way.  I like the gathering of an entire family– siblings, spouses, cousins, grandparents.  I love that this walk occurs regardless of the weather.

So, we appropriated the tradition.

While our New Year’s Day walk won’t be on a beautiful beach Ireland, we are going to explore our wild & beautiful state.  This year– Trace State Park.  

Taking our time, we ambled down a quiet path that hugged the edge of a lake.  We stopped to collect leaves, identify animal tracks, and pick bracket fungus.    It was quiet, but for our voices.  There were only a few tears when the youngest hit the nap-time wall. And, we savored the time later spent with through-thick-and-thin friends.

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