Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Wish List For My Children and Grandchildren

I just read Kate Greene's heartbreaking story of her losing battle with breast cancer and the "wish list" she left for her husband and kids.  Her list consisted of her desires for them to have an adventurous, fulfilling and loving life.

That got me to thinking of what I'd wish for, for my kids and grandkids.  While no one can dictate what others can or should do with their life, I've learned enough about some pretty amazing places that would surely enrich the soul.  I've also thought long and hard about what I, personally, would love to see them experience in their lives.

To which, I offer:

Because I love my country so dearly, I would love that they love it too...and strengthen that love by going "one on one" with some of our founding fathers.

1) Arrange to spend three days in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Spend a whole day touring the Thomas Jefferson museum; see the many personal Jefferson artifacts and possessions.  Watch the film bio showing all day at the museum to get an idea of who Jefferson, the man was.  On the second day, tour Monticello; walk his farm and gardens, tour the house and stop to reflect that the great man lived here.  On the third day, drive over to Schulyer, Virginia and tour John-boy's home, Ike Godsey's store and the Walton Museum.

2) While in Virginia, drive over to Mt Vernon and tour Washington's home.  Tour the new museum but also do the walk through of the home.  Stand on that back portico that has the Potomac River flowing not fifty yards off his back porch.  Try to imagine George Washington sitting on that same back porch 250 years ago!  Magic!

3) Arrange for lodging and spend three days in Washington, D.C.  Spend a whole day going through the Smithsonian Museum.  See everything from buckskins worn by Lewis and Clark to the Wright Brothers plane to exhibits from the M*A*S*H set!  On the second day, visit the National Gallery of Art and The Aerospace Museum.  On the third day, visit the Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln memorials.  Go to the War Memorials and Arlington National Cemetery to get a better appreciation for those who gave their lives for your freedom!

After learning a bit of our history, and learning a bit about our Founding Fathers, go out and see America!

1)  Read about Pierre L'Enfant, then go and see the Statue of Liberty!  Go to the 9/11 memorial so that you may never forget that it can happen again!  Go to a Broadway play and have a slice of New York cheesecake for me!

2)  Go to upstate New York and attend that famous apple festival.  Taste the apple pies and cobbler and wash it down with hot apple cider!

3)  Go to Richmond, Virginia and tour the Confederate Medical Museum just on the James River.

4) While still in Virginia, travel down skyline drive in the Shenandoah Valley.

5) Travel south to Savannah, Georgia and admire the old historic homes in that beautiful city.

6) Go down to the Florida Keys, put on your raggedy jean shorts and a tank top and hit the bars and crab shacks, then tour Hemingway's home and see how "Papa" lived while writing some simple elegance of language.

7) Travel West to New Orleans and sip Hurricanes and chow down on Gumbo, with beignet chasers, washed down with chicory coffee.

8) Go to Santa Fe, New Mexico and soak up the culture of the Southwest by touring all of those marvelous art museums.  Go let the Nuns show you that "miracle staircase" in the chapel there.

9)  Travel further west and stop at Williams, Arizona and take the little train that will carry you north to the Grand Canyon.

10) Travel south to Sedona, Arizona and see if that "Sedona Red" really does throw off spiritual vibes that reinvigorate the soul.

11) Veer around the hell hole that is now Los Angeles and go north to Santa Barbara and enjoy the beauty of the coastal range.  Go further north and stop at Pismo Beach for the night.  Get up early the next morning, carry buckets and boiling pot and a container of butter and go out and dig for clams and steam them then and there and enjoy!

12) Travel east and motor quickly through the San Joaquin valley that has now become a pig sty and climb the hills up to Yosemite National Park.  Stand beside majestic redwoods that were here when Christ walked the earth.

13) Travel north to Washington state, stop and have a coffee at the original Starbucks, then north again to Mt Vernon, Washington.  Get out at road side produce stand and sample those delicious apples.  Then drive west across Rainbow Bridge to Widbey Island.  Stand on the south shore and watch the ferry bring the Boeing workers come home through a sunset sea.

14) Be happy!


PammieJean said...

Read this a couple of times to think about it. Definitely...be happy. Another important one to me is: don't be so angry all the time at the small stuff. Ease up a little and relinquish some control. Am only saying this because after living with one of my kids and her family for the last year and a half, I found out how controlling she is. And angry. Not sure about all the underlying issues but man oh man, does she rampage. No wonder their two 100 lb labs come downstairs to hide in the basement. One of them even gets under my computer desk. My daughter yells and belittles an awful lot and I cringe because it sounds so much like my dad and her dad. Not sure how this is going to affect my darling little granddaughter.

I like some of your travel destinations for them. Some places I've been to. Sedona, several times, Yosemite, Santa Fe. Although not on your list, I'd love to see Mount Rushmore and now that Im a little closer, I might do that next year. Would love to see the Statue of Liberty once more and actually get off the ferry onto the island.

A Modest Scribler said...

PammieJean, I'm so sad to hear of that living situation. It sounds like a bomb waiting to explode. Thanks for your comments.

PammieJean said...

While my little granddaughter is walking back and forth with my straw hat dragging on the floor behind her, I read this again and thought of a couple other places.

Grand Canyon: to actually hike down into it and stay at Phantom Ranch, then hike back out.

Hoover Dam: I know they don’t let you drive over it anymore but I wonder if you can walk across it, or if they give you a tour of the inside of it. It is monumental really and, something I didn’t know, one of the ‘wonders of the world’. So is the Grand Canyon now that I think of it.

p.s. Don't worry about me. I think I know why I'm here...I'm my little munchkin's quiet respite.

A Modest Scribler said...

Yes, PammieJean, you can still tour the dam.