Monday, May 31, 2010

#31: A Cemetery

Floral Haven Cemetery, Broken Arrow, OK

It would have been easy to visit the cemetery located 1/2 mile from our house, but it seemed most appropriate to visit Floral Haven on Memorial Day. Those who have passed by the cemetery on this particular holiday have seen the most awe-inspiring sight. This was inscribed on a plaque from 2005:

"The tradition of the Avenue of Flags at Floral Haven began in 1972, when the family of a veteran brought in his casket flag and asked that it be flown over the cemetery on Memorial Day weekend. This year, more than 2200 flags will fly in honor of veterans who have died."

There were many plaques throughout the cemetery, but those which stood in the veteran's area were inspirational:
"...with malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle; and for his widow and his orphan - to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." - Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, 1865
When we left Floral Haven, a friend (Thanks, Deb!) drove us several miles down the road to a very different type of cemetery. Here, we found people who had died over 100 years ago. Many of the tombstones were worn smooth. Some stood guard over infants who had died without even being named. It was obvious that someone still watches over the land, but by the lack of flowers, we feared that many of these people have been forgotten.

There were a whole bunch of flags, like 2000 flags. They were all dedicated to someone. We visited our friend's friend and put an American flag on his grave. It felt kind of sad.

We went to the cemetery, and we saw lots of graves. The graves had flowers on them. There were these flags which had war people's names on them. There were these flowers on the wall where the coffins were. It made me feel sad because those people died.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

#1: A Lighthouse

The Lighthouse at East Wharf

You wouldn't think we could accomplish this one, living in land-locked Oklahoma, but you would be wrong. The Lighthouse at East Wharf is located on Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City. It was built in 1999 and is a working replica of the second-oldest light station in the United States. The original lighthouse is at Brandt Point, near Nantucket, MA, and has been standing since 1746. Our lighthouse is 36 feet tall, whereas the Brandt Point lighthouse is only 26 feet tall.

Brandt Point Lighthouse

Our family packed a picnic lunch and ate in a small patch of shade by the water's edge.

When we got to the lighthouse, the view from the lighthouse grounds of the lake was very pretty. When you actually got close to the lighthouse, it was really disgusting because their were thousands of bugs on the walls! Then we had a picnic, and while we were eating we saw a little turtle pop his head up out of the water and a helicopter flying really close to the ground. It was a fun experience. I enjoyed going to the lighthouse!

We went to the lighthouse, and we took some pictures. We ate some food. Before we ate some food, I went to the lake, and I touched moss. We got to see a big, furry dog. We got to see a turtle's head.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer has arrived!

"What is your family doing this summer?" If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that this spring, I might have enough to take my family to Disneyworld. Well, it felt like that anyway.

No, we're not taking a vacation. No money. No, we're not buying season passes to White Water and Frontier City. We did that last year. So, what do we do?

The answer to my question came from a book. Those who know me won't be surprised by that. I have been inspired by 101 Places You Gotta See Before You're 12! by Joanne O'Sullivan. Granted, I am way past age 12, but the idea sounded like fun nonetheless. Ms. O'Sullivan wrote, "Long ago, the early explorers set off on their journeys with nothing more than a spirit of adventure and the stars to guide them. Sometimes the only information they had about their destination was an ominous phrase written on the edge of a map: Here there be dragons."

Ms. O'Sullivan's list is the basis for our scavenger hunt. Instead of hunting things, we will be hunting places. She has compiled a list of 101 destinations for us to explore, and we won't need to leave our state to find most of them. We will learn to read maps, chart our route, plan our trips, explore new sights, and record our adventures with pictures and a journal.

So, please, enjoy the sights of Oklahoma through the eyes of my children as we set off on our summer adventure. Who knows? We may encounter dragons after all...