• Beth Hildebrand

What I Learned In June and July

I skipped What I Learned last month because our family was driving around the country.  But it’s the end of July already and I’ve picked out just a few of the many things I learned the past two months.  Reading brochures, listening to national park rangers lectures, and putting ourselves in a different terrain and even culture, expanded my knowledge, but these are the main ones you might find interesting too.

#1  What I just learned is that when using WordPress SAVE YOUR WORK OFTEN or close it if you won’t be working on it for a few hours.  I had this post almost completely finished and WP logged me off because my time had expired, and since I hadn’t saved my work I LOST IT!  UGH!  So, here’s take two…

#2  The song Cruel Summer by Bananarama was in the movie Karate Kid.  I guess I’ve never matched the two and two together.  It was the year 1983 – 32 years ago!  We heard that song as we were racking up the miles on the highway and my husband, who I think knows the singer/band of every 80s songs, said that song was in Karate Kid.  One of the many reasons I love my husband.


#3  There’s A LOT of things made from corn.  We stopped in Mitchell, WY at the Corn Palace originally built in the late 1800’s. It isn’t anything like we expected.  We thought it would be a “little palace” but it ended up being an arena with the walls inside and out covered with murals made from a medium of different hues of corn.  We learned that corn is not only something to eat, but is also used to make toilet paper, trash bags, tires, and tooth paste or deodorant, detergent and donuts.  And that’s just to name a few!


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#4  What a pronghorn looks like.  We saw many of those animals grazing on the endless fields of nothing in Wyoming.  We were trying to figure out what they were.  They looked like a mix between a deer or antelope, with it’s size and color and a rabbit with a white rump.  They’re only found in northwest.  I don’t remember learning about them in elementary school.


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#5  These tall sticks we saw in Colorado are used so snow plows know where the road is.  They get so much snow, so fast, it’s hard for them to find the road and especially on the winding road going up and down the mountains.  Here in NC, we don’t experience snow like that.  And I’m OK with that.


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#6  When a family is in tight quarters and together for 3 weeks 24/7, there’s hardly any bickering or frustration.  By all means, I’m not saying we do that a lot when we’re not on vacation, but hey, let’s face it.  Bickering and frustration happens sometimes, doesn’t it?  Before we left for our trip, when we were telling others about it, we heard this reply a few times. “By the time you get back you’ll either love each other more or not speak to each other the rest of the summer!”  It was a joke of course but seriously.  That’s A LOT of family time and not any time to ourselves except in bathroom stalls.  We seriously had a good time and enjoyed each other’s company.  There were a couple of times there was some miscommunication but what family doesn’t experience that?

We kind of fell into a routine.  In the morning we’d wake up, be excited to start a new day in a new place, talk about what we were going to do that day and have a devotion.  Then it would be journal time.  Yep.  Most days I encouraged made our kids write about what they saw, liked, experienced the day before on their adventure. Then, we’d have our “me” time watching a movie, reading a book, or work on a teen/adult version connect the dots or color by letter book.  Then we’d be at our spot for the day and enjoy hiking, touring, or whatever our main plans were for the day.  Of course when we were camping at the national parks and visiting relatives, it was a little different but overall it was one of them most special times for our family.  We still love each other.  A lot.


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#8  How small you feel in God’s mighty design of canyons and mountains.  I felt like one of the small stones in the canyon river when I looked up to the tops of mountains.  They’re God’s creative masterpieces made from His artistic hand. The sun casts light in the crevices and groves of His ancient sculptures that take your breath away.  Descriptions fail.  I don’t mind feeling small though.  It’s like being on your knees at the feet of almighty God.


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#9  Be Clothing Co.  Y’all these shirts are so right.  They’re so comfortable and soft and even more, they’re made with purpose and prayer.  I’m so excited for my cousin-in-law who has started this new business, Be Clothing Co. with her friend.  What’s the purpose you ask?  To point people to Jesus and live as He tells us to “be a light” in this dark world.  You can find a cross in the letter “B” as a reminder of Christ’s sacrifice for us to have eternal life, and you can also see the # 3 in the “B” to show He is 3-in-1, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  You’ll want to buy one for you and your friends!  They’re about to release some new shirts soon.  I’m excited for them as they begin this new adventure!


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#10  A new respect for those 18 wheeler truck drivers sitting for many hours a day behind the wheels. Day after day. Man, that’s a lot of time on the road.  We spend many hours bopping along in our minivan, and 14 hours being the longest day on the road for our trip.  Fourteen hours through New Mexico and part of Texas.  If you’ve driven through there, you know there’s not too much change in scenery.  That day though, dazing out the window, we drive by an 18 wheeler.  People drive hours upon hours on roads like this every day?  I began to think how much I take for granted when it comes to the things I feel blessed to buy.  All the items I took off the shelf and put in my cart at Target got to that store in one of those trucks – driven by a truck driver. The food I purchase to feed our family more than likely came courtesy of a truck driver, along with the plates the food was placed on, and the chairs we sit on as we enjoy it.  So thank you truck drivers for the many hours you spend on the road so I can enjoy life.  I hope you have a lot of music to listen to, your favorite restaurant on your route to get a meal, and some good conversations with the other truck drivers…and most importantly, God.

#11 What it feels like to be at the Duck Commander headquarters.  That’s right Duck Dynasty fans!  It felt fun!  We got to be right where the TV show is filmed.  We were hoping to see at least one of the Robinson’s, but we saw signs that they were going to be there the next day for July 3rd celebrations. We were just one day early!  But it was fun and being there for an hour made us happy, happy, happy.


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Those are just a few of the things I learned this summer so far.  What about you?  Feel free to make a comment and share something you’ve learned this summer!

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