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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Finally a DIY That Was Really DIY!

My attempts at crafts are typically dismal failures.  Don't gasp, but I don't even have a Pinterest account.  Yet, I make regular trips to Michael's dreaming of being a dynamo at DIY (Do It Yourself) projects.  Clearly I did not learn as much as I should have learned from my mother.  She is a genius when it comes to DIY.  She can fix anything.  She even made my prom dress, which was beautiful.  Hope my prom date forgives me for including this pic.
All of my mother's siblings have supernatural powers to craft and build too.  Though I didn't get these abilities passed down the line, I did get the love of National Parks.  Two of my aunts used to take me along with their families when they took vacations over the summer.  I make an annual trip with another Uncle and Aunt to a new park too.  It was easy to get hooked on these trips because my aunties made them so magical and I still get a National Park glow whenever I step foot in a new one.  I am a collector.

My aunts wrote songs for us all to sing along the way.  "Ten-ten-ten-tenting in Ten-ten-Tennessee.  Oh there'll be lots of fun, for you and meeee."  They kept a log of our adventures and read them back by campfire.  They taught me camping skills that I now have taught my family.  One of these aunts had a jacket that displayed patches from all of the places she'd visited.  I always admired it, now I have my own!  I actually sewed those patches on myself!!!  Granted my fingers now look and feel like pin cushions, but it's done and I love it.

My collection of patches started when we visited Volcanoes National Park while living in Hawaii.  For each park that we visit, we must do atleast one hike for the visit to count.  I am a very fortunate person to have collected as many as I have.  The jacket is now grabbing attention in the neighborhood.  People ask, "what's with all the patches?"  I wasn't really expecting it to be a conversation starter, but so be it.  Sometimes I think I am mistaken for a Boy Scout too, so I don't think it's going to be a fashion trend.  Which suits me just fine.

As the "active" season approaches, I am excited to wear my new DIY project during some upcoming camping and hiking trips.  The first is to visit my family in Upstate New York.  This trip is a state park that I grew up visiting.  The second is a re-do at Gettysburg.  This trip is our "annual" trip with my aunt and uncle with the caveat that we had to bring the muchkins.  Usually this is my husband's and my couples vacation.  We don't like leaving the kids out, but we do love our "just the two of us" time.  The hikes that we typically tackle are not in the kids' wheel house anyway.  The third trip is to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.  I can't wait to pick up my new patch.  Plus, we are hoping that my oldest friend in the world is going to meet us there with his family!  I am simply giddy with anticipation.

It is with gratitude that I write about my DIY project.  Without the love of my family, there is too much National Park fun I would have missed.  I'll wear my patch jacket with pride and remember the fun we all had.  It will be my shroud of nostalgia while lovingly holding my marshmallow stick. 

Happy camping and hiking season to you all!!

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