“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde
Parkin’ It To Parkin’ It
My early years of childhood were spent overseas in central Africa as a missionary kid. It was the only home I ever knew when we returned to the U.S.A. The rest of my childhood was spent in central South Carolina, with periodic trips overseas. From my early teens, I knew I wanted to raise my future children overseas or in the country. My memories of rural life had such fond memories attached, I couldn’t imagine anything else for my family. Rural living encourages a quietness, and slower lifestyle, and forced family teamwork.
Many years later (we won’t be specific on the number!), I find myself deep in the country of South Carolina, raising and homeschooling three kiddos alongside my husband. It’s a dream for my homebody self (I could be a hermit in a heartbeat)! A Homesteader’s wonderland and kid paradise with swimming pool, fishing ponds, trampoline, gardens, and forts. More critters than we ever imagined, living off the land. We are certainly “parkin’ it” here in one spot. I love the security of home, the coziness of our own campfires, the predictability of it all. But I started wondering if I was a little too parked. While we do have extracurriculars, co-ops, etc, we usually head straight home. One of the downfalls of homesteading is the schedule of feeding animals, etc. My kiddos needed to venture out a bit more, and I needed an excuse to make myself leave my comfortableness – especially in the summers. After all – we are not called to be hermits – we are called to be community. We made some changes at home, and became purposeful in our “adventures”.
We started off slow… any road trip taken included a search of our now favorite Roadside America stops. We love searching for oddities now, and have a collection of memories (and pictures!).
Given that our youngest is now 7 (!!) and the perfect age to begin more travels, we began our South Carolina focused adventures. We visit federal, state and country parks along with any other nature oriented places we find (in addition to our odd fascination with Roadside America 🙂 ). Our current specific project is the SC Ultimate Outsider challenge. We plan to visit all 47 state sites over the next year or so. South Carolina is beautiful and rich in historical sites. It’s one of the only states that you can visit the mountains and the beach in the same day. And with all three kiddos studying U.S. history next year, it’s perfect timing!
After this year, given that we will have a 4th grader next year, and if they continue the Kid In Every Park program, we will get to as many federal lands / waters as possible. (And track them here). Parkin’ It! Exploring South Carolina, one spot at a time!