Outdoors for the Summer

After supper tonight I took a  short ride to the beach to watch the sunset.   It was absolutely beautiful.  I was on the road to East Chop Lighthouse and decided to stop at the little beach.  As I sat there watching the sun sink  toward the horizon I could smell lilacs.   I was in heaven.  I started thinking about when I was a child, about 10 years old, looking forward to summer vacation and the endless possibilities that it held for me.

East Chop

When I was 10 I lived in Cumberland RI, a small town without a Main Street and full of cow pastures.  I looked forward to summer like every child does.  I looked forward to getting up in the morning, having breakfast and then going outside to face the day.  I spent the whole day outdoors.  My best friend, Nancy, and I loved to explore.  We loved walking through  cow fields, walking through the  woods and just having a great day. 

Sometimes we played with our Barbie dolls on a blanket on  the side lawn of Nancy’s house.   We truly enjoyed our summer vacation.  We hated rainy days being stuck indoors,  though we managed to have a good time playing board games like Monopoly.

Finally I grew up and had children of my own who also spent the majority of their time outdoors.  They would wake up, go outdoors, come home for lunch, go back outside, come home for supper and go outside again until they saw the setting sun and realized they had to come home.

What bothers me is knowing that so many children nowadays come home from school and sit in front of the TV and either watch mindless television shows or play video games.  These kids are missing so much.   I realize that many kids live in  cities where there are no cow pastures.  I am  talking about the kids who could be outdoors but don’t bother. 

How can our children, the future caretakers of Earth,  learn how to value our planet if they never spend time outdoors discovering the  beauty that is available to every one of us?

Please let your children play outdoors if it is possible.  Teach them about nature.  


Happy Mother’s Day to Sarah from Lilah and Noni

A Book, A Rich Girl and a Lottery Ticket!

The Girl From the Ghetto is having a book giveaway contest.   She is one of my blogging buddies whom I adore.   She writes great blogs about the TV show LOST and many, many other topics including reviews of books, TV personalities, and her own personal memories of her life as she grew up to become  the wonderful writer she is now.   This week she is giving away a copy of the book  “Dead End Gene Pool”  by Wendy BurdenI am personally interested in  this book because Wendy and I share the same last name.  She is  the great, great, great, great granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt.   Evidently she was a poor little rich girl brought up by a group of people that seem to be on the crazy side. 

My mother was somewhat wacky too.  Just ask my sister.  We  have many stories of our mother and her wackiness.   I haven’t read Wendy’s book yet but it sounds like my kind of book. 

I recently found out that I am the great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great-granddaughter of Roger Williams, the founder of the state of Rhode Island.  Yes, there 8 greats and I can actually prove this to my surprise.  OK, so it’s not as good as being related to a Vanderbilt.  I guess there isn’t a book deal forthcoming.  Oh well, maybe I’ll find out that Wendy is related to me. Though Burden is  my married name so she would actually be related to the wasband.   Good Lord, if the wasband reads this he will be out searching to see if he is a long lost Vanderbilt.

Back to Roger Williams.  If you go to the website for Roger and  scroll down to # 581 you will see this:  ”  Lillis Colwell was born 1738; she married Elijah Hawkins”   My maiden name is Hawkins.  Elijah is my great, great, great, great-grandfather. Now if you read the caption to the above photo very carefully you are going to realize that I own Rhode Island.   Right?  The Indians gave Rhode to Grampa Roger so being his 8 greats granddaughter I feel it must be mine now. 

I was born in Woonsocket,  Rhode Island in 1949.  Too bad it is the smallest state in the union. 

I was just reading about Grandpa Roger and some of his ideas.  Here is an example:

What were Roger Williams’ dangerous ideas?
First, he declared that King Charles had no authority over Native Americans’ land. Second, he said that non religion should be professed by coercion. Third, that Massachusetts Colonists should separate and deny the Church of England. Ultimately, he stated that civil authority is limited and cannot control the human soul.
After reading these “dangerous” ideas it is palpable that Roger Williams’ ideas were inclined to freedom of conscience by stating that men should have the option to choose if a religious life was the path they wanted to follow. Moreover, he strongly believed that theocracy and civil government could not fully rule a person and his soul. His thoughts about the sovereignty of American Indians over their land were also a very modern concept of geopolitics and diplomacy that could not be understood in those days

I am really liking Grandpappy Roger more and more.    Here is another picture of him.  Can you see the resemblance?  We have the same eyes.

I suppose I could go out and buy the book “Dead End Gene Pool”  but it is much more fun to win it in a contest.  The only thing I ever won in a contest was a Christmas plant.  The wasband recently informed me that I am never going to win the lottery because I don’t buy lottery tickets.   That sucks.

I bet from the title of this blog you thought I was now a rich girl who wrote a book and won the lottery.   Ha! Ha!  no such luck but I do own Rhode Island so things are looking good.

I hope this post was cohesive.  My mind is giddy over all this news.  ( I also can’t wait to see the comments on this post from people who believe that I really do own RI.)