Thursday, June 26, 2008
The new site has an exciting magazine-style theme that will be easier for me to include additional resources and featured content about 'learning what it means to be a good Dad.'
If you have a link to Discovering Dad on your blogroll or resource page, please change the URL to: http://discoveringdad.net/
Existing subscribers will continue to receive updates, as long as you receive them from Feedburner. If you're new to the site or receive updates from the old direct feed, please Subscribe to My Feed here or enter your e-mail address in the Subscribe box.
No need to bring a housewarming gift - just come on over and check things out! See you soon!
I grew up in a small community nestled in the heart of the Appalachian mountains. It was a farming and coal mining town, but tourism has become the biggest industry there now. There is a large, beautiful lake, several rivers with gorgeous waterfalls, state parks with an abundance of wildlife and lots of outdoor activities for people of all ages.
Most of my family has lived in this town for generations. Where I live now is about three hours away; I try to visit a few times each year to stay connected to my roots. My daughter loves to go and spend time with her cousins every summer. She went for three days this week, and I drove out to bring her home today.
About halfway there, I crossed the Eastern Continental Divide, which is where the water drains away from the Chesapeake Bay watershed and toward the tributaries that feed the mighty Mississippi river.
As soon as I crossed the divide, high up in the mountains, I was struck by a wonderful aroma of laurel and wildflowers. It immediately brought back vivid memories of walking through the woods with my cousins when I was a child. I smiled as I thought about our many adventures.
Over the next hour or so, I was engulfed in thoughts of my youth and reminded of different experiences with every familiar view. I remembered how much I enjoyed the outdoors - hunting, fishing, trapping, building forts and exploring the wilderness. The world was a big place, even though I lived in a small town.
As I drove past the lake, I remembered the first big fish I caught. It was a monster Northern Pike, and I was with my dad, cousin and uncle. At first we thought I got snagged on the bottom (we were trolling), but then the line started running and I knew I had a fish on. Twenty minutes later, I pulled in a pike more than half the length of my body. I was brimming with pride for the next few days.
When I turned on the back road leading to town, I remembered riding snowmobiles with my parents and their friends during the wintertime. The winters were long in the mountains, but it provided opportunities to do different things outside throughout the year. My parents knew a bunch of farmers who would let them ride through hundreds of acres of fields and woods. Even though it was a sunny, summer day today, I could still see us riding in those white, powdery fields beside the road.
The drive into town was both nostalgic and depressing. Many of the places I remembered were changed or gone. Somewhere over the past thirty years, people discovered the charm of this quaint little town and decided to cut down the trees, build a bunch of vacation homes and add a Wal-Mart.
I always like to take a quick drive by the old house to see how tall the pine trees my dad and I planted have grown. It's amazing - these little seedlings planted along the property line now stand tall, overshadowing the entire house. It felt symbolic of how I've grown.
I pulled into my aunt and uncle's house and slowly meandered down the mile-long driveway. I saw a doe dart through the trees, alarmed at the sound of gravel crackling. When I got to the house, I opened the car door, took a deep breath and smiled. I could hear the sounds of the river in the back yard, and the kids voices were carried on a breeze through the leaves. They were fishing, just like we used to do when I was a kid. It made me feel good to knowing that Chani would be happy, even if she didn't have an iPod, PSP, cell phone or computer.
I really enjoyed driving out to my hometown today. I was refreshed by all of the great memories that came rushing back with every smell, sight and sound. It was nice to go home.
What kinds of things make you think of home? Are there certain things that bring back memories of childhood?
Leave a comment. I'd love to hear what kinds of things stir up feelings of nostalgia in you.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Celebrate Dads - Father's Day Contest here at Discovering Dad. I received over 60 entries between posts written and new subscribers to the site, and I really appreciate each one of you taking the time to participate.
Five winners each win a full set of all 11 books shown below specifically selected for dads, courtesy of Hachette Book Group USA.
Here are the randomly selected winners:
Judy Haley from Coffee Jitters who wrote 5 Things I Learned from My Dad
Daniel De Guia from Deguia.net who wrote 10 Important Lessons My Dad Taught Me
Jason Roth from iVegasFamily who wrote On Fatherhood
Chris from Dad of Divas who wrote Pre-Father's Day Thoughts
and, new subscriber Viv from Cool Moms Rule!
In addition to the prize from Hachette Books, I have also given a Thumbs Up from Stumble Upon for each of the blogs selected to give each some well-deserved exposure!
Thanks again for participating everyone, and please stay tuned for an exciting announcement coming this week about Discovering Dad!
Celebrate Dads - Father's Day Contest
Father's Day Contest - Celebrate Dads (original announcement)
Sign up for NeverBlue Ads to monetize your blog or website.