Posts Tagged ‘hannibal’

The starting point of discovering who you are, your gifts, your talents, your dreams is being comfortable with yourself. Spend time alone. Write a journal. Take long walks in the woods.” – Robin Sharma

The Mark Twain Lighthouse in Hannibal Missouri, which I wrote about climbing up to see in 2006, when I was traveling the country full time with my canine companion Maggie in a small RV. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The Mark Twain Lighthouse in Hannibal Missouri, which I wrote about climbing up to see in 2006, when I was traveling the country full-time with my canine companion Maggie in a small RV. — Photo by Pat Bean

A Half Century of Memories

            I began keeping journals when I was 25, when, like a bolt of lightning on a clear day, I discovered I wanted to be a writer. For the next 15 years, my journals were cheap spiral notebooks that never got completed. I might write for a week, and then the next entry wouldn’t happen for three months, and sometimes the journal got lost in the between times.

I say lost because I never threw one away, and I think I eventually found most of them. A few years ago, I recopied the scant early journaling pages into one volume.

Pages from my journal  written when I was in Hannibal, Missouri, and took a paddleboat cruise on the Mississippi River.

Pages from my journal, written when I was in Hannibal, Missouri, in 2006, and took a paddle boat cruise on the Mississippi River.

My first journals were written when I was a working mother of five with no help, and the journal contents were too often filled with my beating up on myself because I never completed a day’s to-do list. What amazed me in the rereading, however, were all the things I did accomplish, and never gave myself credit for doing. Today, I honestly don’t know how I did all I did back then.

Around the age of 40, I decided to buy decent journals – one of my favorite being a Gibson that has thick enough paper to write on both sides and a spiral binding for ease in writing. I also began journaling more regularly. As time passed, the journals filled more quickly, until the present when I complete about two a year with a record of my days and thoughts. My journals, even the early ones, are also packed with quotes that have meaning to me.

Until recently, I had never read most of my journals, a task that now finds its way on my daily to-do lists. Unlike many of my journal writing friends, who told me they wrote more when times were bad, I’ve discovered that most of my entries are about the good times. While that means there are big gaps, especially in my earlier journals, and makes for an incomplete recording of my life, I’m discovering a treasure trove of memories that are delightful to relive.

And the thoughts I did record are enough for me to see how I’ve changed over the years – from a goodie-two-shoes who beat up on herself to an imperfect human who makes mistakes and is not usually sorry for them – and into someone who actually likes herself.

And that’s enough for me.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: 10 Forgotten Books http://tinyurl.com/hs5qh7n This dang blog cost me money. As an avid reader of travel books, I had to have The Illustrated Journeys of Celia Fiennes, 1685-c.1712, which was on the list. But thankfully I found one for 97 cents (plus $3.99 shipping) instead of having to buy a new one for the listed price of $59.

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            “Every day is a good day to be alive, whether the sun’s shining or not,” – Marty Robbins

This barge was going down the Mississippi River at about the same time I was going over the river on the Mark Twain Bridge. --Photo by Pat Bean

This barge was going down the Mississippi River at about the same time I was going over the river on the Mark Twain Bridge. –Photo by Pat Bean

Adventures with Pepper: Day 18

            Finally, after three days of Mrs. Sky’s weeping, Mr. Sun made his bright warm appearance again.

It’s a rare occasion that I don’t make it to where I’m headed. But Springfield traffic and a traffic accident right in front of me convinced me that I would rather visit Lincoln’s Tomb as an armchair traveler. — Wikipedia photo

I got up early, leisurely drank my cream-laced coffee while posting my blog, took Pepper for a long walk, and then took to the road as happy as the robins dining on worms brought to the surface by the rain.

Soon I was crossing the Mississippi River over the Mark Twain Memorial Bridge. A huge barge was passing below, on the Missouri side of the river, I noted, passing a sign in the middle of the bridge that welcomed me to Illinois. The state border here goes through the middle of the Mighty Mississippi.

On the other side of the bridge, I came across a series of roadside signs like the old Burma Shave ones. Anybody else out there remember those?

This one was more indicative of today, and made me laugh. “I’m on hold/I wish I had/the gun I sold,” They said. Perhaps it made me laugh because I recently was on hold for an hour trying to find out why my Amazon account wouldn’t let me sign on to order a book.

But I’m sorry I didn’t get to rub Honest Abe’s nose for luck. Note how shiny it is. It’s been rubbed a lot. — Wikipedia photo

My plan for the day, meanwhile, was to stop in Springfield, Illinois, pat Lincoln’s nose for good luck, than check into the Double J Campground down the road in Chatham.  I didn’t realize just how big a city Springfield was. I got caught in an early afternoon traffic jam, and then a nasty accident took place right in front of me, blocking my way.

Police eventually came and cleared the road enough so I could travel on, but by that time I wanted to get out of Springfield and park my RV under a shady tree and take Pepper for a brisk walk. And so I did a U-turn and made that happen — at the Double J RV Campground  seven miles south of too-chaotic-for-me-big-city.

Book Report: I got up early to drive the Skyline Trail in Shenandoah National Park — Yes I know my blog is trailing behind me. I’ll do better tomorrow. I’m staying put for the day.

Bean’s Pat: Sunday Morning http://tinyurl.com/8qmm77p A rabbit, cat and beetle are what make this morning special. What I love best is the ordinariness of it.

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 “And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” Gilbert K. Chesterton

Adventures with Pepper: Days 15-17  

On my earlier trip to Hannibal — when it was sunny — I climbed the 253 steps to the top of Cardiff Hill. At the foot of the hill is a statue of Tom and Huck. — Photo by Pat Bean

 I stayed over this day at the Mark Twain Landing campground, taking advantage of the scenic park to catch up on my writing. My plan was to get back on the road the next day. But a thundering rain storm, which began during the night and continued into the day, pushed that plan out the window.  While my RV, Gypsy Lee, takes steep hills and winding curves with ease, she doesn’t do slick well. Frustrated that my well-thought-out day of travel had gone awry, I spent most of the day playing computer games. I hate it when I do that.  It was still overcast the next morning but I took off anyway, stopping at the large Wal-Mart in Hannibal, about 20 miles east of the Landing campground, to stock up my depleted pantry. When I came out from my shopping, it was raining again, steadily and hard with no indication it would be stopping anytime soon.

At the top of the hill was the Mark Twain Lighthouse, which was built in 1935 to commemorate what would have been the witty author’s 100th birthday. It was never a working lighthouse. — Photo by Pat Bean

Time, I decided, to put Plan B into action.

I had passed through Hannibal, coming from another direction and headed another direction, in 2006. I had stayed that time at the Injun Joe Campground just outside of Hannibal on Highway 61. I back-tracked there now and settled in for the rest of the day.

This time I actually did get a little writing done, and a lot of reading, too.

Book Report: “Travels with Maggie” now at 54,915 words. Long drives and other projects keep the book moving at a snail’s pace. But I’m happy as long as there’s at least a little progress.

Bean’s Pat: Fly like an eagle http://tinyurl.com/8fauggm or soar like a red-tailed hawk.  The soaring red-tail, with sun highlighting its naming feature, is a common sight in my travels. It’s one that always makes my heart soar right up there with it. But I’ve never been able to photograph the flight. I’m so glad this blogger captured the awesomeness.


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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.— Mark Twain

Tom and Huck’s Cardiff Hill

Mark Twain put Hannibal on the map, and the city is now using the places where Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn played and roamed to entice people to the tourist town. You can take a ride on a paddle boat, tour the dark corners of the cave Tom and Becky got lost in, visit his home and walk up 253 steps to get to the top of Cardiff Hill. I did them all, simply because. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I climbed the steps and then discovered the road that most others took to the top. I think I would have taken those steps even if I knew the road existed, however. That’s just who I am.

Bean’s Pat: Camping With a Canine in Cornwall http://tinyurl.com/726he22 This reminded me of many of my own adventuress when I was a tent camper. .


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