Northeast North Carolina Family History – the great outdoors…

I was going to write about something totally different until I saw a rerun of a PBS program, “Explore North Carolina.” This particular episode made the point that children know a multitude of symbols in our digital age that stand for commercial entities that abound on the internet, but few could identify leaves from two different trees! Although my husband and I grew up thousands of miles apart, we both had woods to explore behind our homes.

As I reflected on the environment our sons grew up in, I realized that a cul-de-sac in a subdivision was rather lacking in our “forest” experience. We had a big backyard with the occasional snake and snapping turtle wandering through and we fortunately spent a good amount of time in it, but after watching the TV program, I did feel some regret.

Both my husband and I had the similar experience of gathering assorted friends and relatives and disappearing for hours into the trees that towered above the communities we lived in. Shoot – every now and then in the Rockies we would get a report of grizzlies attacking hikers – we could just as easily NOT have come home some days, but off we’d go on unending adventures.

That reminds me of my mother’s adventures on the farm she grew up on. She spoke of often wandering off with some of her siblings for the better part of a day and stating that it would have been easy for some tragedy or other to happen to them as they wandered over the prairies – which thankfully didn’t.

Some of my husband’s outdoor adventures have become favorite family stories. Once when they were about 10 and 8, my husband and his cousin got into their grandfather’s skiff and poled their way out into the Currituck Sound. They got out beyond the protection of a cove and the wind and waves began to push them toward Corolla at which point it occurred to them they were in trouble. After a suitable period of yelling and waving a white shirt one of them was wearing, a fisherman noticed their dilemma, motored out and pulled them back to shore.

Another time, he and the aforementioned cousin tromped far enough into the woods to realize they could not find their way out. Telling his cousin to stay put, my husband would yell and have his cousin yell back. As he got further away, the response became fainter which he thought indicated he was getting closer to the road. After a longer period of time he yelled again, only to find that he had circled around and his cousin’s response was once again nearby.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous column, I’m not a big fan of camping. Winter sports like skating and downhill skiing are not on my favorite list as I get seriously cold and miserable. Now, give me snowshoes or cross country skis and I can have some fun. My high school used to give students a winter afternoon once a week to try various sports or winter activities along with our teachers which was a lot of fun. And I must admit to enjoying hiking the mountain trails with family and friends.

When I asked my husband what his favorite outdoor memories were from his childhood he quickly responded with jumping off Penn’s wharf into a swimming hole in the Currituck Sound, and tromping through the woods – I’ll assume that was when he wasn’t getting lost! His more recent outdoor memories include our sons with whom he camped for many years. Perhaps the activity that topped them all, was canoeing 60 miles down the James River for five days during a Scout summer camp with our oldest son.

Have you shared your family outdoor adventures with your children? Better yet, in light of the PBS program I watched, have you created some? If not, have you made plans to do so with your children or grandchildren or future children or grandchildren? We are fortunate to live in an area that even in winter has glorious days, beautiful beaches and nearby state parks. Plan to make memories and perhaps we can all learn a little more about our great outdoors – identify a tree or two and how to tell their leaves apart!
Northeast North Carolina Family History – the great outdoors… Northeast North Carolina Family History – the great outdoors… Reviewed by kensunm on 7:00:00 PM Rating: 5

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