Thursday, August 2, 2012

Gotta find the Cache!

Do you know that you have been within a few feet of a Geocache at least two times in the last year?  Six times within the past three years?  We were too, and never knew it!  What is a Geocache you ask?  It is a really fun, affordable hobby.  Thanks to Becky and Stuart Settle for introducing our family to the Geocache "bug!"
Our first cache find
"Honoring Granny cache"

Ryan found this one!
Geocaching is a fun way to explore places in your city or town that you never knew were there.  Discover history of the area and can explore nature and do some fun hiking.

We carry our Geocaching bag that holds bug spray, a pen for signing the cache logs that are inside each of the caches.  We carry little trinkets for trading (when needed), our journal, a camera, snacks and water.  We turn  on our smartphone GPS, map out our coordinates, check our clues and head out.

We looked for this one for 20 minutes!  Grrr!!  :)

Can you see this one?  It is hiding on the phone pole.

It is like a worldwide scavenger hunt.  So fun!!  If you travel to different areas of the country or world, there are little "travel bugs" that you can deposit in other areas.  The person that starts the travel bug has a destination in mind where they would like the travel bug to travel.  Sometimes they deposit the travel bug on their travels in hopes that it will make it "home."  It is so neat!  We have recently picked up a travel bug who is headed for the Netherlands.  We are going to Myrtle Beach soon and are planning on depositing it there, in hopes that someone will pick it up and send it on its way.  

Fun one in the park

Ryan found this one in a cemetery in Elkton

Once you have found your cache or caches for the day, you document them on the Geocaching website.  You claim that you found that one.  Once we have been caching for a while, we are planning on hiding our own cache.  We are attempting to figure out a place that has meaning and symbolism to us and a good way to hide it and have fun seeing people find it.  "First find" always gets a special prize :).  You gotta try it!
Caching and hiking around Lake Shenandoah

Mike signing the journal on Lydia's back

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Great Families!!

I am so proud of my family for making the effort to come together for a reunion every two years since 2005.  It is not only really fun, but very important for us to do this!!  Leftwich Family Reunions were a regular part of life for my Grandparent’s and Dad’s generations.  This lead into my early childhood years, but as my Granddaddy’s generation began to pass away, reunions began to slow and eventually stop.  

My second cousin, Johnny, and I “friended” each other on Facebook.  “Talking” to him on there, I began to realize that I am related to this person and I don’t even know him.  We talked about getting our immediate families together sometime soon so I could meet his children and he meet mine.  This all lead to planning a reunion like the ones Johnny and I remembered from years ago.  This began the new generation reunions.  

This past weekend we had our 4th new generation Leftwich family reunion.  We all went to a large picnic area at The Peaks of Otter, near Bedford Virginia.  Our reunion was coupled with an awesome corn hole tournament, complete with trophies and everything!  46 relatives, from 3 generations, came together for the festivities. 

We could not have ordered a better day.  The gorgeous day made my “planning” look good even though I never had a plan B—for bad weather.  The day included tons of yummy, yummy food for our reunion lunch, a very well organized cornhole tournament, complete with trophies for the winning team!  Congratulations to my brother, Paul and my 1st cousin, once removed (that is for you Martha and Linda), Brittany!!  My cousin, Shawn, presented the trophies since he was the genius who thought to bring trophies for the winners.  The day also created a wonderful opportunity for visiting.  Everything was topped off with a baby shower for my cousin-in-law, Charity.  

The event would not have been complete without our receiving a noise complaint around 9:00 pm (at the lodge where everyone was spending the night).  Those Leftwich’s—we are a loud group!! J  We so missed Bradley, Christine and Mike!!  Hope they can make it in 2014!  

I know our family members who have gone on before us were watching over our family and celebrating together in heaven.  I hope they are proud of our staying true to our family!!