Monday, November 10, 2014

Geocaches as Memory Tools

Many a moon ago, I married my high school sweetheart and moved away.  We were a military family, and our first duty station was in Jacksonville, NC.  I loved the area, and I loved my new job…. for the most part.  I was hired into an art gallery to work in the framing division which consisted of 50% military wives and 50% locals. 

We got along well… for the most part.  As long as Mae was having a good day.  Mae was a local and could be quite cantankerous.  My most vivid memory of her was her proud declaration that she’s never been outside her birth county.  What?  Never outside Onslow County?  Furthermore, she hadn’t been to most places IN Onslow County!  Never a need. Never a desire.  She wouldn’t even visit her kids as they had moved “away”.  Even two decades later I still can’t fathom that. I’m sure you can imagine the contempt she spewed when the military wives would tell of our travels after a particularly glorious weekend. Mindblowing… we lived along the Crystal Coast and not far from the Outer Banks.  So much beauty…. Wasted on her.

I love being a tourist, even in my own hometown.  For each of our birthdays, my sister and I take the day off and explore.  Downtown Detroit.  Hamtramck. Frankenmuth.  Ann Arbor.  We’ve taken trips to DC, Chicago, and Missouri. On weekends my family takes tours and day trips and field trips, too. And thanks to geocaching, my Sweetie and I have explored most every nook and cranny of Southeastern Michigan plus Grand Traverse Bay (while also dipping our toes in Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania). As this blog attests, we appreciate all the history and artistry and beauty around us.

As the November wind has swept into Michigan, this past weekend’s adventures were closer to home.  On Saturday members of Team Free Range Lobsters headed to Wolcott Mill (Huron MetroPark) to grab another cache in the MGA14 series. 
TaGeez, WikidKriket and SnakeyLicks at Wolcott Mill

And on Sunday, we made it over to the Eleanor and Edsel Ford house along Lakeshore Drive in Grosse Pointe Shores.  
TaGeez, WikidKriket and SnakeyLicks at the Ford House

So, what do I mean about “geocaches as memory tools”? Simple.  We made a point of saving our cache-a-days to grab nearby caches, ones that were significant to the locale.  After grabbing the MGA14 cache, we visited the nearby farm to pet the animals (and grabbed the Victory Gardens cache so we can upload our farm pics to the log).  Upon completing the Ford House tour, we moseyed across the street to the Ford Forest cache.  Now, every time we see those smilies on our map or come across those logs, we will remember the wonderful adventures we had nearby.  

I really wish I had known about geocaching when I first returned to Michigan.  All those adventures!  Can you imagine the scope of all those smilies?!?

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