Well, it was bound to happen.  I had a solo adventure on a Sunday.  Both boys had to work and I have missed getting out so I found a place and set off on my own.  I chose to head to the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge.  No reason really, it just sounded good and it was kind of close.  I highly recommend heading that way.  For me it took a little over an hour to get there but it was worth the drive.  I have not edited any of these pictures so the beauty you see is what I saw. (OK, I did edit one to get it straight.)

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I recommend visiting and I will be going back, that is for sure.  This wildlife refuge is home to everything from Bald Eagles and alligators to deer and woodpeckers.  It was very peaceful and beautiful.  There are also several hiking trails, which I did not try today because I am a little chicken.  I really don’t want to run up on a snake while I am hiking.  Therefore, I will go back when the weather is a little cooler and try the trails.  I am sure that each season has beautiful scenery that I am anxious to see.

The adventure was good, but it was a little lonely.  Spencer has entered the teenage stage where his girlfriend and her parents are way more cool than his mom and that makes me unbelievably sad.  I thought I would have more time, but time has a way of laughing at us when we think that we have it figured out.  I know that someday he will come back around to realizing that his family is really not so bad; until then I have to go on with a heavy heart as he misses the time I would love to spend with him.  I miss him.  It is just that simple.  I miss joking with him and just spending that time together.  I hope that I have done enough and shown him enough that he will remember how much I love him once his brain re-engages.  Teenagers can suck sometimes and that is a fact.

On the other hand, Sterling isn’t there yet, but he was working.  He is my adventure buddy and I missed his wit and our conversation today.  He makes any outing an adventure and each one is richer because he is there.  I love that boy to pieces.

What I learned today is that my friend Randy Brennan is right.  I will be a horrible empty nester.  I will miss my boys fiercely.  Adventures will still be taken, but they will take on a different role.  They will serve to remind me of the days when we all adventured together.  Today gave me time to think.  I thought about all manner of things and nothing at all.  For 3 hours I just was.  When I was photographing the beauty around me I was so entirely in the moment that I could almost feel it as it brushed by me.  Time almost stopped for me.  I saw beauty that was so exquisite and it made me realize that nothing is too hard to overcome.  There is nothing that can’t be fixed, there is nothing that is so bad that it is ever worth giving up.  These were things I knew already, but I had quiet time for them to be re-imprinted on my soul.  Yes, I will miss my children terribly, I already do and they are still here…but I will continue to live my life the best way I know how.  I will adventure and take pictures so that I can share them with my children and their children in the future.  I want to show them with the way I live the things that were whispered to me today.  I want them to adventure and perhaps feel the love that is threaded through each passing moment.  In fact, I wish everyone could feel that.

Sometimes alone is just where we are meant to be.  Sometimes alone is like a reset.  My time today was like that.  I will be glad to see the guys soon, but I also cherished today.  I know that Sterling and I will return to Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge and hike each trail soon, but today being there by myself was enough.  I encourage each one of you to find that place that you can go to recharge or reset or find your peace.


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