Thursday, July 31, 2014

#656 Home to Missouri (and Virginia)

"One thing is certain. No one is moving from Charlottesville any time soon."

That's according to the Guardian in their article Happiness is a place called Charlottesville, Virginia.

Charlottesville is magic and our 7-year residency was definitely filled with happiness.  And now, despite the Guardian's prediction, we've moved to Missouri which, for us, is the western half of Virginia.  Or Virginia is the eastern half of Missouri.  There are so many connections.

I'm a native Virginian who grew up and attended Green Acres elementary school in Fairfax.  This is what I looked like then.
My family moved to Missouri where I attended high school and college.  So I find much happiness in both states and call both states home.

Now when Kelly and I cross the rivers Ohio and Mississippi at the meeting of the two in Cairo, IL, we find ourselves in the Show-Me State ready for more happiness.

The first discovered happiness is the magnificent Big Spring, a Missouri state park and one of the largest natural springs in the world.  According to the NPS National Scenic Riverways site:  "There are three contenders for America's biggest spring including Big Spring, Idaho's Snake River Spring Complex and Florida's Silver Spring. Since the flow from springs varies with local rainfall, any of these three might be biggest on any given day depending on the weather in Missouri, Idaho and Florida! The truth is they are all about the same size."

As a Missourian, loyalty dictates that I declare Big Spring to be America's biggest spring.  And I can say without bias (and without having seen the other two) that Big Spring is the most beautiful of them all.
Our four-day, 1150-mile road trip via US Route 60 has taken us door-to-door from home to home.  We are grateful to Mr. Jefferson for his founding of the University of Virginia.  And we are grateful for his 1803 purchase of the Louisiana Territory including Missouri.  It was a good buy and folks in the Show-Me-State felt a kinship with the Virginian ever since.  Jefferson’s original headstone can be found on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. And in honor of Mr. Jefferson, Missouri's capital city was named "City of Jefferson." 
Yours in being home,

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