Dona Nobis Pacem 2013

PeaceMoon2013

I believe most of us aspire to be good people, to do good things, great things! And we aspire to live in a world of peace!

When the first representatives of the human race from the planet Earth landed on the moon, they made us proud. They did not arrive with a spirit of conquest. Instead, American astronaut Neil Armstrong humbly called this historic moment a “… small step for man…”. The heroic people of our space program displayed their true human spirit, a spirit of peace,  when they prepared the plaque that the crew of Apollo 11 left behind on the moon, perhaps for some future explorer to find. The inscription on the plaque reads:

“Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”

Princess Gail meets Gabby Franco!

What a great day this turned out to be! :D

Following her success on History Channel’s Top Shot for the past two seasons, not to mention other things like competing in the Olympics, Gabby Franco has been traveling all over the country giving shooting lessons. I was planning to surprise Gail with a trip to Miami, for a lesson with Gabby at her home range, when Gabby announced she would be teaching three classes in Warrenton, NC, about a three hour drive from our house. Gail jumped on it and became part of the small group that would comprise this special event.

We arrived at the Front Line Defense Range on a cool, sunny, beautiful morning!

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Gabby set the tone for a very productive day.

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Gail said she was an outstanding teacher, eager to share what she calls the “essentials” of precision shooting.

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She paid attention to every detail.

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She demonstrated the Gabby way of doing things, which is world class!

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She worked on proper form.

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Though I really like Gail’s form already! ;-)

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She kept very good/safe order on the range.

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She provided all manner of personal attention to shooters at various levels.

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And she not only critiqued everyone’s shots, but taught the group how to critique their own shots.

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Gail is already a pretty good shooter, but there was visible improvement under Gabby’s expert tutelage.

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And it made Gabby visibly happy to see everyone improve.

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The ladies had an awesome day shooting. I had an awesome day listening and taking pictures.

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While shooting, Gabby is an intense perfectionist, and she demands “effort” and performance from her students. But she was also very gracious and warm. When Gail first met her, there was a genuine smile and a hug. At the end of the day, you knew you had made a friend. What a special young lady! I was already a fan, and now much more so! It is so great when people exceed your already high expectations!

Thank you, Gabby, for a truly wonderful and memorable day!

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OBX – The Outer Banks, NC – Part 3

On the previous post I wrote about our little day trip south of Kill Devil Hills, along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, all the way down to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. This post is about our day trip on the following day, this time north all the way to Corolla and the Currituck Sound. On our way we passed the beautiful little town of Duck, NC. Duck is arguably the fanciest and prettiest residential part of all the Outer Banks.

A very special part of this day was a planned meet-up with a fellow blogger I have known for several years. We had known each other only through our mutual online community of bloggers, and this real life meeting proved to be a memorable treat! Katherine, writer of the Shoot Me Now blog, and her beautiful daughter Elizabeth, were our guides for this part of our explorations, as Corolla, NC is their long-time, beloved home away from home.

First they proudly showed us around the beautiful Whalehead Club and told us of its interesting history.

Whalehead Club in Currituck

This spectacular property includes the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education. It is also home to a great birding site on the NC Birding Trail, Currituck Heritage Park. Just up the road is yet another great birding site on the NC birding trail, the Currituck Banks National Estuarine Research Reserve. It would take years to really know these sites and all they have to offer, in the different seasons of the year. I feel like we just scratched the surface in our few short hours. I hope to someday return and spend much more time here. I can so see why Katherine and Elizabeth love this area!

Here is a brief glimpse of the estuary habitat.

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We saw this Belted Kingfisher eating a fish.

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Belted Kingfisher

We walked and talked along this boardwalk in the maritime forest,

Maritime Forest Boardwalk Trail

and on a primitive trail which lead us to another spot on the Currituck Sound.

Live Oak on primitive Forest Trail

Elizabeth, who is a remarkable and impressive young naturalist, spotted this Cottonmouth Snake! I’m glad we were at a safe distance and that it was moving away from us!

Cottonmouth Snake

All in all, we spent a glorious morning together, and I am so happy to have taken the “e” out of our eFriendship! Thank you very much, Katherine and Elizabeth, for this memorable day! :D

with Katherine and Elizabeth

 

Fostering an Attitude of Gratitude

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