Texas, our Texas

“I must say as to what I have seen of Texas it is the garden spot of the world. The best land and the best prospects for health I ever saw, and I do believe it is a fortune to any man to come here. There is a world of country here to settle.” – Davy Crockett, Alamo defender, 1836.

I am quite passionate about Texas, if you didn’t already know that (Nothing makes me more giddy than a field of Bluebonnets). I am here today to let you know about THE most major and important holiday that is quickly approaching.

TEXAS INDEPENDENCE DAY – March 2 – Only the most Important holiday in texas

Texas Independence Day is the celebration of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. It is an official holiday in Texas (duh, but why don’t we get out of school yet?). This was the day that 59 Texas settlers signed the document to break free from the clutches of Mexico. The eventual result? A land flowing with milk and honey where all good and perfect things reside.

I have celebrated this holiday ever since I was just a wee-little girl Texas just learning about Tex-mex food and the Texas Longhorns. I owe this knowledge and passion to my dad (aka. Texas Historian).

My call to action for this blog post is to go visit Frontier Texas! (Frontiertexas.com) in glorious, downtown Abilene, Texas. What an incredible museum that gives such rich details about Texas History, specifically the Big Country area. My dad and I literally spent 2.5 hours in the museum and didn’t even get to finish because they closed.

“Located in historic downtown Abilene, Frontier Texas is a western heritage center that brings the Old West to life with the help of state-of-the-art technology. Frontier Texas also serves as the official visitor center for Abilene and the Texas Forts Trail Region.”

Honestly, if you didn’t already know about Texas Independence Day and its importance, then I am embarrassed for you and your non-Texan ways.

God Bless Texas, Y’all

Ashton Darrow

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What season is it anyway?

“Let my teaching fall like rain & my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.” Deuteronomy 32:2

I don’t know about you, but I hate it when people complain about the weather.  Here in Abilene, Texas, the weather literally changes from 80 degrees to 30 degrees overnight.  I actually LOVE the fact that the weather is never the same from day to day.  I find dull and empty with routine in general, and with constant weather changes I find joy never knowing what to expect. What we don’t realize is that we have humans have NO control over the weather, whatsoever. Crazy right? I look up into the sky and recognize God is the only one with power to change the weather and when he decides to send a freak snowstorm right after summer weather, we should praise him for his awesome power over his creation!

When we as people fail to loose sight to recognize God’s hand, in our lives how can we call ourselves his children? Weather is not “mother nature”, weather is GOD. “Mother nature” is just a term created by those who choose not to believe in God.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the humor in unpredictable West Texas weather:

This is not a joke

This is not a joke

Actually screenshot from my phone last year. Notice that literally all 4 seasons happened in one week (snow, rain, summer, fall)

Actually screenshot from my phone last year. Notice that literally all 4 seasons happened in one week (snow, rain, summer, fall)

no lie…

We have two choices in life when it comes to the weather: complain and whine, or just  adapt, laugh, and have a good attitude. So throw on an extra jacket, zip your lips, and think of how powerful our creator is.

“He made the earth by his power, he established the world by his wisdom, and stretched out the heavens by his discretion” Jeremiah 10:12-13

Ashton Darrow

(P.S. As I was finding appropriate bible verses on God and weather, I was not surprised at how many passages there were! What a great reminder at how involved God is with his creation)

Little Brothers

“But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak” Jeremiah 1:7

I love this verse because it emphasizes that young people have so much more impact on the people around them, with so much potential to serve the Lord than they realize.

So Braden, my youngest brother, is nearly exactly three years younger than me. We have always been close growing up and you could say that we had quite an exciting childhood. Braden was, and still is, the funniest of us three siblings. As I was going through a few boxes of old school papers my mom has kept over the years I noticed a paper Braden wrote, about me. The paper, ripped out of a notebook, was written in 2005 in the cutest little 8-year-old hand writing. I assumed it was part of a school assignment.

photo

The letter, 2005

It reads:

“Ashton. She has a dirty room, and is almost five feet [tall]. She likes cats. She has a lot of pictures of cats and horses. She has clothes all over her room. She has three pets and one is a fish. She plays softball and is very fast. She writes very fast. She is in 5th grade and knows more than I do. She draws funny pictures. She is way taller than I am, a foot taller than me, that’s tall. There’s one thing, she likes our rabbit. She has blond hair and does not have a boyfriend. She likes the [Texas] Longhorns. I do too.”

That was the cutest little letter I had ever written about myself and summed up my 11-year-old self pretty well! My youngest brother was so observant of who I was and what I was passionate about (although I must add that I do NOT have a dirty room anymore). I hope this little letter gave you as much of a chuckle as it gave me as I reminisced about my elementary years, and a greater appreciation of the precious family members you have around you! Younger brothers really are a blessing from God and can have more of an impact on your life than you will ever realize.

Ashton Darrow

SB2K15

BUT WHERE AM I SUPPOSED TO GO FOR SPRING BREAK?

With Spring Break just 4 weeks away for us sleep-deprived students, I am hearing this question a lot from friends, family, and random people just scrambling to make plans in time for a grand adventure. Spring Break is an oh-so-fabulous vacation with many, many affordable options ideal for a college student seeking a break and a chance to discover a new place. Now I believe that depending on what kind of person you are, you will obviously have a different spring break location. I am here today to introduce you to some great trip ideas that you might not normally consider!

First of all, if you are from Texas, or go to school there: STOP. You are in the middle of spring break heaven. Texas at spring break is one of THE best times to visit the outdoors. The weather is typically in the 70s and everything is green. But with the geographic span of most countries, where-oh-where to go? It depends. I personally, recommend the state parks. There is something for everyone.


BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK ranks pretty high on my list (although not a state park)

“There is a place in Far West Texas where night skies are dark as coal and rivers carve temple-like canyons in ancient limestone. Here, at the end of the road, hundreds of bird species take refuge in a solitary mountain range surrounded by weather-beaten desert. Tenacious cactus bloom in sublime southwestern sun, and diversity of species is the best in the country. This magical place is Big Bend.”

With altitudes that range from the desert lowlands to the pretty high Chisos Mountains, you will not run out of anything to see here; The park is HUGE. If you like the rugged wilderness, the occasional bear and mountain lion sighting, spectacular hikes with a view for hundreds of miles, and anything out of the ordinary, then make the 6 or so hour trek out to the Rio Grande.

Big Bend National Park

LOST MAPLES STATE NATURAL AREA, the jewel of the Texas Hill Country.

This park captured my attention when we drove past in on a scenic drive near Vanderpool, Texas. The Texas Hill Country truly is heaven on earth and this park has it all. The peak season for this park is the fall, when the thousands of Maple Trees shine their fall foliage, leaving the park visitors wondering, “Is this really Texas?” Nonetheless, if you like camping, hiking, and photography, then visiting this park is a must.

Lost Maples State Natural Area

While camping and hiking are my favorite activities any time of the year, I have always enjoyed skiing for spring break the most. There is something majestic about the mountains that I cannot resist and for this reason, skiing is my #1 spring break choice.

TAOS NEW MEXICO (I can’t write a blog about spring break without mentioning Taos!)

Hit the slopes, man. The powder. The mountain. The people. The town. EVERYTHING about this ski resort is perfect. This mountain is for SERIOUS skiers and Taos means business. When I went last spring break, we skied on fresh powder everyday. There’s a reason Taos is constantly ranked #1 in New Mexico and constantly compared to Colorado Ski Resorts – You NEED to go here. Not only is it 8 hours from Abilene, but the prices make this trip perfect for a group of college kids. Lodging in Taos is simple, just get a hotel and split the cost. The mountain is an easy 30 minute drive AND you can leave your ski rentals on the slope overnight. SO convenient. Price to ski? It’s a little more expensive than Angel Fire and Santa Fe, but entirely less expensive than Colorado. With rentals and lift ticket, it costs $97/day. But if you only ski 2 days and you split the hotel cost, your trip total is around $250.

Day 1 at Taos Ski Valley

While I could go on and on about Spring Break destinations, I hope these 3 places opened your eyes to somewhere new. But for real, GET OUTSIDE. Enjoy nature. See God’s creation, do something new! What suggestions do y’all have for Spring Break?!!

Ashton Darrow | nature lover, adventure seeker

(Header photo is of Lost Maples State Natural Area)

Just the beginning…

So Hi.

“My name is Ashton Darrow and I am a business management major from Abilene, Texas” (I’ve said that a million times).

Now that’s out of the way- let’s get down to business.

I’m taking a class called Management Information Systems, so naturally we do techy stuff and are required to have a media platform of some kind. We can do this project with other people in our class, so my friend Christy Duke and I decided to combat this together. (Up until now I’ve never had a blog cause quite frankly I didn’t think anyone would care about my thoughts- But HA now I have an excuse).

Basically, each week we will take turns posting a blog. There is no specific topic we will blog about, being that we have totally different interests and hobbies. Sooooooo…… each week we will take turns writing a blog! You will never become bored.

I, Ashton, will mostly be blogging about Travel and Outdoors because they are my life long passion. Oh also, there might be a blog or 20 about Texas. BECAUSE I LOVE TEXAS!!!! Expect some lame humor, also.

Christy will write about normal stuff, like food recipes, life lessons, crafts, fashion. (Christy here… I LOVE Pinterest! So there will probably be a lot of experimenting with that!)

SOOOO, please check back from week to week and learn some stuff about life from two highly intelligent business students.

With LOVE,

Ashton Darrow & the lovely Christy Duke