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When I was young (till we moved to Utah when I was 12) it wasn’t uncommon to find my family off every weekend picnicking in the countryside of Ohio. My dad was an adventurer. Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie, Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills State Park, Millersburg and Walnut Creek in Amish Country (the world’s largest concentration of Amish & Mennonites), and oh so many other places. And he turned us into adventurers, too. Among those “so many other places” were a host of sacred sites created by the Indian Mound Builders, or so they were called at the time. Now it’s known that the mounds were actually built by many indigenous peoples of Ohio.

serpent mound

The varying cultures collectively called Mound Builders were inhabitants of North America who, during a 5,000-year period, constructed various styles of earthen mounds for religious and ceremonial, burial, and elite residential purposes. These included the Pre-Columbian cultures of the Archaic period; Woodland period (Adena and Hopewell cultures); and Mississippian period; mound 2dating from roughly 3500 BCE (the construction of Watson Brake) to the 16th century CE, and living in regions of the Great Lakes, the Ohio River Valley, and the Mississippi River valley and its tributary waters. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

The mounds were abundant and varied. Many of them in the mound 3shape of serpents. And my dad was totally fascinated with them and their history. Since I was a youngen there’s been a lot more excavating on the mounds. I’ve not been back to visit any of them since we moved to Utah, but I’m guessing there are some where you can go inside and have a look around.

So while other little girls were wanting to be ballerinas, nurses, mommies, I was aimin’ to be an archaeologist! I wanted to get inside those mysterious puzzles and see what in the world was in there. (You can imagine, I’m sure, how much I’ve loved all the Indiana Jones movies! 😀 )

Crystal-Cave-at-Put-in-BayDid I end up an Indina Jones? Naw. But I CAN say there’s still a connection to that aspiration in my life. Drollery and I made sure we took the kids to some weird and interesting places when they were growing up. Like the world’s largest geode located on South Bass Island in Lake Erie at Put-in-Bay — The Crystal Cave (hm… I wonder if this is where Merlin spent his time!). You can walk through this sucker and it’s

Members of the River City Revue, from Hannibal High School, Erica Graham, Hannah Adkison, and Duane Jones, led by Director Kate Valuck, sing Christmas carols at stops along the 45 minute tour through Mark Twain Cave Sunday. (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)

pretty amazing. AND it happens to be under a winery situated on this tiny island! (Kind of thought THAT was cool, too.) We also took them to Mark Twain’s Cave in Hannibal, Missouri.

So I’ve spent a fair amount of time exploring caves in my travels, but ten years ago I turned my attention inward and began exploring the cave of my soul, my heart. I think there comes a time in a lot of folks lives when they begin to wonder who they really are underneath all those hats they have to wear out in public every day. That’s what drove me underground in the end. I journaled my way through Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self and found out some pretty darn amazing facts about myself. I realized there are enough caverns and grottoes in my cave to keep me occupied for a very long time. And I’m still learning about me.

So while I’ll never be an archaeologist of the Indiana Jones ilk, I figure I fit the mold anyway. Maybe that means we all DO have a bent in life we’re meant to follow. One way or another! What’s the first thing YOU ever wanted to be???

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