thejessence

The energy of the mind is the essence of life. – Aristotle


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With A Suitcase and One Foot On the Train

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Outside of my hotel window, looking out on the Mississippi River in New Orleans. Photo by: Jessica McBride

I sat on the carpet surrounded in darkness in my hotel room in New Orleans, in front of my floor to ceiling window, listening to House of the Rising Sun and eating peanut butter M&Ms.

Luckily I had come back with something other than the putrid pee smell of Bourbon Street and peddlers selling their various wares.

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My fried fish po’ boy, chicken and sausage gumbo and tabasco infused mayo. Photo by: Jessica McBride

I guess there’s a reason gambling men went to New Orleans. The first moments into the French Quarter made me want to run back to the shelter of my hotel and not venture out until it was time to fly home.

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Nothing more French than a fleur. Photo by: Jessica McBride

But, the street performances were beautiful, and my French connection to the city was enough to take hold. OK, and the beignets.

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By the way, Cafe Du Monde is open 24 hours. Photo by: Jessica McBride

In the picturesque ideal of southern charm and big city vices, I also visited the World War II museum. Highly recommended by the way. Spend the extra money and see the 4D presentation of the war narrated by Tom Hanks. After 30 minutes, you’ll come out head high, chest out, bleeding red, white, and blue with tears running down your face and a new perspective of the stars and stripes.

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Photo by: Jessica McBride

As in all my other travels, there is too much to see and so little time. I think that’s a good thing. It’s a draw to a place where the experience pulls you back for the long lasting memories.

Once you catch the travel bug there’s no cure for the syndrome other than a regular dose of adventure, sight-seeing, and voyages. It’s also extremely contagious, just ask a few of us sufferers.

Seeing how others live and view the world and life gives you an appreciation and understanding that is indescribable. It also makes you value and miss the home that you have built with those you love. I think that’s the most potent component of seeing the world.

Sometimes we need a reminder to appreciate the ranch dressing and Dr. Pepper back home.

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A canon, a Scot, a Catholic church, in a historic French city that only a beautiful American sunset can bring together. Photo by: Jessica McBride

 

 


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You Know Where I’ll Be If WWII Is On TV

It humors me that people automatically associate writers with someone who likes to read.  Don’t get me wrong, I do like to read; but I find most fiction to be unappealing.  Fact driven stories and articles?  Now I can get into that.

In school, while the other students were wowed by P.E. and art, I was always amazed with history.  There were few history classes that I couldn’t get into, and I blame the instructor for not teaching effectively in those cases.

Out of all of history, I find World War II the most fascinating.  I can read the same facts over and over again and not get bored with it.  Today, Third Reich and other WWII shows were on the History Channel.  Guess what I did today?  Nothing was accomplished.

To quote my dad, “the WWII generation was one of the greatest generations.”  They lived through the world at war.  They lived through trying times.

History is important.  It is said that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.  I believe that whole-heartedly.  It is important to know where you come from.  It is important to know where your grandparents have been.  It is important to understand the times people lived in.  It is important to know the motivation behind government decisions.  It is important to put yourself in those situations and attempt to understand what the people at the time were going through.  It is important to try and see both sides.

Without history, we are nothing.  Without history, how can we make intelligent decisions for today’s time?  I had an interview with an individual recently that said something that has stuck with me.  “When you do something, know why you’re doing it.”  How can we know why if we do not know the history behind it and be able to compare the decision or action to others in the past?

History is important to all individuals no matter age or career.  I write, and I need history on a daily basis in order to write.  I write history, whether it is the history of the past or present.