#SpudRacers 1st Blog: Memorial Day Gratitude!

The spud squad at the National Memorial Day Parade!

DAP’s Ice Cream Burger and Fries welcomed The Big Idaho Potato in Waynesboro, Virginia. I enjoyed chatting it up with Phil, the owner, who is one of the nicest guys. They serve Idaho Potatoes daily and you can always get a premium flame grilled burger or dog on the side (wink, wink). We enjoyed a great lunch and watched the kids make Potato heads with a few crafty items. Waynesboro has such friendly people, I would go back again even if its only for DAP’s Idaho Fries!

Enjoying the Idaho Fries at DAP’S!

After a great lunch at DAP’s we were invited to Camp Light. Wow! The heart of this place is the size of Idaho. It seems Kelly, her brother Scott, and a host of friends and volunteers have thought of everything to entertain kids even if they’re my age…ahem! Yes, I did a bobble head version of Pink in front of a green screen and dressed up like Wonder Woman in the same day. There is a recording studio, a game room with retro games, a cafe, a service station complete with the hose across the ground to ding for service, a barber shop with authentic antique chairs, a hydraulic funny car, and…yes, a potato gun that will shoot potatoes farther than your eye can see (no kidding). The barn is incredible and will host animals or a wedding, so not a detail has been missed. I almost forgot about jumping out of the giant TV. The most incredible thing is that this special place is for kids who have a disability or who are underprivileged or displaced. The volunteers are extremely passionate about the kids they help and it was a joy to see. It’s impeccably clean and welcoming but we eventually had to leave when the sun went down. 

The #taterteam and Scott jumping out of a TV!

Jacob Walker is a power house. He is the spokesperson for Jacob’s AIM. He has a rare, often deadly form of dwarfism. He is 9 years old and stands just above 30″ in height. Jacob’s AIM is to promote positive self-awareness in children with disabilities or differences in appearance. The Big Idaho Potato Truck rolled up to his school for a spud-tacular time. The Tater Team shared lunch with him at his school, read a story, and shared some tater facts with many classes. After school we met up with Jacob and his family for dinner and my first ever time playing disc golf. I promptly threw Uncle Marty’s disc in the water. Sheesh! It was pretty warm but we squeezed in 6 holes, baskets, holder thingys, (whatever they’re called). Out of this very full day what impressed me most was how Jacob kept right up with us and kept a positive attitude. The lightening bugs came out to play and he showed us how to let them land on our fingers. “You won’t see that in Idaho,” he said. He’s so fun to be around and his family is so supportive. 

The #taterteam with Jacob!

We attended the Air Force Choral at the Kennedy Center on Sunday. There was some spectacular talent on display. Our nation’s music was presented with such love and care it brought tears to my eyes. On Memorial Day we were so lucky to have Jacob and his family join us on The Big Idaho Potato Truck for the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. We also had special guests, Mark Hanzel From the USDA, and Senior Airman Sean Frakes, as well as special friends and family members. This day is special to me because I had to make peace with the fact that when my son joined the Marines in 2014, it was possible that I may never see him again. I’m blessed to be able to say he is safe and out of harms way, a statement that many families hoped for. I’m so grateful for the sacrifices made by our veterans for our freedoms we share so it was important to me to go to Arlington National Cemetery. We saw the changing of the guard and hills upon hills of white markers. Until I was standing there, I had no idea how many acres where covered. I am humbled to my core. Thank you to all who have served our country!

The spud squad at the National Memorial Day Parade!

-Melissa the #SpudRacer

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