"Enjoy the little things in life ~ one day you'll wake up and realize they were the big things"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

"A life well lived . . . a place well loved"

I've found myself in one of those "walk around in circles, fail to accomplish much" places lately. In reality, I've probably accomplished enough . . . but it has been done while being firmly planted in that old proverbial fog. One of the results is that our little blog has been neglected of late.

We made an unexpected trip out of town just before Thanksgiving because Kevin's sweet 96 year old grandma died. All things considered, it was a good trip. Kevin spoke at the funeral and did a great job. The little church that Helen had attended for half a century (!) was packed with people (which honestly surprised us ~ knowing that she had outlived so many of her friends, we had been expecting primarily relatives at the service). We were able to visit with some cherished family members and celebrate the life of one who faced great loss and hardship throughout her life, yet never allowed her heart to become bitter in response. She will be greatly missed, but her example outlives her and continues to be a cherished blessing to us.

At the very northern end of Wyoming is a little town called Greybull, which was Grandma's home for the past 50+ years and has been a place dear to us as well. There is an area on the outskirts of town that has been a personal family playground of sorts for us and the kids -- the locals call it "Devil's Kitchen" (it feels a bit to me like the Great Sand Dunes, the Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde all morphed into one fun, smaller scale, land of adventure). We have some pretty fond memories of hiking and exploring there over the past few decades. We often have the place virtually to ourselves ~ and this time was no exception. Kevin and the kids went off to explore and after hiking a bit, I found a spot to sit and enjoy the quiet. I was struck by the stillness . . . like the stars that seem to overtake the sky when you step out of the glow of the city lights ~ I found myself engulfed in that peaceful, indescribable, God-whispering, priceless, stillness. There aren't enough places in our (personal) world where we get to experience that on such a grand scale. Perhaps we need to stray from the over-crowded hiking trails and seek them out a bit more (since it isn't looking like a move to northern Wyoming is in our immediate future!)

My blissful soak in the stillness was soon overtaken by a great adrenaline rush as I watched Kevin and the kids making their way along the ledge of an impressive rock outcropping (which snuggled itself up to a 60+ foot drop ~ straight down!). They eventually scooted themselves down the "less straight down" side of it ~ with Kevin "parking" a few kids in several different spots along the way and going back up to bring another one or two down, either on his lap or on his back. Fortunately they are pretty good at looking out for one another and they did exactly what they were told (this time!) -- I even got some great pictures as I enjoyed my solid footing at the bottom of the climb.

We returned home in time to enjoy Thanksgiving at my sister's house (complete with a lively game of "almost tackle" football) and to celebrate our anniversary the following day. My sweet, romantic husband pooled all of his creative energies into one fabulous anniversary gift . . . a full size air hockey table! (which he found, much by accident, at 75% off it's original price -- and who can pass that up?!) Now, before you think him an unromantic lug who was forced to spend the night on the couch after such a presentation ~ you need to know that I positively loved it! I adore air hockey and now I have daily opportunities to dethrone him from his so called "World Champion" status. The kids have never thought an anniversary so fun! (though I fear they may be disappointed next year!)