Wednesday, October 29, 2014

All Together In One Place

It was a glorious fall weekend here in the midwest.   Autumn is always bittersweet as we bid farewell to summer and all that goes with it: swimming, boating, camping, cookouts shorts, sleeveless tops and bare feet. We pull out jackets, boots and mugs for hot drinks. I'm not necessarily sad to leave behind the hectic pace of summer.  Yet there is an ache that comes from knowing that another year is fast coming to an end. We are older, our children more mature, our faith deeper.  We have taken all that we can from the summer months.  We've basked in happiness and love and sweet togetherness and made memories to last for all of time.  And all those things.. the love, the togetherness...they continue on but the colors, the sounds, the tastes are different with each new season.

The weekend was packed with activity.

We started out on Friday with a trip to Chicago to visit a deaf/blind school with Moise.  I'll write more on that visit after my heart and mind have fully digested all that we observed.  For now, I'll leave you with the simple fact that, regardless of what went on within the walls, regardless of our opinions or decisions, outside it was wonderfully, colorfully fall.

By Friday evening both girls were home from college and my heart was comforted by their close proximity.  Even though they were out doing things with friends, I knew they were here, in our quiet little community with people who are familiar.  In my mind, here is where they are safest.

Saturday morning we hit the ground running.  We rushed off to watch Brock run in his regional cross country meet after a dense morning fog burned off, giving way to more glorious weather.

Our team wore headbands with Jeremiah 29:11 inscribed on them in honor of their coach's wife who is battling cancer.  Small gestures filled with love and compassion to cheer other's on in their trials, the world needs more of them. 

I love watching my boy run.
We made a mad dash home and quickly changed out of cross country meet clothes and into those more wedding appropriate.  Our nephew married his sweet heart.  She was beautiful and Jade and Grant were both in the wedding.  They were beautiful too.
Jade and my niece Dani,  also in the wedding. 

Grant and..... Dani again., because I didn't have a picture of  Jade and Grant together.
Sunday we made our annual trip to the apple farm.  Mother nature gave what I suspect will be the year's last big, happy smile upon us in the form of sunshine, crisp air and perfect temperature.  

I felt like a teenager again as I dashed behind the girls in a race through the corn maze. It's perfectly safe to assume their map reading skills were not inherited from me.  

Okay, so what I really did was take note of the very obvious  reality that I am no longer a teenager.  I'm not even in my 20's anymore.  I barely kept up but I'm giving myself a break because they're runners and they don't know how fast they are. 

We all loved on our Kruzy because somewhere along the way that seems to have become one of the things that we all do best.

We didn't bypass the animals, as we probably would have without him, because he is learning and growing. There's a whole big world out there to be explored and his exploring is just beginning.

 I missed Moise at this point, knowing he would have loved the feel of the goat's ears but we've tried the wheelchair in the corn maze once and he hated that.  The truth is, with the exception of the goat's ears he wouldn't have enjoyed the apple farm at all.  He likes familiarity and routine and terrain that doesn't make him feel off balance. I missed Laynee too because I know she would have loved the goats.  She was a lover of  all things living.

We breathed in corn and apples and pumpkins. Our feet crunched leaves and corn husks, creating the sound that can only be described as fall.  We sipped hot carmel cider and coffee and bought donuts and turnovers. I could have bought the entire store but I held back.

My family is growing up.  I love just sitting, listening to them talk.  They have big people conversations about big people topics and sometimes that just slays me.  There are significant others now and they are always welcome.  We love them too and delight in coming to know their personalities, their strengths. Alway keenly aware that this could possibly be a member of our family one day.  

We soaked up laughter and sunshine and all things fall.  I tucked this time of togetherness away in my heart because I knew that this was the last time we would all be together this season.  The girls would return to school, as they should.  And life goes on.

 We all will contine to become whoever we are becoming.

 I know that our days of being together in one place, at one time will become fewer and farther between. I accept that as the way it should be.  It's what we have raised our children to do. I know also that it is up to Jim and I, as head and heart of this family, to bring us all together.  It is up to us to find and point out the strengths and positive attributes of each individual family member. It is our job to foster love and appreciation for each one and any who may come in the future, in spite of whatever differences we may or may not have.

This picture makes me deliriously happy!!
This season, this fall, this day will never be again. But the joy continues.  Memories were made and they are cherished.

And in one last attempt to give fall the praise she deserves.  She greets us each morning in a way that can only be described as majestic.  She takes my breath away.

God is good, all the time. 

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