I decided to take the kids on a little adventure today. Fridays seem like the day for this kind of thing. There are just so many beautiful and diverse places in our state to discover and explore.
We left at seven o'clock this morning and arrived for our hike right when things got really hot. It's a desert after all. Good thing we brought along plenty of water.
Even though the drive was long and it would have made more sense to go at a cooler time of the year, we still had fun just being together. That's all that really matters when it all comes down to it.
Here's what made today special. And memorable:
:: Packing special foods.
:: Singing opera in the car and laughing about it.
:: Time to talk.
:: Getting pulled over for a speeding ticket. (not so special.)
:: A chance to see new sights.
:: The absolute delight when a nice breeze would come through, cooling down our sweaty, hot bodies.
:: An opportunity to take lots of photos.
:: Trying to figure out the language of all the foreign tourists.
:: Finding relief in shady spots like the caves we happily discovered and crawled into.
:: For the friendship and love I see between these two.
:: Spotting darting lizards.
:: Taking a nap in shady park on the way home.
:: Pride in myself for having the gumption to allow for some spontaneity, independence, and confidence to grow a little bit more, and for this adventurous spirit to have a chance to spread her wings and FLY!
When I got out of bed this morning, I felt a little lopsided. Like, in the shoulder region. It was trigger point class last night, and boy, a lot of triggers were released. Like they just melted away under the fingertips. I really, really needed this to happen. We only had time for one shoulder, though. Which is better than nothing at all.
My instructor walked over to the table I was on, deciding to use me as his guinea pig. I wanted to shout hooray. Which I kind of did. (I'll be your guinea pig anytime you want.) Among other things, he stood off to the side and he pushed his hand (up to the ends of his fingers) laterally through my armpit and all the way to that place under the scapula, accessing the subscapularis muscle sandwiched between that and the ribs. Wow, that was interesting and very amazing. (Did you know that's even possible?) And it felt really good in an almost painful way if that makes sense.
I went running this morning. I love running early on summer mornings. I go the same route everytime. I wave to strangers. In my shorts, cool, but enough to work up a good sweat.
On my way up the hill, I saw the wild roses creeping up and down over the stone wall. Sweet, white blossoms. It was so beautiful and almost took my breath away. When I got home, I knew I needed to head back with my camera.
When I got home, he asked me if I'd make pumpkin muffins. Why not, I thought. It's a lazy type of morning with nowhere to go and nothing on the agenda. (This is one reason I especially love summer mornings.) He turned his nose up after he found out that I'd put applesauce in them.
Every time I hear the word "Pumpkin Muffin", I think of my fifteen year old daughter Eliza. Sometimes I call her that. It just depends on the day or the mood I'm in. I tend to invent names for my kids that are a little out there. (They've told me so.)
Tomorrow is your birthday, but our tomorrow here is your today there in far off Taiwan.
You are just beginning your day. Waking up to a whole new world. A whole new world filled with new sights, new sounds, new tastes, new impressions, new people, new experiences. And I can hardly wait for the first email-- all those wonderful details and descriptions we'll receive (hooray for Mondays!) in the next few hours.
It amazes me that you are officially now in your twenties. (That seems old, and makes me feel even older!). You are taking the first steps on your path into adulthood. Entering a new era of growth and discovery in your life's journey.
And I couldn't be more happy for you than I am at this moment. Proud as I am because of you. For the person you've become. For the person you are becoming.
And even though you are far away and far from home, I baked you a cake to celebrate the day. (Vegan! Of course!) And like your brother whose special day we honored and remembered just as we do your own today, we lit the candles and sang to you. Tears welling up warm in my eyes as I silently made a wish for you and blew them all out.
How could I not? How could I forget?
Holding you in my arms, stroking your long, smooth hair, kissing you on the cheek, and loving you with my whole heart...
truckload of composted manure brought in and spread, hands finally in the soil- the first time since last fall (if you can believe it), satisfaction and ease with these weeds popping right out with hardly any effort at all on my part, gentle breeze in the air- not too hot, not too cold, babies tucked in the ground, tunes in my ear, thoughts in my head, another trip to the nursery- (ah, that damp, green, musty smell) so intoxicating, red geraniums on the porch (gracing the living room, too), ferns hanging swaying on the eave, frozen bananas and chocolate all blended up ice cream style- afternoon treat for me.
I'm kind of in a blogging slump. Like I've said it all. Shared it all. Not sure what more or what else I can pull out. Feeling like my lovely writing muse has left the building.
I guess it's a natural thing that happens when you've blogged for years like I have. You go through ups and downs. The inspiration comes and goes and I sometimes forget to allow myself to just ride these waves. The rolling forward and the pulling back.
It's been so long since I've written anything really worth noting about or would mean much to others outside of my family. But like I've said before, this blog is for me when all is said and done.
Capturing my world with the camera brings me so much joy, though. Lately, that's what keeps bringing me here.
I guess when you struggle with something, sometimes you just have to keep at it. Keep doing it. Even if it's little bits here and there, or what may seem like the mundane daily-ness of life. So I guess I should just write. The day-to-day stuff and the feeling stuff which really is just journaling stuff.
So here goes.
We're all trying to get into the summer-time groove around here. Since Eliza is gone to camp this week, and Sam works in the early mornings and then goes most days straight to school for basketball practice, it's just me and Isaac at home. I'm glad I can have this focused time with him. But it does feel different, I must admit.
He tagged along with me when I got my haircut this morning. More gray, I noticed, than brown on the cape. We went yesterday to get his own overdue haircut and find him some flip-flops. Later, he was a real help pulling that wagon filled with plants at the nursery. I've never been this late planting my garden. Hopefully, it will be worth it. Hopefully, everything will be in the ground by the end of the week. Tomorrow, I think we'll go back and get flowers.
I've been studying for tonight's Pathology quiz. I want to clean and declutter. I want to weed my yard. I want to plan menus for this month of June. I've let this, along with other weekly kitchen and cooking focused duties, slide since I've started school in October.
I've had to let go of a lot of things. I'm kind of surprised with my being okay with all of it.
We just got through talking to Jane on the phone. She called from the airport in Los Angeles on her way to Taiwan. She'll be there for eighteen months serving as a missionary for our church. Just like my son Gary is doing in Finland.
She said that she's happier than she's ever been.
My mother-heart is full. All those tender feelings I expressed last July when Gary left have all come rushing back today. And I will admit that even in my happiness for my daughter-- for this wonderful opportunity for her to grow, to love, to serve, to have her dreams come true-- my heart aches today. A real, hot, tangible ache and pressure and emptiness and longing.
This overwhelming feeling that my little bird really and truly has left my nest. The day that I never thought would come, but had worked all these twenty years for, where she's finally off to live her own life. I felt something similar when she moved 30 minutes away to college, but with this great expanse of sea that separates us, this far off journey into the foreign unknown, it's as if I'm left with a hole in my heart. Another hole to the one that's been there since last July.
But as I sit here, I realize that this is what life is all about. It's continual change. It's a constant. I guess you could even say that the definition of life is change.