|One of the Beavers making their way around the canal.|
Jeff and I recently returned from a wonderful vacation spent with my parents and my brother Fritz. My parents graciously invited us to stay an extra day after Jeff had sprained his wrist the Saturday before we were to leave to go and see them and his bosses gave him the rest of the week off since he was on "one handed light duty" for 7 days according to the physician at the emergency room. As usual, my parents and my brothers spoiled us.
My parents live on the shores of a beautiful lake in Montana and it really had become a healing place for us all. Everyone in our family goes there to rest, recuperate and recharge. The view from their deck in breathtaking (every view from their home is amazing) and we all love spending time out there watching the wildlife and taking in the views. This trip we were treated to seeing a mother deer with her twin babies frolicking around on the little island right in front of the house that forms the canal, two beavers cutting down branches and taking them down into their dens to feed their family, lots of geese and ducks and some turtles sunning themselves. While out on the boat, we also had a bald eagle swoop down and catch a fish right in front of us.
We went out to eat at two places that my father wanted to share with us and were greeted warmly at each place. My mother also made delicious meals at the house and wanted me to not have to cook, which I thought was so sweet of her. We all did spend time out in the garden harvesting cherries and strawberries together and as a team, we were able to get a lot done in a short amount of time. My sweet hubby did some odd jobs, fixing chairs and adjusting doors, that could be done for the most part with one hand. He saw a need and just started in doing it. He shows his love for others through doing or building things for people and he loves my parents and brother beyond measure. My brother and I had long and deep conversations about life and faith...it is something that I look forward to every time we go over to visit. We were not close and even clashed a lot as children, but have become very close and supportive of each other as adults. He is such a strong person and I have so much respect for him.
While there I found some old family photo albums from previous generations. My mother and I went through them and tried to sort out who was who. Luckily I have been doing the family genealogy and was able to put some names to faces based on other photos that I had recently inherited from one of my grandmothers and great grandmothers that my cousin Jeremy had given me. Hopefully this will also help me identify more people in the huge box of photos that I have sitting in my closet. My mother sent the very worn and falling apart album home with me. She also sent us home with Rainier cherries from her tree (we had taken her 2 huge bags of Chinook cherries from our tree, a big container of raspberries from our bushes and some blueberries), macadamia nuts, lilikoi butter, and homemade jams, a salad kit and a whole cheesecake.
On the way home, we met up with Chris, Heather and the boys, and gave them some shirts, two quilts Mom made for Bradley and Isaiah, and a drill press that my father graciously gave to Heather for her sign business. It was so good to see and hug our kids and and the little boys. Then, on Friday, Jaysn and Steven surprised us with a visit while Rachel was working late. Seeing them come through the door just made my day! I had missed them all so much and would have loved to have seen Rachel too if she had been able to come.
I so enjoy getting away and spending time with those that I love and also coming home again to our own cozy little nest and being greeted by our fur babies, who although spoiled by our house and pet sitters, are always happy to have "their people" back home again. Puttering around in my yard and harvesting fresh produce this time of year just makes me happy and is something I do very soon after we arrive home. It relaxes me. I spend the next couple of days getting my house back in order and reassuring the fur babies that we are home with them and that all is well in their world again.
This last trip over and coming home again gave me so much of a deeper appreciation of everyone and everything that fills my life with such meaning. I have been working on being more positive and appreciative lately and trying to change my mindset to focus on that and not the bad as much and it has been a success for the most part. Our family has really pulled together even more lately and gotten even closer. I look at other families and realize just how blessed and special our relationships are. The unconditional love we have for one another and being able to really cheer each other on and lift each other up in hard and trying times shows how deep our bonds are. Coming home to our fur babies and being greeted with excitement by them is heartwarming. Being able to relax in our home that my husband has worked so hard on remodeling to make it a more pleasant, comfortable and brighter place for us all over the years makes me fall even more deeply in love with him because I know that he did this for us and that is one of the ways he shows us just how much he loves and treasures us all.
Jeff and I were both able to really relax, unwind and feel totally enveloped in love while we were with my parents and brother and again be enveloped in love as we returned home. It is a wonderful feeling and one that I treasure. I feel so very blessed by my family, my home and my life.