Archive for the ‘blessings’ Tag

I think I’m having some kind of withdrawal   Leave a comment

So every year for the past four years, our family has packed up our gear, hooked up the pop-up trailer, and gone on a camping trip.

We really traveled.  We went to the Southwest, to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, back to the southwest to see more of Arches and Capitol Reef and to meet Canyonlands for the first time.  Then last year, we went to South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming to see the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower, Bighorn Canyon, the Helena area, Hebgen Lake, Yellowstone and Grand Teton.

So, yes, we have done a lot of camping and traveling.  It was a good bit of work, but hey…it was fun!

My parents took us camping starting when I was about 9 and my brother was 2, and we moved around a lot because Dad had itchy feet.  So maybe I get this tendency from him.  I also got used to living west of the Mississippi where the air isn’t quite so thick and where you can see for miles.

I’m glad I got to go camping all those times.  I know many people who haven’t had those opportunities.

I have found a down side to it though.

When you’re used to going every year, staying home seems a bit tame.

I had thought maybe we would camp this fall, but after 2013’s epic list of trips (see previous posts), my man declined to take us all out in the pop up again.

However, it was only after he told me about a dream he had that I truly understood how different our responses to these incredible trips had been.

“I had this dream,” he told me.

“In it, the van was attached to the pop-up.  There was also a hitch on the front of the van.”

“Attached to the front of the van was a bicycle…and guess who was riding it?”

“Who?” I asked.

“Me,” he replied.  “I was pulling the entire rig myself using the bicycle, with all of you in the van yelling suggestions out the windows.”

I am pretty sure that, among other things, this might mean we are not going camping this year.

Alas.

Well, he is correct that we will save time, money, wear on the van, and a whole lot of effort.  I have actually gotten quite a few projects done this year that have been on my list for probably months, if not a couple of years.  And we have gotten to enjoy a normal summer — we’ve been blessed to participate in three graduations, one wedding, one Fourth of July with two different sets of friends, berry picking with friends and family and each other, and a host of other summer delights.

And it’s weird that I want to keep going on these excursions, since I’m not exactly a high-powered high energy person.  I’m nothing like the Testosterone Trio, 3 guys we camped next to at Zion, who were loading up to go rock climbing starting before daylight.  It’s not like I’m getting up at 5 a.m. to go hike 10 miles each day while we’re out.  I’m neither a morning person nor a night owl.  So…..why do I want to go?

I just love being on the move and being in wide open incredible spaces.

I’m glad we took so many pictures of Grand Teton and Yellowstone and Utah.  No description can do these places justice, so I’m not going to try in this post.  I can look at them and remind myself that I was really there.  And blessed to be there.

But when I see the pictures part of me just wants to go back.

Can we leave tomorrow?

 

Advertisements

Posted August 5, 2014 by swanatbagend in reflections

Tagged with , ,

Father’s Day   Leave a comment

Greg grilled bratwurst for dinner last night, and I made potato salad and asparagus. We had baked beans as a side.  Mom and Dad came to celebrate with us.

We inaugurated a new era in ice cream making here because last summer Dad gave me the hand crank ice cream maker we had when I was a kid and provided a new bucket to go with it.  So we broke it in last night making vanilla ice cream, all taking turns cranking it.  It really does taste better when you have to work to make the ice cream happen.  I also have to say that if you substitute heavy cream for the portion of the recipe that calls for half and half, so that you then have almost all cream, and just a tiny bit of milk that you warmed in order to dissolve the salt and sugar, it really is an improvement.  I don’t think I’ll even bother with half and half in the future.  It was the best homemade ice cream I’ve ever eaten.

And then Mom made Grandma’s hot chocolate sauce recipe and we had that over the ice cream, and more whipped cream on top.

Games ensued afterwards including chicken foot dominoes, which, OK, I have to admit, is fun, if stupid.  I never even got to play on my train the whole time we played the first round.  Everyone else kept playing on it but every time it got back to me it was always a number I didn’t have.  Then I attempted to continue what used to be my winning streak in regular dominoes but I was sitting to the left of my oldest son with few to no copiers and was wildly outscored by said son.  Alas, for my glory days have passed me by.

After half of us were in bed and Mom and Dad had gone home, I went outside, and witnessed the party tree by the pond decorated in winking firefly lights.  It’s a large tree and it was flickering all over magically.

Amongst all the rest, it’s worth noting evenings like this — and that’s why I wrote all this down.

Posted June 16, 2014 by swanatbagend in gratitude

Tagged with , ,

It’s a Wonderful Life — December 6, 2013   Leave a comment

It really is. Even with the challenges of each day, and the ongoing struggles that have stymied me at times, for years at times, it has been a wonderful life.

Even though I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression off and on, mainly at life transitions, but always there at some level since I was 12 or so.

Even though I’ve been given kids who are special and unique and need more attention and love and nurturing than the average bear, and I haven’t really felt like I was qualified.

Even though I had a cesarean forced on me, that I didn’t need, with a general anesthesia because I kept telling them what I wanted.  Even though that led to a really horrible time for months and bonding problems for a couple of years.

Even though I walked through the bitter, nasty valley of infertility.

Even though friends betrayed me several times along the road.

Even though I have an autoimmune disease which affects me a little, or a lot, depending on the day.

Even though I have an infection that started with a simple cold on November 13th, and I’m still fighting it off, and the side effects from the antibiotic we tried include muscle and joint pain and nightmares.

Even though my back hurts right now, Oh well!

Into every life some rain must fall, and really, I don’t comprehend why I’ve had relatively so little rain.

There have been so many gifts along the way, for 46 years, that even if nothing particularly spectacular ever happened to me again, the good things I’ve already experienced would be enough to provide a lot of fuel for the future.

I’ve always had really good friends; no, make that some really great friends.  Once in a lifetime friends, I’ve been blessed to have several.

I’ve had the opportunity to better myself with a college education I didn’t have to fight for.

I’ve lived in some of the most interesting and unique places in the country, moved around a lot as a child.

So I know now people from all over the country.  I sure enjoy Christmas cards!

I had a truly wonderful childhood with two of the most devoted, thoughtful parents a girl could have.  They just loved on me and were so patient with all my weaknesses.  They made holidays and camping trips so fun and every day a good day, because of their love.

I married the sweetest man I know, who although we had almost nothing in common to start out with, now we have about 28 years of experience in common, and people give us anniversary cards that claim we were made for each other…..which, it seems, we were.  How fortunate can you get?  Not saying it was fun and easy.  Just that it has been a gift.

I have been blessed with not one, not two, but three priceless people who I’m blessed to be able to call my children, when at one point I didn’t know if I would be able to have any.  They have completely changed my life and I would not be who I am today without them.

And I got to have a fantastically perfect home birth with the last one, surrounded by women who loved me.  (That seems like just a bit of a bonus, frosting on the cake!)

I have always enjoyed reading and art and music and been blessed to benefit from all these arts, in home and away.

And maybe I’m not much like George Bailey, yet, not that selfless, and don’t want to be nor claim to be that important to my little world, but I’d like to look back and be able to see that at some points I played a part that nobody else could have played, that helped someone else along.

It is a wonderful life.

Posted December 8, 2013 by swanatbagend in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,