Each day starts and sometimes we're ready for it. We may have consistent routines that we follow (vigilantly), or we may arise at ever-changing hours and waddle into the possibilities as they present themselves to us. As a family, we have tried to establish the consistent routine of tea-time together, before the day smacks us in the face. We usually succeed and a couple mornings ago, I discovered Kelton melted into a sobbing puddle on the floor because he had missed tea-time due to over-sleeping. It's a part of the day that I genuinely anticipate no matter how bleak the future steps may appear in every other direction.
We have been taking time out of each afternoon to clear our heads of Mathematics, Reading, Science and all the other book-learning tedium that is required in our daily happenings, to explore new places. Lochlan has been in such a rough patch that he starts to unwind a little after lunchtime, once I've finished his schooling, and the screaming commences. Every boy almost instinctively reaches for his hiking boots and jackets, packs his snacks/water, and heads to the car. Lochlan often screams all the way to our destination, but once the exploration is underfoot, he usually fully engages and seems to be soaking it all in.
We are always accompanied by our faithful canines and I have found that since my encounter with a predator in the woods, I rarely go anywhere without them. They are always on the lookout for danger, but mostly they are enthusiastically a part of all we do, see and experience together. We all benefit from their company.
I think I'm often blinded to the beauty of life as it is being lived out in front of me and alongside me. When I turn around after hiking up a hill (either figuratively, or literally) and see the sun beaming down so relentlessly casting it's cheery warmth on the coldness of the earth below, my heart is softened and my eyes are able to see more clearly what is right in front of me. I tremble at the goodness of the Creator and all that lies before me (and behind me).
The remnants of humankind that walked these same hills, meadows and forests are everywhere. We can see where they hunted and built their homes and I sometimes feel like I can see the shadows of the children past running about. They loved my mountain as much as I do - of that I'm sure, because they always had a view and usually picked a magnificent one. I'm sure they also feared the mountain, as it had erupted in front of many of them. They must have rightfully looked upon it with fear and wonder.
We were able to take Jess out to explore with us on her visit to see us this time. What a special treat for us all! The boys can't get enough of her and it's a bummer she only has two hands because they actually have to share.
And in the most surprising turn of events for us to date, our 9 month pursuit of investment property in Colorado ended just as Lochlan was really starting to deteriorate health-wise and his pattern took the more massive turn to the negative. Kris lost his job, and we waited... less than a month. Kris found a new (and muchly improved, I might add) job and we found a house in Flagstaff that was an answer to prayers we had not even known to pray. It is an investment in our family. The boys have actual bedrooms (two to a room) and they each have a place where they can do school, uninterrupted. We have an actual school room (which I will post pictures of later), but since Lochlan's school will usually monopolize that, we have been able to set up desk and work stations for each of the boys in separate rooms. The house is a work of art and the builder took unbelievable care in all the details. It has three acres and a there is also a huge garage (that screams opportunity). It is only 4 miles from our other house, so we are able to maintain the Airbnb there, and will be renting our Octagonal house to some wonderful people. Our cows and horses will remain at the other property for now until we can set up the proper housing for them here. That part has been tough, as I miss seeing my beauties first thing every morning, and snuggling dangerously with my spicy red-headed horse.
But... they will be here soon enough. And, pictures (and I promise I will post more, once I have tackled the wallpaper!):
So, amidst the fatigue and exasperation of each day, it is not difficult to recognize the bounty and wonder. For each of you facing the poop in your life, please hold on to hope and face tomorrow and all the horrible unknown because the sun does rise each morning and your life is a principal part of why it does.
(I will probably regret saying this, but... ) BRING IT!!!