Our cottage has been used as a vacation rental for almost 4 years now and with almost constant bookings. It has been a reliable addition to our overall income, but the greater benefit by far has been the number of people from across the world whom we have grown to love as friends, and some as family. It has enriched all of our lives and I am so grateful.
Lionel and Kathy are some of those guests who have become family to us. We see them multiple times a year, if we are given the option and they have made it a priority to visit our family and share their special events with us. This particular visit was their 40th anniversary celebration!!! We love them beyond measure! They have adopted us as their family and they have continually built into each one of us, individually. I find myself seeking their counsel on almost anything and I know their love to be unconditional. Sharing life with them, even from afar, has made my life so much more complete and full.
When they leave to go home each time, we all go through a grieving period, it seems. Certainly our moodiness escalates. :-) After their most recent visit, I took Madigan out to my hill and watched him process in a very similar way to me. :-)
Kelton also accompanied me and soothed his sadness with a good cup o' hot tea.
Even the dogs love their visits! Note the smile on Aberdeen's face!
Kaysee discovered another spear head (the one on the right) while we were out exploring with Lionel and Kathy.
Even the mountain performed some of it's more moving pieces for us.
And then, the day after they left, winter fell upon us again. :-)
In the past couple weeks we had some very beloved friends from Austin come visit us. Watching our kids play together was such a delight to each of us. Denise and I were pregnant with our first babies together. We have shared much of our lives together and it was rich to see how we picked right up where we left off (when we moved from Austin) almost 12 years ago. Beautiful friendships are not to be taken for granted, at any point.
These past few weeks have left us with full hearts.
Today, we said goodbye to Ankie Tae who headed back home after coming out to Flagstaff with her wonderful ski buddies to ski and also to be here to celebrate Kelton's birthday. We had some great adventures during their time here and we were left with sweet memories. Goodbyes just don't get easier. You'd think we would eventually adapt and just be okay with "see you soon", but alas, the pain of being apart seems to intensify with time (old age?). The truth: I HATE living away from my siblings. There it is.
So, on this sunny spring-ish day we struggled through school so that we could go find ourselves in the woods.
Tomorrow is another day and we shall face it, together.