Monday, March 20, 2023

I wish you were an elf

 We were at a full gallop down my hill, running (probably somewhat carelessly) through the deep cinders, past the tall pine trees, straight down the steep face of the hill. Bumpy kept bumping into me, doing her famous "status checks". The sun was creeping behind the mountain and casting the most magnificent rays of light across the valley below us. The evening was cool, but everything had been warmed by a lovely spring day, so it felt wonderful. When we skidded to a halt at the bottom of the hill, Kelton wrapped his arms around me and looked into my face. He had little tears running down his cheeks. He said, "I wish you were an elf. Then, you would live forever and we could wander, and explore and run together forever." If you put it that way, I wish I was an elf too. But alas... there is another plan and I trust in it even if I don't most of the time understand it. 

The boys have each bought me a tiny stuffed animal over the past couple of years. They are Moose Tracks, Dark Chocolate Chunk and Pink Lemonade, respectively. I love them a lot. Lately, I have been finding them in various places throughout the house, surprising me with delight in the unexpected moments. I love how these boys care about the details and bring joy in every little and large way they can imagine. 

Declan sees puns in all things and he has en eye for "beauty" in what others would never have the ability to see. He found me a beautiful heart shaped rock on one of our hikes last week - one of about 15 he's found over the past several months. He also saw this heart shaped egg and told me we must get a picture of it so that we can remember it for always. :-) 

Lochlan does not realize what a special dog he has at his service (literally). He was laying on top of Aberdeen and she was completely content. She is bothered by nothing, except for the possible loss of a social opportunity. :-) 

Madigan noticed this tiny tree growing out of one of the large boulders in the forest that burned. The forest around it was consumed by fire last year (though much remains alive!) and this tiny thing still managed to hold to life with a rock as it's rooted source! There's a life lesson in there somewhere. 

We are not elves with life immortal (according to J.R.R. Tolkien), so I cherish each of these days filled with so very much. Kelton, I will gallop down the hills with you until my legs will no longer carry me. And then, I will wait for you until your gallop is done. 

Let us run and not grow weary. Let's do the next thing! 

Sunday, March 12, 2023

The things I don't plan for

What this day may hold is a mystery. We make plans, we set calendar reminders, we coordinate schedules, we prepare for each day with our expectations as priority. Yet, life makes a strange mockery of it all. There will be so much more to this day than I can anticipate or prepare for. There will be challenges I cannot know or plan for and there will be unexpected joy that will overwhelm me. Proverbs 19:21 "Many plans are in a man's mind, but it is the Lord's purposes for him that will stand."

Almost the moment we returned from our rest-filled journey to Oregon, storms hit with a force. Life storms. Snow storms. The copious amount of snow required hours upon hours of snow removal, especially to get our guests in and out. Our heat sources at the big house both decided to die on the night of the biggest storm, leaving our guests bitterly cold and forcing us to replace both units at the same time. Ouch. 

Lochlan is on again and off again in the sleeping department. Some nights he rests soundly and other nights sleep eludes him almost completely. 

The destroyed road (from the flooding of last year) has become a swamp in front of our house, so neighbors have struggled to even reach their homes. We took a full day to try to alter that situation using over 900 sandbags. It has been a vast improvement! 

I came home from a particularly difficult day and decided that I needed order in at least one place: our house. The boy's beds had resided on the back wall of our living room, front and center. It was a massive clutter fest that presided over the rest of the house. No matter how clean everything was, I could not see past that heap of chaos. So, we moved their beds to a useless area of the house between our two indoor gardens. The boys love being near the windows where they can see the sunrise, or pull down the blinds as their hearts choose. It's a win win! 

In response to the challenges of these past couple weeks, we have frolicked in the forests on our sleds or on our feet and we have chased the sunshine and found it. 

Ludwig, the snowman. He is no doubt dancing through the forest underneath the stars at night, as snowmen do when magic is in the air. 

Though we may be weary at the day's end, the sun will rise again tomorrow, and I know that we will learn and grow and become more of who we should be in and through it all.