Simply Sunday

Lessons Learned While Hiking

Begin with
Determination
Remembering
As the slope
Increases
Baby steps
Are best
Requiring
Less energy
Rest stops
Are necessary
But never
Long enough
At some point
The destination
Will feel farther
Away than when
You started
But once the end
Is in sight
Relief floods
Body, mind, soul
Celebrating while
Begging for rest
Time to just be
In the place you
Struggled to reach
Grateful, tho once again
Never long enough…

Yesterday, my husband and I cheered on our daughter as she ran her first 5K! Yesterday, our youngest son was in Texas, helping our oldest son and his wife move to a new apartment! Today, I remember how we were all together just two months ago, hiking to Browns Falls in Colorado. Today, I am grateful. ❤️

Simply Sunday

Leaving Calm

They entered
This world
One at time
Their first breath
An indication
Of stories to come
Now they come and go
At various times
For various reasons
Like individual clouds
On a blue-sky day
Offering shade
From the heat
Of the sun
Or raindrops
To water the flowers
And dot the sidewalk
Then there are
Those moments
When they all
Come together
In a storm
Of laughter
That fills the air
And leaves behind
The sweetest calm

Enjoying a weekend with the kids! ❤️

Bird Watching

Looks as if
You strayed
Too far from
Your nest
Frantic chirps
Both yours
And your mothers
Served as a clue
Hard to spot
In the leaves
Of the shrub
Outside my window
But there you were
And mom not
Too far away
She brought you
A worm, twice
Full Stomach
Left you quiet
Slowly blinking
Sleepy eyes-
When I checked later
You were gone

Yesterday, I heard chirping outside my window. A female cardinal flew in and out of our front bed. But the chirping remained even when mom was gone. After some quiet watching, I noticed a baby in one of the bushes.

I’m not sure if birds get sweaty, but this baby looked ruffled. The small tuft on top of the head was like a toddler waking up from a nap. The temperature was above one hundred at the time.

Later in the afternoon, the baby bird was gone.

Early in the evening, we had a surprise thunderstorm. A welcomed relief from the heat. But there were strong winds and hail. I wondered about the little family of cardinals, especially the baby.

Walking into the kitchen this morning, I noticed a male cardinal sitting on a feeder. Hmmm…a quick investigation revealed that sweet baby. Now sitting on a low tree branch.

Looks like I might just be a bird watcher for the day.

Did Someone Say Birthday?

There are few things I enjoy more than celebrating our children’s birthdays. Favorite meals, cake and ice cream, candles, family and friends singing.

These days fill me with questions about the passing of time. It appears so logical when looking at a calendar or clock. And yet, within the heart cannot be explained. For there, it is intertwined with memories and feelings.

Today is the twenty-fifth birthday of our daughter. And I find myself pulled between two points in time.

First, remembering those early days. Crying all the time, both of us. 😉 Never physically far away from each other. Feeling exhausted but so happy.

And the present…watching her passion for life, others, and education. Her strength and determination. Enjoying our conversations and shopping trips. Feeling proud of who she is.

Two different times, with lots of journeying in between.

Happy birthday, Rachel! We love you! ❤️

My cheerleader on our recent hike.

Simply Sunday

45 rpm

Seven-inch
Vinyl disc
Placed on
A circle
Within
A magic box
Turn the knob
Watch it spin
Forty-five
Rotations
Per minute
Place the needle
Listen as it
Moves across
The ridges
Releasing
Its power
Releasing
The music

I saw the movie Elvis yesterday with my friend, Marina. I grew up listening to Elvis. Watched his concerts on television. Remember the breaking news on the day he died.

I also remember dancing around a record player with my cousins at grandma’s house. Hound Dog and Don’t Be Cruel were our choice of 45s. We all loved Elvis.

Elvis had a style all his own, and it was controversial. People either loved him or hated him. But his roots were honest and truthful. And his contributions to our nation’s musical heritage are of great value. I am thankful his 45s were part of my childhood.

Simply Sunday

One More Time

Mountain breeze drifts by
Meadows and pines gently sway
Whispering my name

I couldn’t resist sharing our trip to Colorado one more time. Grateful for time with family in this beautiful place. ❤️

I lift up my eyes to the mountains. Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

Unexpected Beauty

I love Colorado! Our family has taken many vacations to this beautiful state. We are currently here with our adult children. We have been relaxing and enjoying the cooler temps and beautiful surroundings.

Today was a family hike. And it affected me in a way I had not expected.

I knew this hike would be challenging. 6.2 miles with an elevation gain of 941.6 ft., beginning at an elevation of 8,913 ft. But the thought of family time witnessing mountain scenery, wildflowers, and a waterfall was motivating. The views did not disappoint! But that was not what consumed my thoughts as we trekked up and back down this mountain trail.

No doubt, my hiking pace would be the slowest of the group. All the kids are in their twenties. And Gart is in a little better shape, stronger. This truth was quickly realized as we headed down, or should I say, up the trail.

I am at a disadvantage, I thought.

I was bringing up the rear. Keeping my own pace. Telling myself that was ok. But also falling behind. And we were just getting started. And then this thought popped into my head.

Is this how some students feel at school? Ones facing a disadvantage? Whether in ability, family support, or resources. How do they feel when they sense they are falling behind? Are they, like I was, afraid of not reaching their goal?

My family slowed down and waited for me to catch up. After a short break, I was placed in the middle of the pack. No one seemed to mind the slower pace. They encouraged me.

You can do this, mom! Remember, take smaller steps. Breathe and relax your shoulders.

And even though still afraid, I kept going. Even picked up my pace just a little. At our next stop, Gart suggested I take the lead. They would follow me. Of course, he remained close behind. Constantly saying I was doing great. Reminding me that I am strong.

I still had doubts, but my determination was growing. I wanted to reach the top of the trail and gaze at that majestic waterfall with my family.

We told the kids to go on ahead. They needed to move a little faster. We would see them at the top! It felt good to let them go ahead of us. Gave me even more reason to keep going. Even though my body hurt. It was hard to catch my breath. And it would take every drop of energy and willpower I could muster.

Gart and I continued together. I asked him to take a picture of an unusual flower for me. We walked over log bridges across the flowing creek several times. The water flowed underneath from the waterfall that would soon be in sight.

I was going to make it! I struggled not to cry. Needed to keep breathing. As we rounded the last corner, I saw our daughter, Rachel. Smiling, hands up in the air. You made it! A big hug and tears came. I felt so proud.

Our son, Robert, and his wife, Erin, had hiked above the falls. They waved and smiled. Ryan, our youngest, was sitting nearby on a rock and soon walked over. You made it!

The waterfall was mesmerizing. A roaring cascade of water flowed over the edge to the stream below. I sat and had a snack and some water. We took pictures. And then the inevitable. We had to go back down.

Yes, most of it was downhill, but my body was exhausted. Some spots required careful steps. But thanks to the continuing encouragement of my husband and some light, cooling rain showers, I made it back to the car.

I can’t believe I did it! Pretty sure I said that at least ten times.

In all my relief at completing this six-mile hike, I couldn’t shake those earlier thoughts about students who are at a disadvantage.

What if they had someone to pull them from behind to the middle of the pack? What if their confidence grew enough to take the lead? What if they fluctuated back and forth, working hard, supported, and encouraged until reaching their goal?

I guess today’s hike made me focus on the beauty of humanity over nature. Realizing the ability each of us has to make a difference in the lives of others. Grateful that today, I was on the receiving end. ❤️

There are times we all need to hear-You can do it! Don’t give up! You will not be disappointed when you look back at the journey and see how far you’ve traveled.

Closer to Clouds

Not sure which
Took my breath
Away first…
Beauty
Or elevation
A 360 degree
Perspective
No formations
Blocking my view
I could see
Where I was going
And where I’d been
All of it
Storms ahead
Storms behind
Cool breezes
And sunlight
In between
Clarity of lessons
Learned quickly
As well as those
Requiring repetition
Each one
Revealing purpose
In passing landscapes
No wish
To speed ahead
No wish
To slow down
Only the desire to be
Only the desire to live

I love spending time in Colorado. One specific area holds many memories. Family vacations with parents, kids, grandparents, grandchildren, and great-grandparents. Honeymoons and holidays, hiking, and fishing. Feeding the chipmunks. And, of course, beautiful scenery.

Gart and I are traveling to this spot with our three grown kids and daughter-in-law. What a treat! This sentimental mom can’t help looking back and looking forward. But mostly, I’m just enjoying all of us being together.

Simply Sunday

Adventurous One

Early morning
When there is
Barely enough
Light to see
Or early evening
After the sun
Sinks below
The horizon
Those times
Are safest
For romping
And playing
In the soft blades
Expending
All energy
Before pausing
To graze our fill-
But some days
When the sun
Sits high in
The middle
Of the day
Temptation
Is too great
Warmth and light
Too much to ignore
All concerns
Disappear
As I run thru
Open fields
Fearless and free
For just a few
Moments
Until lovingly called
Back into the grove
Protected
In the shade
Of the trees

I’ve previously written about the herd of deer near our home. We often spot them in the early morning or late afternoon. I’m always glad to see them happily grazing in the field.

One day recently, I got a surprise. Driving by in the middle of the day, I spotted a young deer hopping in the field! It was all by itself. I could just imagine its mom calling from the edge of the trees, Ok! That’s enough! Playtime is over!

Moving Day

Moving is a multi-faceted project that takes on a life of its own. Packing all your belongings in boxes, bags, and tubs. Strategically placing said containers, along with furniture, in the moving truck. Like playing a championship game of Tetris, according to my husband.

And then, after driving to your new abode, you work backward. Unloading all your belongings from the moving truck. Not wasting any time making the new place feel like home.

For most, if not all, of our many moves, our parents were there to help. College dorms, apartments, houses. Each new stage of life took us blocks or states away and back. Moving was a family affair.

Today was another moving day. But this time, I was the proud parent, listening and helping. Though my helping was more moral support than heavy lifting. Cold drink runs and a dryer plug from Home Depot.

Our son and daughter-in-law were moving to a new apartment. A different town, more space, a new home. As they loaded the truck, I overheard several neighbors.

You guys were great neighbors!
We will miss you guys around here.
I was planning to ask your husband if he could mount my tv on the wall.

After the truck was unloaded, we had a nice lunch out. And once the washer and dryer were hooked up, my husband announced it was time to go. I sighed. Not before documenting. A snapshot of the three sweaty guys-dad and his two boys. And a picture of the happy couple standing by the fireplace.

Another moving day in the books. A hot, sweaty, full of laughter, family moving day. Not the last in our family, I’m sure. Just need a little rest before the next one. 😉