The days of the kids bringing me wide flowers from the farm fields each morning are coming to an end.
Summer is fading and my heart is struggling.
Winter... It's not even happening yet, but I know it's coming and I'm ready for it to be over.
The Cowboy laughs with me on the porch and tries to convince me that it's gonna be fun.
I don't believe him.
So we get up on a Monday and pack lunches together in the kitchen.
We round up coats and fill up water bottles and head out the door for Summer's one last HURRAH.
We get on the road and I'm a wee bit hormonal, and the Cowboy says something about Heather and how long she might wear her wedding ring. "For a long time, " I tell him, letting my thoughts go to all those little things again. Things like his clothes still hanging in the closet next to hers, his car still parked in the garage, his toothbrush still in the bathroom drawer.
Tears, tears, lots of tears falling down as I look out the window towards the mountains.
The kids ask why Mama is crying and the Cowboy gently explains and all five of the ones that I love most offer this Mama sweet grace.
Then from the back seat, the optimistic Spunky girl spots a mud hole on the side of the road and belts it out to the rest of us,
"Guys! Look at that beautiful lake!"
I just love this girl!
Things are looking up.
There's a perfect mix of good Country music and Foster the People pumping out of the car stereo. All six of us are moving our shoulders (somewhat) to the beat and mouthing the words as we drive down the highway
And the conversation rarely ever dies out because that Siah-boy of mine is a rush of never-ending questions...
"How's this work Papa?"
"Are there airports in this town Papa?"
"What's the speed limit now Papa?"
"Where's New York? Is it part of the United States?"
"Do the boats that cross over to the Statue of liberty sink?"
"Then why did the Titanic sink?.. They said it was unsinkable you know?"
"Are go-carts expensive?"
"Why are we driving so slow?"
"There's more cars on that side of the road than on our side of the road, right Papa?"
The Cowboy has a kind of patience that is so beyond me.
On the day when the Lord was passing out that kind of patience, I must have been absent.
He listens and when he speaks his voice is steady and kind and wise. Even on the thousandth question, his tone is as gentle as it was on the first question.
I can learn a lot from this man.
When we get to our destination the kids literally dance in the streets... they are soo excited!
There's something about laughing with your kids that permanently etches memories on your heart.
I wouldn't have traded today for anything. I road around that go-cart track with my girls and they cheered and hollered and put their hands up in the air. The wind blew our hair and we laughed long.
The Charmer wanted to go on the "cars" with Papa sooo bad. So the Cowboy took him, and I think once they went around one time that little guy just might have changed his mind . I think he kind of felt the same way about the slides...
But the other kids just couldn't get enough... except maybe Reesie... She looks a little terrified... :)
We left Estes Park and took our time down the mountain, The Cowboy's hand resting on my shoulder most of the way.
At the bottom of the hill we stopped off at an RV super center and checked out a bunch of travel trailers and RV's. The Cowboy and I made plans and found the perfect travel trailer that we just might get for ourselves when all our treasures are grown.
Fort Collins has a chicken place that the Cowboy loves. We drove all the way there and it was closed because of Labor Day. But not to worry, we found a burger place that turned out to be well worth the drive.
We sat outside.
The wind was blowing gently, carrying the first of Fall's leaves with it.
I felt that tinge of sadness surging through my veins again .
I looked around the table at those five folks.
The kids were being goofy.
The Charmer was dumping water on himself and grinning.
The Cowboy was leaning back, content in his chair, when he caught my eye and shot me a smile and a wink.
I sat back in my own chair and thought it through.
Winter is coming.
It will soon be cold and blah.
I can choose yuckiness.
I can accept all that He gives with joy.
I think I'm gonna go for the latter. :)