Friday, July 22, 2011

Seven Quick Takes

1.  Having a bit of this lately:

2. For which reason I can completely associate with Simcha's post about the same -- which, if you've ever had insomnia, or been pregnant, or if you just like to laugh, you totally have to go read.  (So, go read -- but come back, ok?)

3. Are you back?  Good!  I'm glad to see you.  Wasn't that hysterical? Anyway, where was I?  Oh, yeah...  Because of the lack of zzzzz lately, I find myself careening wildly up and over and around a roller coaster of moods, between having a crazy urge to dance across the living room one minute and collapse on the couch, comatose, the next. Between pulling all my notebooks and files out and spreading them all over my bed to organize for the next school year and then discovering I only have enough brain juice to maybe fold washcloths.  Between gathering up all the littles and herding them up to Cascade Falls for an outing one minute and wondering what the heck I was thinking by the time we got there.  But, still, it was fun.  I survived the hike up.  The kids didn't fall off the cliff.  It was all good.  And we were certainly all better for the excursion.  Though it didn't help a lick to get me to sleep that night.  Here are some pics:

The bottom of Cascade Falls
The Little Falls







Heading up the trail to the Big Falls

Cascade Falls
The Big Falls
The Real Thing

Playing in the spray and the pools at the bottom

Climbing up

Way up.
(Yes, that's Dan with William way up there...)

Up to the cave.
Can you see the little cave?
Can you see them all in it?

There they are.
As seen by my camera's zoom.

But here they are in the real life, big picture.

And here they are after they came down.
Playing in the spray.
Soaking wet.

And safe back down again.
Thank-you, God.
4.  Which reminds me about worrying.  You know, like how mothers sometimes do.  And confidence. Like what kids are so full of. 

We keep seeing this tee shirt in the mountain gift shops around here:

Nails it, huh?  Not always, but sometimes, us old-timers (or, more correctly, I guess I should call myself a "middle ager" -- or something like that) actually do have hindsight that has, over time, wrapped around to foresight.  And, when you've been kicking around the old planet a little while and slipped off enough ledges and been blindsided by enough big waves, you come to know that you almost never fully understand the situation.  When this finally sinks in -- if you're lucky -- that which used to be confidence turns to caution.  And that which you feel for those who haven't figured it out yet is worry.  Just so you know, kids.  We have full confidence that we'll worry even more before it's all said and done.

5.  Which reminds me of intrepid William the Conqueror who

                       dared the sea to catch him...

And it did.

Sometimes we have to accept when something really is bigger than we are.

6.  Like getting old.  In my recent bi-polar-zombie-like state, especially in the wee hours of the morning, when I'm pondering things like how my hips creak when I roll over and how I don't think I used to always miss when I slapped at mosquitoes, I think of things like the aging process.  And how it really sucks.  (Yeah, that's slang, but perfectly descriptive slang even for an old timer like me.) And there's nothing I can do to stop it.  It's like the tide eroding the coast.  You can shore things up, you can decorate the edges with brightly colored umbrellas, you can haul away the seaweed... 

You can try to keep your feet dry and the sand out of your bathing suit...

But... Now where was I going with this?  Oh, yes...  on to the last quick take, number seven.

7.  Where I get serious and remember that, truly, we are all destined once to live and then -- the four final things.  A good friend died this week.  Someone I saw nearly every day.  This has never happened to me before, which, I realize makes me very innocent in the way of the world at this late date.  I loved my grandparents, but their deaths didn't impact my world in a practical way because we never saw them more than once a year.  The same is true of friends and other relatives that have passed away in my memory.  When our baby, Matthew, died in utero, I had known him in a real way for six and a half months as his mother, but he had not yet become part of my real daily life.  So, this death in very close proximity has been a rather hard one for me to bear.  Any day I attended Mass, I saw my friend.  And had coffee and conversation with her afterward.  I wish I had been there more often than I was.  For many reasons. 

 My friend was not a young woman, but she was vital, intelligent, and filled with energy; she had lived an extraordinary, purposeful, faith-filled life; she mothered sixteen children and loved many, many grandchildren; she literally built a faith community by her determination, hard work, and prayer; she was respected, admired, and loved -- dearly -- by everyone who was blessed to know her.  Her example and her faith has influenced me more than anyone's I have ever known, and because I only got to know her a few short years, I have to say I feel a little gypped that I couldn't benefit still more by her friendship and her counsel. I will miss her more than I think I even know yet.   But,  I have little doubt that if this dear soul is not already seeing the face of God, she will be very soon.  There's no greater joy than that, and so my sadness is really more for myself.  I'll miss her. 

The world has lost a remarkable, wonderful, dynamic woman.  Heaven has gained her.  God bless you, Jan.  Look down on me from where you are and nudge me when I need it.  And don't worry, we're all going to make sure that the flowers in the Grotto are weeded.

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Natalie said...

I'm sorry about your friend. I hope you get more rest too. Sounds like you need it. =) Those falls are beautiful.

Bia said...

Cascade Falls looks breathtaking ... wow. WOW!

And I'm sorry about your good friend ... I'll say some prayers.