Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Update, Illustrated

So... Does anyone wonder what on earth has happened to my blog?  Does anyone stop by to check any more?  It's been sporadic, huh?  (At best!)  I used to update every day -- but, ohmygoodness, life has just gotten so.... daily.   There has been an awful lot going on -- and I haven't always had access to a computer.   Then, when I could get to a computer, I've been too pooped to do anything with it. Those who've been around me, know that I'm struggling with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which makes everything feel like an uphill walk in a swamp, which adds to the difficulty.  But, really, any idea I had of a quiet, relaxed summer, where I get to read whole novels, putter around in my flower garden, poke around finding fun things to do in the coming school year, and leisurely work on our new house... has just not materialized.  So far that idea has been just a hazy, cloudlike plan floating above my head -- and the real life needs and wants and unexpected happenings of a big family keep blowing it aside, sometimes like a gentle breeze, sometimes more like a tsunami. But -- really -- I'm not complaining.  It's all good.

Uh, I think.  Yeah.  Mostly good.  Ninety-seven and a half percent good.

And I keeping running around gathering up my wishful thinking cloud and patting it back into shape.  I haven't given up hope that I'll get a bit of a restful summer yet...

But, anyway -- Here's the latest news around here:

First of all, Michelle turned seventeen the end of June, and being graduated and home from Omaha for good, got her learner's permit -- and has been out on the roads now (with me or her Dad or brother Kevin) for three weeks.  Which is -- uh -- mostly good.  I think.

Out of all our cars to learn in, this is her vehicle of choice, though:

She's very pleased with herself  that she's gotten to drive the "Monster," but she really does prefer driving the little Toyota -- and she's doing a very good job in the little car.  She drove all the way up to the top of Grand Mesa today (narrow, twisty, two lane hwy all the way) with no trouble -- but, if you happen down one of  the narrow little dirt roads around our house and see her coming toward you in the big ole silver truck, you, uh, might want to scoot all the way over....  Or turn onto a side road before she gets to you...

Also...  When my Mom headed out to visit her family in North Carolina a couple weeks ago (Yay, Mom!!), my sisters and I got to spend some time looking out for our Dad (who has alzheimers).  The trip to Denver did double triple quadruple duty because it coincided with the St. Mechtilde Music Festival, which Michelle, Theresa, and Cathy attended.  Then, in a spur of the moment decision, Number Four Son, Brother Pius/Dominic made the decision to come home in order to beat the Epstein Bar/Chronic Fatigue problem he's been struggling with, too.  So, I drove out to North Platte, NE to meet him and his chauffeurs, Brother Francis (far left in photo below) and his brother, Brother Philip (far right).
We had a very enjoyable lunch at the Ruby Tuesday's in North Platte; the nice waitress gave us 25% off our bill, even!  Pays to go out to lunch with three handsome, polite Seminarians, let me tell you!  :0)
On the way back to Denver, we went right through the Last Chance Fire area, the day after the fire was contained.  38,000 acres of grasslands burned.  It was a horrible sight to see.  Thankfully, only a couple houses were lost, though, and nobody was injured.
Last Chance, Colorado is very close to Byers, our old hometown on the eastern plains.

Look how close this house came to being burned!  Thank God and the brave and determined firefighters that saved many homes in the recent Colorado wildfires.
Then, after staying a few more days in Denver, wherein Dominic was a tremendous help caring for his Grandad and helping in a crisis of my brother, Greg's, health, we got to take a leisurely drive home over the Rockies, via beautiful McClure Pass.
Dominic making a funny face while taking a picture of Hayes Falls, near Carbondale.

Hayes Falls

The Back of Dominic's head as he takes a picture from the peak of McClure Pass.

The picture taken from the peak of McClure Pass.
 And then some more...  Dominic and I got home on a Sunday, then on Monday, the Feast of the Visitation, we were honored to attend the ceremony in which our friend, Brian, was received as a postulant into the Benedictine Monastary of St. Augustine. 
Above and Below: Fr. Bernard, prior of the monastary (left), and Brian (right)

Congratulations to Brian!  Our prayers are with you and with St. Augustine's!
Then...  Wednesday, the Fourth of July, we had a barbecue.
And a break in the weather!  After a heatwave of what felt like six years of high-ninety and hundred degree weather, the Fourth of July ushered in what has been a delightful spate of cool weather -- with evening showers and occasional thunderstorms.  Which we will take.  Oh, yes, indeed.  Woohoo!  
And...  Dominic, who's driving career was suspended by boarding in Omaha in High School then joining the seminary immediately) just got his driver's permit, and is working toward his license, too. So there are lot of exciting little side trips being taken around here with two teenagers newly behind the wheel.  (More on that later...)

But it was a couple nights ago, just after a lovely rain storm, that our neighbor's horse, Girlie, wandered over to taste some of the weeds herbs growing in our side yard. One of the children spotted her, and we all ran out just as a rainbow was forming in the sky. It was a cool, beautiful night.  The air smelled so fresh.  And so it was the most natural thing in the world: Dan found a rope to lead her with, and everyone fell in after him to walk Girlie home.  The seven youngest of our children were all together, laughing and joking and playing on the way; Noey-dog did her best to get underfoot....  There was nothing "stand out" about the evening; it wasn't even an "event" -- it was just a small pleasant chore done together, a simple quiet tick of the clock in our lives.

 But, of all the events of the past weeks (save one that I'll share later that is of more sublime and eternal importance) -- all the fun of the music festival;  the great time with our friends at the barbecue; the bittersweet silliness and stress of caring for my Dad; the day spent at the hospital with my brother; the spur of the moment ride to Nebraska to get Dominic and the giddy-happy ride home with him so eager to see his family; of Brian's awesome and wonderful ceremony; etc.,  I think it was this short evening, walking a horse home under a rainbow, that will stay in my mind forever.  The peace and contentment of home and family.  God in His heaven, all right with the world.   I hope these simple things will last as long as I'll keep the memory.

Blessings and Best Wishes to all who stop here.  I expect I'll be around again soon.  Watch for me just in case. :0)


Therese said...

We'll I am glad I read this catch up. Sorry to hear about your dad. My dad passed away 2.5 years ago. He had dementia to.

Will keep you and your cf in my prayers.

Natalie said...

I'm still here! Missed you and can't wait to read more. =)

GrandmaK said...

new you must have been busy...And the icing the the cake of this post is that glorious rainbow!!! Thanks be to God!!! Cathy

auntie said...

Wondered where you were but knew that life was what detained you. Bless you and all of yours.