Laundry going, swish-swishing and the cool of my dark-ish living room is a refreshing alternative to outside.
We are home from a road trip to California for my grandma’s funeral, and so much about the trip and the homecoming was just lovely goodness.
Today was the first day we just haven’t had plans to speak of, and it began with coffee on my front porch and the beginning of another round of laundry.
I picked all the cucumbers in our garden, and so far have accumulated at least two very full bags of them. I see pickles in our very near future.
Our road trip to CA – (last minute one, at that)was incredible. We soaked in the beauty of a hundred different landscapes.. rolling, green potato fields in Idaho. Vast endless open land in Texas. Sagebrush and cactus in Arizona. Sun-reddened cliffs at the border of New Mexico and Arizona, where we stopped at a giant teepee and ate chicken tacos from the crockpot for supper. The plains of South Dakota, wildlife in Yellowstone. The canyon that we drove through during sunset from Yellowstone to Cody, Wyoming was unspeakably beautiful.
Less beautiful, yet still memorable was the nausea that was overtaking me during that particular drive, which ultimately resulted in the same stomach bug that had settled in on our family and was attacking one person every three days. Miss E was first, and it hit her after we had been on the road for one hour from leaving home. Several days later Miss A got it, then Mr. J, then me on the way home. Not wanting to be stingy, we spread it right on to my niece and nephews.. and my sister-in-law…. and hopefully it’s ran it’s course by now.
My grandma’s funeral was a beautiful tribute to her life, and we are so thankful she could go home to Jesus. It had been a long time for her, her home-going…. years of Parkinson’s disease gradually robbing her body of the ability to function, walk, and talk normally.
So it wasn’t sad, really. Oh, I cried more than I even thought I would at the funeral. It was the ending of an era, the realization that time doesn’t stop, that I am actually getting older, and there are just so many moments to be lived in and enjoyed.
I find myself in a place in life, a time period that I remember my parents being in. I think it’s sort of snuck up on me. But it’s good, too, to realize that life is so worth living, and there are just so many people to love on and bless.
And so, we are home from a trip. My grandma has passed on to eternity. I wonder what it’s like up there – my Miss E thinks she must be dancing. I’m inclined to agree. Grandma was barely able to walk for so long, and unable for the past few years. I believe she is likely singing and praising and dancing with all the joy she never knew even existed. I’m a little jealous of the face-to-face realization of her faith, to be honest.
But I’m going to live my life now, and make pickles, and take my kids to swimming lessons, and greet my husband at the door with a kiss. I’m going to call my dad more often and enjoy the conversations I have with my mom. I’m going to read aloud to my children and make a point to smile widely at them just because.
This is a good life. It’s not easy all the time, but that’s just because it’s the Before. The Prelude. And things aren’t clearly seen in the Before. It’s just a taste, a small window.
Bits of Idaho fields with mountain peaks and rivers winking and glistening below as they wind. Raging-fire sunsets. Wispy blonde curls and husband embraces. The moments where our heart dances and we’re called in beautiful longing for the More that’s coming.
After here, there’s a Story that we’ve barely tasted. Our eyes haven’t seen, our ears haven’t heard, what is coming. What is waiting.
But it is waiting. So we wait, too, in hope. In joy.
Because we will reap, if we faint not.
The half has never yet been told