No matter where we live we need our family.
I have enjoyed the company of my #2 daughter and her precious baby boy the last week or so.
Baby boy has stolen my heart, my time, my arms, my clean shoulders and all of me.
There is nothing like a baby.
They can just sit there and stare into space and we stare at them.
They can sleep, and we stare at them.
They can poop and cry and we stare at them.
I could write volumes of what I not accomplished the past few weeks, because I sit and stare at this baby boy. But, if I had to write what my heart feels, I couldn't do that. There aren't words to tell you what a woman feels when she becomes a grandmother. To watch your child grow with a baby inside of them. To watch the baby be born. To hold the baby. To feel a new level of love. To reflect on ones own past and remember what it was like to have a new born baby come into your life. To remember what it felt like to change from a girl to a mother.
So those feelings are tucked away for now.
Instead I am going to tell you something else.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon going to a few thrift stores.
There is something medicinal about finding old items that your mom had when you were growing up. Things like fire king coffee cups, books, Pyrex baking pans, ice cube trays, juicers, and that sort of thing. Things one doesn't need now, has no room for, and yet, those old things call to you. They give you a sense of comfort and familiarity.
I came home with several items I don't need. I don't really even want, but I bought them. Because they seemed like I got back a few years of my life. I could be the "girl I used to be" again. Young again.
Yesterday, when the evening came, I loaded my car with my daughters and grand baby and drove north to Sugar City. That is where some of my extended family lives. We were all gathering for FHE. That is short for Family Home Evening.
My brother, his wife, 3 of their daughters, a couple of son-in-laws, and 10 of their grandchildren and my car full of my family all met for Family Home Evening.
It was short and sweet. There was a quick lesson for the children, we all sang a couple of songs and ate brownies. We always have food whenever we get together. There is never a shortage of food. We can always coax someone into baking something. And then we drove home. But, what a wonderful drive it was.
The best part of any time we spend together is "just the being together".
We enjoyed our drive to Sugar City. It is about 40 minutes away from my house. We drove on country roads and saw horses, colts, lahams, a camel, dogs, ducks, geese, cows, bears, elk, buffalo, deer and the tops of the Teton Mountains.
We passed grain fields, bales of straw, potato fields, barns, the Snake River, the Rexburg Temple and miles of farm ground. We passed small towns with names like Ucon, Rigby, and Thorton.
We passed business's that make log homes, restaurants, water drilling, tire stores, potato houses and cellars. We saw a small lake (that is really a pond but they call it a lake), lots of cottonwood trees, quaking aspen trees, flowers, and farm houses.
There were gravel roads, narrow roads, two way roads and interstate. On the roads were trucks, semi trucks, old cars, new cars, tractors and a little construction.
We drove 65 miles an hour to 45 miles an hour, to 25 miles an hour and back to 65 miles an hour. If we were in construction on Interstate 15 we dodged big orange and white barrels, narrow bridge crossings and unmarked lanes.
We could smell fresh cut grass, grain being harvested, wet earth from the freshly plowed farm fields, and the river.
We didn't need the air conditioner in the car on. However, we did need the sun visors to shade our eyes from the setting sun.
There was a feeling of contentment in our hearts as we passed the time and the miles through this rural country. Our hearts were beating, but our mouths were closed. Our eyes darted from one thing to another as we discovered forgotten land marks, remembered forgotten memories, and saw familiar buildings and homes which had somehow shrunk over time.
Our memories are like a garden. Seeds are planted and memories grow. The memories fill our minds with a forgotten harvest of our lives. Our souls delight as we drive down "memory lane". And then our memories are placed on a shelf to be visited again at another time. Our memories are like a food storage. We have them, they are for our use when we need them. They don't get appreciated or used until we take them off the shelf and revisit them. They can become fresh and edifying if we use them frequently. But, if left untouched, they gather dust, they seem to shrink, they don't keep the vibrant color they once had. But they will always be there. Waiting. Waiting for us to revisit them.
As we made this drive, we were making new memories out of the old ones. I will look back on the time when my little grandson turned 11 weeks old. I will remember the FHE I shared with family in Sugar City. I will remember my daughters and what they said as they saw the tops of the Teton Mountains. How they compared them to a hat in a recent movie called "Harry Potter". I will hear their laughter, here the baby breathing and getting the hiccups. I will remember the feeling of the setting sun shining in on me. I will remember the smell of the river as we crossed the bridge. I will remember seeing the old bridge, which now is the foundation of a very large Osprey nest. And I will forget many things that happened today. Things which I took for granted and didn't think they mattered. Common, everyday, little things.
I am thankful for this beautiful farm country I live in now.
I am thankful for the changing season which is coming.
I am thankful for the cooler nights and the warm days.
And I am most thankful for my family and the sights of the "country life".