The Meandering Good-Bye
Labor Day marks the end of routine free mornings transcending into wishy washy afternoons meandering into evenings that stir well beyond bed time.
As if in utter protest to the packed fall and strict schedules ahead, Graham joined us for the final two weeks of summer in which we stuck strictly to leisure.
We took to the road, rolling past vineyard after vineyard down south to Santa Ynez valley for a family vacation. Here we joined Graham’s parents, sister, brother-in-law and their two kids for five days of “ranching it”.
Mornings did come sooner than they should have with Grace waking before the sun rose. However her parents were in action protestation and so we stuck to the bed for morning family cuddles and coos. Once the sun began to rise through the misty morning we got up to a feast of fresh baked cinnamon rolls and piping hot corned beef hash.
With full bellies our little family meandered through the wheat colored grasslands of the valley; Graham and I watching as our girls interacted with the wonders of nature.
We returned to a better rested Belchers crew where we would discuss our options for the day – be it horse back riding, tennis playing or a light swim. All was done in a lackadaisical manner, thus fulfilling our motto of slow and easy does it.
Evenings were meant for freshening up into classy frocks to sip cocktails while watching the horses feed and the sun retire.
The trip was a glorious rotation of adventures all with proper respites in between.
We returned home for a few days to be spent in the comfort of our own cocoons. The girls embraced the familiarity of their room and rewarded us with sleeping in mighty late (7:30). Graham and I snuck away for a day date, took to hiking in the hills near the Pachetti Winery and then went wine tasting, of course. We hosted my mom before she jetted off to Europe with a carefree backyard dinner.
After four days at home, the pull of adventure got us up and moving again…albeit, slowly. We returned to the car for another trip this time way up north to Mount Shasta.
Some believe there are lemurians in Mount Shasta. After five days of complete bliss up there, I can’t help but wonder that they’re right. Or perhaps all the collective crystal shops pulled on my inner chakras. Whatever nonsense the hippies believe, they may just be onto something; Shasta begs for complete and total exhales.
We were quickly known by name at the local coffee shop, welcoming us in with sweet warm mochas. Once charged by caffeine, we’d take to the mountain where we’d either find new paths to follow or recommit to the old faithful hikes that have nurtured our entire relationship.
That may read a hyperbole – hikes nurturing our relationship. But there is one spot Graham and I have hiked since the beginning. We came just as wee ones dating and sharing our separate dreams of the future that were beginning to collide into one. We hiked there desperate for a child, discussing, praying and debating our options. We hiked there with Josie as a beautiful nine month old, passing her from one doting parent to the other. We hiked again this year as a family of four. Grace strapped to my chest with Graham following behind my footsteps, Josie strapped to his back. When we arrived to the top of our hike, there was a native american shaman singing. The girls sat and listened, intuitively quiet. It was a moving moment where I took the time to be thankful for all I have; my precious girls; my supportive husband.
The after hike glow lead to food comas and then leisurely naps. The house would fall silent and still as can be from 2:00 to 4:00. Restful peace. Then it was time for one last outing, usually blackberry picking and rock skipping on the sacramento river. Evenings brought on dinner out at easy restaurants in town then a walk home. Baths for the girls, followed by peaceful reading of books which lent to shut eye much sooner than at home.
The past 14 days have splendidly collided into one another and drifted us along to today. Schedules, work, school, business, volunteering, cleaning, decorating all calls louder than we can ignore. So, I say farewell to you dog days of summer. Thanks for being so damn rad.
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