Joel came for a visit from Maryland last week, and it seemed that everywhere we went, the clouds forbore to rain and the sun consented to shine. But as the week came to a close, the skies looked more forbidding, and on the last day of Joel's visit from his current state of residence, a light sprinkle began. The rains have come. It's peaceful, calming, beautifying, and predictable here in the Northwest. It's also wild, contemplative, and sad. Between the two, rain strikes me as so very bittersweet, which fits my mood today exactly after two and a half weeks of precious times with family--a 9 day family vacation along the Oregon Coast to the California redwoods and 8 subsequent days with Joel.
Now as the rain returns and all the obligations I put on hold crowd my brain, I want nothing more than to sit and be grateful to God for the last several weeks. Won't you join me?
We got a taste of Africa (and Asia and Europe and America!) at the wildlife safari.//Camping breakfasts are always feasts thanks to Mama!//Mama and Papa on one of the many beautiful beaches we visited.//Susanna, Mikaela, Lauren, Jonah, Micah, and Melanie balancing precariously on a tree that had grown together.
The redwood trees of California are inspiring sights to behold, dwarfing buildings and spanning centuries as they do!
Lauren, Susanna, Mikaela, and Melanie: I love my sisters!
How many times have we been to the Lincoln City's seaside and failed to spot this monument to Abraham Lincoln?
Last week brought Father's Day and a kayak for Papa as well as Papa's birthday--we're all sitting and leaning on the weight bench we gave him on that occasion.
Mr. W gets full credit for spotting our cups at a graduation party, snagging a picture, and then editing it so adorably!
After two months of being 3000 miles apart, chief among our pleasures was just being together. This beautiful hike was an added bonus as we marveled at the panorama of the Columbia Gorge. (Thanks, Micah, for taking the picture!)
Yes, I've shed many tears at Joel's departure, and yes the sky continues to cry with me. But all that moisture falls upon the fragrant roses of my memories--in sweet, vivid color that will never fade.