Life & Death

I’ve just returned home from an impromptu Oregon road-trip, to attend the funeral of my late great-aunt whose children did a terrific job honoring her life. Direct flights a rarity, it takes about the same time to fly as it does to drive, so we saddled up the sexy minivan and the kids hitched a ride in order to yuck it up with their cousins.

when the audio to their movie went out they amused themselves by improvising their own dubbing
plotted to swipe one of the many signs from someone in western montana apparently campaigning for public office, his last name the same as husband’s first.
not a fan of the treacherous detour through the gorge, thanks to a missed turn which cost us an extra hour on the road

We also visited dear friends in Spokane along the way, meeting their precious pink bundle of newborn joy for the very first time.

Life and death, poignant bookends– jubilantly celebrating a new life yet somberly bidding farewell to another.

“… you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” -James 4:14

Today I’m grateful for:

  • Freedom to home-educate and the flexibility it affords us– the ability to abruptly shelve studies and take a wee adventure.
  • Handsome Husband who finances all our shenanigans.
  • My much older sister who didn’t hesitate to pull her own kids from traditional school to spend with us.
  • Her husband who happily watched all six kids so the two of us could attend the funeral in peace– and he didn’t wind up in a straight jacket or tied up hostage in the process.
  • The interstate system and a dependable vehicle. Our journey across the Oregon Trail averaged 75mph versus the sluggish oxen-driven covered wagons the pioneers piloted, or the Model T my great-grandparents drove over at a snail’s pace during the Great Depression.
  • Extended family who makes time for us at the drop of a hat and warmly welcomes us back into the fold.
  • Friends who are like family and don’t begrudge us time nor geographical distance apart.
  • Google maps, podcasts and headphones, and in-car DVD players. Though I still managed to get lost twice.
  • Air-conditioning, RIP. It was 89′ degrees for the bulk of our return journey and ours went kaput. We basically drove home naked.
  • Drive-thru Starbucks.
  • God’s creation– animal, vegetable, and mineral. I realized en route that “Home on the Range” was surely written about Montana. …where the buffalo roam… where the deer and the antelope play… where the skies are not cloudy all day…