Monday, August 29, 2016

In the pocket of mountains

On several occasions last summer and throughout that (last) school year, I caught myself saying, "Next year, I want to start the first day of school with my feet in the sand."

Those days, I fantasized about another time, this year in fact, where we would be free from hectic--because there had to be more to life than rush and hustle and stress.

I envisioned an off-season rental, a quiet beach, salty air.

That isn't our reality, though. We are starting school next week, in the woods. There will be water, yes--a pool! And while there won't be a beach or salty air, there also won't be rush. Or hustle. Or stress.

Today was a first day of school for a lot of area counties. I found myself with an insulated tote full of three bento lunches, two books I knew I wouldn't open, sunglasses and beach towels. The girls and I loaded up into the car and set out west to the mountains (for this area) to meet up with a sweetheart of a friend and her kids.

And you know what? There was sand.

I had my feet in the sand on the first day of school (just not our first day!). Her kiddos start tomorrow, and we planned last week that we'd enjoy the last tastes of summer together, lakeside (with a sandy beach), tucked in the pocket of mountains.
home of some very dear memories with friends

The kids swam in the lake, and we had races in the water (dog paddle, running, backstroke). We dined at picnic tables, and didn't it feel rich to pull out pepper and salt grinder, olive oil and fig balsamic vinegar to dress my salad (oh, garden fresh grape tomatoes and cucumber, diced red onion, sweet peppers, spinach, lettuce, a boiled egg and grilled asparagus--in a bento!). I took a picture.
Much larger in real life

How old was Lanie the last time we were here?


"This summer we've seen so many friends, and rarely have I remembered to take a photo," I said. I selfied with her.
Her daughter snuck in a peace sign.

We stayed in the water all day. We talked about good books, God's faithfulness, shopping. So much. There is nothing like time with a sister, and knowing your heart is loved and safe.

When it was time for them to go, they cancelled a next plan to stay longer and not rush the time, and I was glad for my yes to meet her. It's the third time in as many weeks.

Home, freckled, and ready for a coffee pick-me-up from the travel.

A first day of school ... feet in the sand ... didn't even realize it until I got home. Big smiles. Thanks, God.

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