We drove to Des Moines in the middle of the month.  Although our first stop was Anamosa, in order to participate in the Chelsey's Dream Foundation 5K.  We're expecting a new nephew in November, and the Bildstein family has offered to provide financial assistance in the adoption process.  It was a pleasure to meet such a generous, resilient couple, and it felt a little like their daughter's spirit was with us all week with so many butterflies crossing our path.
And then we spent several days with the Vaudts, listening to outdoor concerts at the local winery, building Legos, playing in the backyard and making flower chains, picking fresh raspberries and refilling our coffee cups two and three times.
We visited their farm too, exploring the creek that runs along one edge, catching snakes and frogs and insects, fashioning a makeshift slip and slide, bunking together in one big room, building bonfires that lasted past midnight and cooking pancakes over open flames in the morning.
It's hard to choose a favorite part of the trip - watching our kids play together is at the top of the list.  And so is the fried fish dinner Andy whipped up.  Walking to the nearby playground to see Celia's bench was pretty special too.  But one of my best memories is the outdoor shower.  It was dark, the air was warm, and looking up at the sky it seemed like a celebration, a grand, illicit party the galaxy was throwing after most humans had been put to bed.
I love getting away and being together.  Time not spent at home sometimes helps me refocus.  Out there I was able to remember that problems are like stars:  When you’re up close, they can burn you, but when you see them from a distance, when you give yourself some space, they are phenomenally small flecks.  Getting away cannot eliminate stress, but spending time with friends sure can shrink stuff and shift perspective.


rht said...

Thanks for the photo glimpses of good times with good friends. I love seeing all the kids at play... especially the big kids! ; ) Hope you will all keep each other young at heart forever.

Diana said...

These pics make me want to go to Iowa, too. I don't like snakes, won't touch frogs and well...I maybe don't even like camping. I do, however, like Chardonnay.