Wednesday, April 21, 2010

upon reflection

This is where I've been, this is the view from my sister's driveway.  Stunning, right?

And indeed, the scenery is gorgeous, but this weekend with my mom and my siblings (and really, with my dad too through the jokes, stories, and the understood presence of his incredible influence) was more about who we are than where we were:  a family of strong, opinionated, food-loving folk, a family that is greater than the sum of its parts.

I missed Sam and Skyler and Reed very much, and the next time we go to Utah, we are ALL going to Utah, but being there without the kids (in their current state of energy and neediness) gave me the chance to sit for long, lingering meals, and have uninterrupted conversation, and relax in a way I don't think I've done since I had kids.   The night after the race, I had probably the best, deepest sleep I've ever had, and then we had a huge pancake breakfast in the morning, and then planted our selves into deck chairs for several hours in the sun with more coffee.

And I got to spend time with my nephews in a way I can never usually do with Reed and Skyler around.  I got to hear Grant tell me all about the different types of clouds and weather, and read an adventure story that Cameron wrote, and understand better what kinds of stellar boys they really are. I loved being with them for bedtime stories, hearing them laugh with each other, and witnessing their total adoration for my sister.

At their request, I helped the boys start their own blog.  If you think really hard before you peek, you can probably guess what they named it.  Here it is.
The video in the most current post is one I made for them about the run they did last weekend.  All of the writing beneath that is in their own un-edited words.  Brilliant.

And Liesel and Craig's house is now done, a house that I've watched unfold since the blue-prints were spread out on the dinner table years ago, the vision of Craig's architect brother Clark.  It's amazing.

Every corner of their home glows with the mountain light.  See?

It occured to me on my way home that what my siblings and I find to be the very best days comes down to a simple formula that we learned from our parents: Go to a beautiful place, do something physically challenging, and then sit down all together around a table to eat a huge meal, going over the highlights and adventure stories of the day.

My mom learned to ski when we were little, and she is quick to say that she learned to ski so that we could all gather together at the end of the day with our rosy cheeks and stories and share a big meal.  I totally get that.  And if it wasn't skiing in Vermont, it was biking in Lake Tahoe or hiking in Montana that brought us all together.  Food tastes better after hours of hard work in the fresh air, and it tastes better when you eat it surrounded by the people you love.

Now that we live in Maine, California and Utah, we always have a beautiful place to reunite, we just don't get to do it often enough.  I guess, upon reflection, that is why this weekend meant so much to me; it rolled everything I love into a concentrated time and space.

In the guest house next door (pictured above) my mom will live for the next 3 months.  We miss having her in Maine, but we're willing to share.  I'm not sure who is happier at 3:30 every day when my mom walks to the end of the dirt road to meet the boys, who bound off the bus and into her arms.

And, I think, therein lies the end of what I needed to tell you about my one little weekend. 

Oh wait, just one last thing:


SNW said...

Where do I begin? Uncle Chris is clearly a hit. That house is a dream. I love that your nephews are readers and writers, AND have big big love for their mom (the photos show a clear reciprocity). Divine. Also, those medals and shirts are serious!

Claudia said...

Your sister has a beautiful home & Family.
It's the great that the boys started their own blog, just too cute.

I've never spend a night away from my kids and my daughter turned 10 in February... so it's been a long time since I've had a day just to myself. I love them very much BUT think it would be a great treat. said...

This was a beautiful post and these pictures.......they are breathtaking!