09 July 2012

Intense Hour of Gratitude

I hope all of you had a fantastic 4th of July week and weekend.

We had a family reunion.  Since my parents have 13 children (no twins and no step-siblings.  Pretty impressive.  My mother is my hero)  I have a lot of nieces and nephews.  My dad is really into numbers, so he has given everyone in the family their own number.  He is 1.  My mom is 2.  Since I'm the youngest, I am number 15.  We just added number 126 this year.

As you might imagine, it's difficult to find accommodations for such a large group for three days.  So, we divided into age groups this year.  Since all three of my kids fell into the youngest age group, I got to be a facilitator for them and 21 other littlies at my brother's house.  It was super fun.  We got to do a giant slip 'n' slide, horse rides, 4-wheeler rides, crafty things, eat, play and eat and play some more.  One of the days we looked out the window and saw some of the 7 year-olds having a pig poo fight.  It was awesome.  They stunk something fierce.

With all of us having a huge sleepover, we didn't get much sleep.  I think I'm still recovering.

During the last night, everyone went to a park to play night games, and I opted to stay home with the kids who didn't want to go.  Turned out, it was just me and my son, who would sacrifice his teeth to play a Wii, so it was lucky he just sacrificed fun-time with his cousins.  I was happy for the hour or so of quiet and decided to take my laptop outside and get some writing done.

The breeze blew in some purple clouds and cooled things down after a scorching day.  The green valley was a perfect contrast to the brown cliffs surrounding it and I found myself taking deep calming breaths.  Those huge sprinklers they use on alfalfa fields were spanking themselves in the distance, bringing the smell of wet earth.  I took it all in.

Then I dove into the wild west headfirst and wrote a fight scene between some cowboys and aliens.
This story is perhaps the most fun I have ever had writing.  I get excited reading what I wrote the day before and thinking of what I'm going to write next.  My life would be so lame without the stories in my head.

The hour was far too short and I was still tap, tap, tapping away on my keyboard when the thundering herd arrived.  And while I make it sound like a chore, I was so happy to be there and happy to spend time with each and every little grown-up.  There is nothing quite as beautiful as three, four year-olds singing a hymn for their talent show.

But I was intensely grateful for that hour.

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