Apparently during the Fall we have a lot of traditions. One of them is that we usually go to the Buffalo River area while the leaves are changing to enjoy the scenery and spend the night at a cabin. The last two years we have done this in conjunction with John speaking on a panel for JBU seniors about life after college. His advice: "You are not going to change the world. But, you can change your world." Maybe not so inspiring, but definitely what we have found to be the case in our lives, thanks be to God. So, we did that Wednesday night, then Thursday morning got up and did family Christmas pictures with Luke, then drove to Lost Valley to go hiking. Though it was a little after the leaves have fallen, it was still beautiful and quite peaceful on a random Thursday afternoon.
The girls did great. I think we were all glad to be out of the car and sick of hearing the first 30 minutes of Tangled - somehow they kept pulling the cord out, which means the DVD starts over, and Lily does not like to skip ahead. So, we were sort of over that by the time we got there. The weather was just crisp enough to remind us that it was fall, but not bone-chillingly cold.
Every year we take a picture on this log in the creek bed, and this year I realized I have never been there when it was full of water. Earlier this year, it actually flooded and washed away the bridge. Crazy what the change in seasons brings about. I am thankful to live in a place that is seasonal - I love seeing the trees and plants cycle through buds and blooms to summery fullness to fall glory colors and then to branch silhouettes against the sky. I feel like God uses it to remind me of his faithfulness in the midst of my changing experiences.
That last picture looks much more scary than it was. We climbed through the cave, and at this angle, it looks as if Bella and I are quite the daring combination. Bring it on.
We went to a cabin with a great loft for the girls to sleep on. Only, Bella is at sort of a hard age. She is into everything and is quite unresponsive to the word "No." We ended up blocking off the stairs with a chair, which was effective. We watched the Little Mermaid and ate dinner. Then, later, and we still don't know exactly what happened, but there was a horrible crash and Lily screaming. Blood started dripping out of her mouth. It was an awful moment, because I realized that if anything was truly wrong, we were a long way from real help. Thankfully, she was fine, and the bleeding stopped quickly. We think she had been standing on the luggage rack, and it collapsed under her. I guess you have to learn some things the hard way, but I am so thankful that it was a very minor incident.
We did cinnamon rolls from a can and scrambled eggs the next morning after our nearly 11 hours of sleep. We just needed to catch up from life, especially John, who is in the thick of marathon training.
And, we headed home, taking in the beautiful fall scenery.
We almost didn't go this year, but at the last minute, we decided that we should, because we could. I know there will be years when we can't, and we would be sad that we didn't when we had the chance. So, I am thankful for the time we had together, for the mercy of only trivial injuries and the sweet sleep that gives a renewed perspective on life. God knows what we need when we need it.