I still have a mom on earth.
And I am a mom; with children who live in the same time zone as me.
I know. I know how rare this is.
So many of my friends are hurting on this day; their moms have passed away/not in their lives and today? Brings out the 'I miss my mom' ache x 1,000. Hugs to you friends... If this day causes a pain so deep you don't want to get out of bed, I'm so sorry for you. I prayed for you this morning, and hope today wasn't as awful as you anticipated it would be.
Jule and I celebrated our mom at noon...
Along with our families, we gathered at The Old Spaghetti Factory for pasta. And bread. And
Is a prayer warrior.
And while it may look like she's praying here, I don't think she is.
She's waiting for her necklace to be clasped.
The hugs followed lunch:
Then we, (Clint, Max, Drew and I) hopped into Drew's truck and drove over to The Farm.
(You know you're in Surrey when...)
And parked in Billie's Country parking lot.
Where I parked for many years.
Then walked up this ramp.
Holding a little boy's hand.
And turned right, and into a magical place where creativity reigned.
And potpourri overflowed.
Amazing what a difference a fence makes.
Blackberry bushes gone wild.
From the parking lot, we wandered over to the site of the house.
We are standing in the area that used to be the back patio. With the firepit, gazebo, brick BBQ ...
And this is where the green barn used to stand:
Back lawn. My 'garden' area, off to the left:
Then down to the lower field.
Max and Drew went down first, then yelled at Clint to go slow and hold my hand.
(I made it just fine on my own.)
We scouted around the area where the barn/shop/suite in the lower field used to be.
(My youngest will finally be a man when he pulls his damn pants up.)
Then we checked out the driveway. The switchback one. The one I drove down daily, for years. And the one my dad and kids walked on, many, many times.
The kids are standing at the bottom of it, just before you turn the corner into the field.
From the bottom, looking up:
From the top, looking down.
I loved this driveway...
From there, we went to the lower-field creek. To check out The Tree.
When I was a teen, it's where I went to read.
And when the kids were little, it's where they went to play.
(Do you know how awesome this is?
For me to have warm memories of a certain place, and 20 years later, my kids made their own memories AT THE SAME PLACE?)
I am so thankful for that farm.
Anyway, this is The Tree:
(The one in the very centre of this pic. Can you see all three of my boys in that tree? Look closely. They're there.)
I thought this was about as close as I'd get to that tree because of this narrow log. I'd have to walk across it to get through the marsh.
It took a bit of prayer and the timely finding of a huge stick to use as a balancing stabilizer, but eventually I crossed it. Whoooo Eeeeee.
I had warned my boys earlier that I'd be bringing my camera. I hoped they wouldn't be annoyed, but I was planning on taking many pics.
They were accommodating.
From the tree, we decided to cross the creek.
There were a few stepping stones already set out, exactly for this.
The boys made it look easy.
After they'd all crossed, Drew called out, "Mom. Don't try it. That first rock is too far for you. We'll get it fixed up for you."
Me: Don't be silly. I can make that jump. Here take my camera. I can do this.
Drew: No. Don't even think about it. We can handle this. Max? Clint? Get some big rocks.
Me: I'm fine. I've got this...
Drew: NO, We're fine. WE GOT THIS. And it's not a hassle. THIS IS WHAT WE DO. We live for this stuff. We've been hauling rocks and making crossings in creeks our whole life. Bups taught us.
So I let them prepare a crossing for me and felt very loved.
We found a trail.
And another one:
Which were, apparently, boring. So were whacked our way through overgrown prickle bushes and made our own way:
We (they) whacked their way through this:
To get to this:
And we made our way (via four separate routes) to get to the top field.
I used to ride my dirt bike back here. The kids remember coming back here on the quad with Bups.
They played night stalker in this field. Plus there used to be a fort up here.
This was another fort location:
Jim had made a fort here when we were kids.
And Clint made one here when he was one.
And from there we went to the very back field.
It was the largest field, but you had to cross a clay-muck area to get there. My dirt bike got stuck in the muck when it was wet. And when it was dry, it was all bumpy and ridge-y and impossible to cross through without falling over. Wasn't any better walking through....
There was a wooden crossing set up.
So it was a piece of cake.
Have I mentioned that it was 25 degrees today?
We were hot.
And Max and I had prickled, scratched, bleeding legs and it didn't matter.
Back down to the creek to look for the (cow, from my youth) (quad, from their's) crossing.
Just had so many magical places to hang out.
They decided to go look for the old cow shelter.
I decided not to.
I was not going to cross the creek again.
They got to the other side. Looked at the cow shelter. Then came back to the creek.
And then it was time to jump back over the creek AGAIN.
Drew, demonstrating the ol' Two Foot Landing:
Max, unsure about the ol' Two Foot Landing, as he'd never heard of it before, is undecided how to approach this obstacle.
Drew offers guidance and extends his hand.
Max reminds him that he's left handed.
In the end, Max's long legs can just step across.
But I love that Drew was right there, with his arm extended.
(He offered his hand to me repeatedly throughout the afternoon. I love that about him. Very aware of people's needs around him.)
After that? We made our way back to Billies'. On the trails.
And back to the house to wait for pizza...
Could have been my most favorite Mother's Day ever.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. My mom. She's the absolute best.
2. My kids. They are not boring. And I love them.