- The Little One starting her trip by getting her finger slammed in a door
- Hiking in Garner and Lost Maples State Parks
- Bicycling with the girls on their brand new bikes
- Sitting cradled in the roots of an ancient cypress tree, alone on Friday morning, watching the mist rise off the Frio and singing a blessing to my loved ones
- Matching the gaze of a buck as he deftly crossed the river in front of me
- Feeding a little bird out of our hands
- Shopping in Fredricksburg (Mikel stocked up on his jalapeno peanut butter)
- Drinking hot chocolate while the girls ice skated in the park
- Eating some darn good barbeque and chatting it up with the waitress in Bandera
- The Not-So-Little-One looking out over the hilltops and announcing, "Mommy, this is a fine example of gravitropism." (Who says public school is lame?)
- Fishing on the Frio
- Skipping rocks (an obscure hidden talent of mine)
- Roasting marshmallows by the fire
- Seeing more stars than I knew existed
Here are a few observations from the trip:
- Four people + seven days + one motorhome = a whole lot of togetherness
- The Little One is a machine! She can hike/bike/run/fish/shop forever and she NEVER STOPS TALKING!
- The Rio Frio is.
I confirmed a truth about me. I am drawn to the water. Specifically, I am drawn to moving water. As I got acquainted with the Frio, I was reminded of all the rivers and creeks on whose banks I have made myself at home - Leon, Guadalupe, Cow House, Colorado (both of them), Green, Red, Rio Grande, Neches, Angelina, Brazos, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri... a few in Germany when my dad was stationed there.
As a kid, when I wasn't knee deep in the water catching crawdads, I would sit by the creek and tear leaves into tiny pieces and throw them into the water, watching the current take them swiftly out of my sight. I never thought about the symbolism before, but it was rather like watching my troubles wash away from me. It was always soothing. Still is.
Santa treated us all well, and the new year holds much promise. Blessings to you and to those you love and even to those you don't.