Monday, October 5, 2009


This past weekend i got to escape to the country. Our family's farm doesn't boast many luxuries, but I thoroughly enjoy the quiet. the loose schedule. the sleeping in. The space. And... the quiet.

And of course, the people. This is my beautiful sister Melissa (Flo) - the best sister ever - and Rocky - the best dog in the whole world. Have I told you about him before? If so, sorry. He is the best dog in the world because he is even-tempered and tough, gentle and wise. Good with kids, and never snarls - except at coyotes. And he has three legs. And he still runs really fast. And my sister loves him a whole lot. Best dog ever.

This is my momma. She likes to go for walks and look for fossils - we actually find a lot out there. She gets pretty excited about interesting rocks. I love my momma!

That's our lake, or at least that's what we call it. A creek flows into it, and the dam that I was standing on to take this photo creates this huge tank. In the bottom of the photo is the valve for the draw-down - turn the wheel to release some of the water out the other side of the dam - but we only use that if the water is way up and... it hasn't been way up in a while.
One time last spring Garret and I were riding on the 4-wheeler and got to watch a gorgeous sunset from the top of the dam. That was a really peaceful moment.

Speaking of Garret, here he is fishing with my dad (while I play paparazzi).
If you asked me what was the most exciting part of this weekend, I would probably tell you that it was taking engagement pictures with Garret in town and out on the farm. We got to be cuddly and sentimental and goofy, and had a blast - despite the drizzly rain! Our photographers are a lot of fun, and we really enjoyed getting to take photos in neat places like inside the old barn (surrounded by hay, old wood beams, and the occasional hornets' nest) and by the "snake house" chimney. We'll get the pictures back in a couple of weeks, so we're looking forward to that!

All that said, if you asked Garret about this weekend, he would at some point definitely, and excitedly, tell you about all the fish he and my dad caught, which was about 20 each. See, last summer our lake turned over because of a process called eutrofication - which I now better understand because of my job - and that caused a fish kill. All this ironically happened right around the time my dad's mother passed away.
Today, the lake has been restocked, the fish have grown, and Dad and Garret caught some that were more than 2 lb.s - which is way exciting compared to zero fish last fall.
A little glimpse of restoration, I guess.

This is our grandmother, with baby cousin Hannah a few years ago. I was in China when Grandmother died. This picture is how I choose to remember her; she had a sweet spirit, loved the Lord, always had a kind answer, and loved to say the 23rd Psalm. I really enjoy remembering stories about her, both nostalgic and poignantly funny ones. ("Who's that walkin' heavy?")

Saturday afternoon, rambunctious Hannah was playing with my grandmother's walker, which for whatever reason still sits in her old bedroom. Hannah's mom, Jen, explained to her that yes, that used to be Grandmother's, but now she doesn't need it anymore because she's in heaven with Jesus and she can walk just fine. Just fine. My sister and I were in the bathroom working on getting my hair ready for pictures when we overheard this conversation, and I'm really glad we did, because I treasured that reminder.
Thank you Jesus for beautiful hope to rest in now, and for the sure promise of ultimate rest, restoration, and glory.

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