We left the state of South Dakota and decided to drive through the grasslands of Nebraska. We saw miles and miles of grass and cows. Every so often we’d come across a decrepit and broken down farm, completely and eerily abandoned. With some effort you could take yourself back in time and only imagine the bustling and vibrant place it possibly once was. A working farm, home and barns, producing all kinds of good things. Maybe some not so good things. We ponder and wonder the story behind the place.
A beautiful Nebraskan sunset
When we approached Colorado we were excited to see the Rocky Mountains. It seemed like we had been traveling through hills of grass and fields forever. Don’t get me wrong, fields, flat and rolling land, farming is a beauty of its own… but we are Arizonans. The mountains are a strange comfort.
We found a reservoir and parked the RV waterside. The kids found their suits and water and the pretending began…
muddy mustaches and all
They found dead wood, which equals free firewood. I laughed so hard watching them carry these way too big for their bodies branches for a 1/4 mile.
Halle and Isaac stayed committed to helping Jeff rip/cut it all apart and make it fit into the fire pit.
That evening a huge thunderstorm blew in. We huddled into the RV and laid around making up songs… silly songs. When the rain ceased, we jumped back out to enjoy the stormy sun-setting skies and some fishing.
Here are a couple pictures showing what the kids come up with when they are bored on the RV. I think Isaac was sick of sitting “normal” while coloring
Here they recruited Noah into getting his hair “done”
Next we made our way to Ft. Collins, CO. Through connections with friends we were thankful to be able to park and make new friends with Nate, Sharon and their family. They were wonderful hosts… allowing us to plug in the RV, use their downstairs shower and washer/dryer. It was a beautiful home with a front yard to picnic in…
and a backyard to run, jump, play in and make memories.
We hiked within Poudre Canyon and enjoyed another river! This river was moving at a pretty good speed, but was the right size to encourage the kids to get in and feel the power of the moving water. They had mainly played on the sides of the riverbanks or swam in the cove parts where the water was slowed down. Mia was afraid.
She did not want to feel fish and she did not want the rushing water to wash her away.
Before I knew it, Jeff had picked her up and walked her out into the middle of the water despite her protests. I had my mommy moment of, “wait- my child’s cries sound important and desperate,” but it was weighed against the trust I have for Jeff as a dad. I saw that this agenda was not for him. He did not find joy in challenging her fear for his sake. After watching I saw this was for her. Jeff tenderly came against her fear and lovingly put her in a position that felt really vulnerable for her.
Mia eventually stood in the water and squealed in delight. She experienced the power of a river and saw that there were not fish near her. Her fears were dismantled. The river redefined for her. They all walked upstream, against the current… together.
I can’t count the number of sword fights these guys have had with all the wilderness sticks around.
Our last night in Ft. Collins was spent in Old Town. We had a blast listening to a folk band playing live music…
and gobbling up some real ice cream!
On our way out of Ft. Collins we stopped through Greeley to visit old Kineo friends; Jory and Shilo Butler and their boys. They shared a meal with us and it was wonderful to see a snapshot of their life there. We reminisced about the sweet and hard days of planting a church together and caught up on all that we are learning in the present day.
Now we are in Denver, resting in the Schepemaker home. I say resting because it is a quiet big house. Hanks wife and 3 kids are on vacation, but he was still gracious enough to invite us into his space and time. He has a servants heart and greeted us yesterday with a goal of allowing us to rest. The kids have been given permission to play in rooms with toys and they are quietly enjoying their own time away from us. Hank and Jeff are dear friends and are sitting around like old men… talking, remembering, laughing, debating, moving forward in their friendship. As for me, I have time to take a shower, lay down for a nap and write this blog in peace. We are resting. It feels great.