Thursday, September 20, 2012

Go West Older Lady!

Go West Young Older Man Lady!

One more day.

That is all that remains before my family embarks on an epic trip to Colorado. 

Today will be full of hustling and bustling, list making and organizing, packing and planning. We will drop our dog off at the kennel that makes her smell stinky and clinical but where she is well-loved.  We will load up the family truckster with all the necessary accoutrements, fill fuel tanks and tires, clean windshields and seat cushions.

And tomorrow, when the sun peeks over the edge of the world, we will be driving away from it, headed West.

You see, we are making this trip with my parents.  

They were supposed to go to Italy, those two.  That was their dream and something that they carefully researched for quite some time. It was going to be beautiful. They were going to cruise the Mediterranean, eat themselves plump and take in the beauty of that boot shaped land. 

But, in the interim, my dad's hip and back and feet decided to betray him and my mom's leukemia got a little riotous and so Italy was put on the back burner.  First, indefinitely. Then, permanently.  

And there was a sadness.

So, for a time, they attended to their health and garnered up their strength. And then, being the amazing people that they are, my parents pitched an alternative.  Why don't we take a trip together instead?

And the dream for this trip was born.

Tomorrow, when we back out of the driveway and turn that loaded van towards the West, there will be a lot riding on those wheels.

There will be two boys who will take their schooling on the road.  The rugged landscape, the strange geological formations, the ancient homes built into the side of cliffs, the hundreds of thousands of acres of unspoiled land filled with elk and bear and mountain goats...all of it will become their classroom.  

There will be me and my husband.  And we will find ourselves in the unique position of traveling as parents and as the parented, navigating decisions with another set of opinions and perspectives, summoning patience for the young and the old, and loving each other through it all.

And there will be my parents, whose generosity of head and heart knows no bounds.  This time around, they will be passengers rather than navigators.  Their job will be to look wide-eyed at the beauty, to soak up the laughter of their grandchildren and to marvel at a length of days that is beyond a gift and is, quite remarkably, a miracle.


For the next ten days I am going offline.  This space will be quiet as I travel with my family and focus on being fully with them and in the moment.  It will feel very strange to not immediately share my experiences with you as I have become quite accustomed to chronicling my days and my heart in this space.  But I believe that this time away will grow something new in me.  I need to unplug and slow down and be present.  It will be good for me to have conversations with the people who are most important to me and wait for their comments, rather than virtual ones.  And it will be soul stretching to be still and quiet and listen for the sounds of the spheres.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.  


  1. Hope you have a wonderful ten days away, soaking in all of the beauty of landscape and relationship, being present in every moment.

  2. Holly, the beauty with which you describe your upcoming journey has left me misty eyed. I hope you enjoy your family and soak up every moment with them. I will be praying for you, for great togetherness and also safe travels. I can't wait to hear all about the wonder you experience along the way.

  3. Holly, hope your trip is absolutely overflowing with beauty and good conversation and all the best. Enjoy! Can't wait to hear about it when you get back!

  4. I'm so excited for your adventure!

    Beautiful writing Hols!

    - I *really* like the word accoutrements. I need to use it more.

    - "eat themselves plump and take in the beauty of that boot shaped land." // Love the imagery.

    - "my mom's leukemia got a little riotous" //I'm so sorry honey. Hugs. :( However, I love your choice of words "a little riotous."

    - "homes built into the side of cliffs, the hundreds of thousands of acres of unspoiled land filled with elk and bear and mountain goats...all of it will become their classroom." // And I quote Tina Fey when I say, "I want to go to there."

    - "traveling as parents and as the parented" // #nailedadulthood

    - "soul stretching to be still and quiet and listen for the sounds of the spheres." // Pray tell what are the "sounds of spheres" you speak of?

    So happy for your togetherness and love,

  5. Thank you, Shelly. That is my hope and prayer.

  6. Thank you, Eyvonne. I covet your prayers and I am thankful that we will be buoyed by them as we travel. I, too, can't wait to share all that we encounter.

  7. Me too, Annie!!! I will definitely miss this space but I know it will be waiting for me when I return. Can't wait to tell you all about it.

  8. Tina,
    Thank you for your kind words and well wishes. I, too, am very excited! Those "sounds of the spheres..." that is what I expect to hear pulsing when I look up at the huge dark sky from 12,000 feet up...the beauty and majesty of all that God has wraught..that is what I want to tune into.
    Hate to be missing out on the SheLoves synchroblog next week...that is definitely a bummer. I"ll have a lot of catching up to do when I get home.
    Thank you again for your encouragement.

  9. Travel mercies and you will be missed but.......I am full of joy for you and all the layers and facets and hidden places this trip will reveal...all to be tucked away in your memory keeper. Pack it tight. Pack it full. Pack it with grace-laced moments. God's peace, friend.

  10. I have done three of these trips, but you describe it SO beautifully. The parenting and the parented. I actually went on my honeymoon with my parents, if you can believe it. Long story. But, I was a new immigrant without any status. My parents didn't know my husband. They were here for only two weeks all the way from South Africa ... And so we've begun to learn to share our lives.

    Our second trip was when we drove down to California in our new minivan with my parents. Our two toddler girls, four adults. We made beautiful memories.

    Last year, we took to the road again. My parents had always wanted to see the Rockies. So, we fired up that same minivan and drove to the mountains far far away ... If it weren't for my parents, we wouldn't have gone and my, how glad I am we did that trip.

    Has it been easy every kilometer of the way, no. But I am so thankful we get to make these memories together, all squished into the minivan.

    Have a FANTASTIC trip ... I'll miss your voice, but enjoy every moment.

  11. Unplug and savor every minute, friend.
    A sweet, blessed trip to you and yours!

  12. Having just discovered this beautiful space, I will miss you. But I SO get this. Have a wonderful, memory-building time, Holly. Enjoy the quiet, take a few notes here and there and give us some beautiful reflections when you're back home and settled. Please?

  13. Praying for your whole family during this adventure.

  14. I MISS YOU GUYS....

  15. Thank you, Diana~I will follow your directions to the letter. :)

  16. Brenna,
    Thank you so very much for your thoughts and prayers! I will hold them tight!

  17. Kelli,
    Thank you, friend.