Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Catching Up

We set out on our journey at five in the morning. The stars poked through the night sky so bright it was as though no darkness existed above. Our breath floated in white clouds around us until the truck warmed.

My three beautiful children closed their eyes and returned to sleep, leaving my husband and me with quiet time. A rare occasion. We chatted a bit about the drive, about where we’d like to stop, and what we’d like to do for fun before venturing onto the second part of our trip.

Then we passed through our favorite part of Virginia, a place which earns a scene or two in my book, a place that captured my attention even before the sun came up: Albermarle. A two-lane road winds through the rolling hills of the horse farms. Towering trees line the shoulders. Black and white estate fencing borders the countless acres of green pastures. Occasional white street lights provided the only clue of the Blue Ridge Mountains' existence in the background.

I daydreamed about the characters from my book and where their story is going, then I fell asleep, too.

I love my husband. Sometimes his endurance amazes me—okay, all the time he amazes me—and he chauffeured us all the way to Nashville, Tennessee without batting an eyelash. He grumbled a bit at the billion bathroom stops for the girls, at the recklessness of other drivers, at the fact I read three books while he drove, at our perpetual napping, and definitely at the fighting children in the backseat . . . but he got us there.


(So, honey, if you’re reading this. I love you. Thank you. And thank you again for doing the same thing the following day and for the two-legs of the trip on the way back. You don’t get enough credit. Today my blog is dedicated to you.)

Our time in Mt. Magazine, Arkansas was wonderful. We were surrounded by family and friends. My children spent some much needed time with their aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins, and I spent some time with the same people—they just have different names for me. Mom. Dad. Brother. Sister. Nephews….

Mt. Magazine is gorgeous. The highest point in the state overlooks valleys full of farm lands and lakes. The sun created a mirror out of the water and made the cow pastures and corn fields look like something only an artist could have painted. The sistering mountains added texture to the natural landscape, hazy-blue against a pale-blue sky, and as usual when I’m in the tall, rugged terrain, I felt at home.

The lodge was warm and cozy. Fires burned in many of the sitting rooms, leaving our clothes tainted with a light scent of the outdoors. My husband took two of our children hiking down the cliff and captured many breathtaking photos—thank God one of us isn’t afraid of heights—and afterward we hung out in the hot tub with my siblings and their families.

Kris’ wedding came and went and it was beautiful. He gained a wife, I gained a sister-in-law, and my children gained an aunt. She’s a fantastic woman, full of life, laughter, and happiness. She’s made my brother smile. Made him a better man than he already was, and for all those things I’m grateful.

We’re home now—again, thanks to my husband—and life is slowly returning to normal. Kids have to go to bed at reasonable hours. Homework must be made-up. Laundry . . . I hate laundry.

The scenery is gone, but the memories will live on forever, and I promise to get back to blogging, critiquing, tweeting, facebooking, and all that other social stuff I’m involved in as a writer.

Are you ready?


  1. FIRST! Yay welcome back! I missed you!

  2. There's some really nice description in here. Felt like I was in the car with you, probably in the back fighting with the kids.

  3. Anonymous11/09/2011

    I was born to blog! I'm just not yet very good at it.

    William Doonan

  4. Glad you had such a wonderful time! Welcome back!

  5. True, moments go leaving memories back.

    Its my first visit here, and its nice. :) Anyways welcome back :)
    Have a great day :) God bless :)

  6. Oooh! How lovely. I can see it all. Will stop now before I gush.

  7. Anonymous11/09/2011

    I not so sure my kids would have tolerated that long of a car ride. The many bathroom breaks would have gotten to my husband too. LOL No matter how many times we say, "Go before we leave." Someone always has to go before we get there. Isn't that just the way it is? Hope you plan on sharing some of those amazing pictures in a future post.

  8. Reminds me of the many road trips my family took when I was a child. Glad you are home!

  9. Thank you for all the comments, guy! You know I love you! :-) I wonder if my hubby has read this yet...?

  10. weddings and family time are always special:)

  11. Welcome back Krystal, I was off line for a while and I missed your blog posts. It is so nice to hear your stories from growing up in the states.


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