Saturday, September 18, 2010

Family, Fishing, and Feeling Normal

Two weeks ago was Labor Day weekend. I’m still remembering our time away fondly.  It proved to be a relaxing, and joyful ending to my overly eventful summer.  We ventured south to visit my in-laws in southern Oklahoma for a couple of days.  Joining us on this venture were my oldest son, JC, our Japanese “Friendship Family” student from the U of A, Megumi, and Cleo.  Sean stayed behind with Harry, still wearing his torture device (Harry, not Sean), due to his work schedule (Sean’s, not Harry’s).

The weather was early fall perfect and, as always, we enjoyed our time away.  I am so blessed to have a mother and father-in-law that are truly like my second parents.  And, as they tell everyone, I am their favorite daughter-in-law.  When we visit, it feels like going home.  They live in a log cabin on several acres of land just north of the Texas border.  Their home is surrounded by oak trees, cattle, and privacy, and is a great place for unwinding and forgetting the outside world.

This was always a wonderful place to bring our growing boys.  Cleo loves it too…once we’re there (she’s not a fan of the van ride down).  She enjoys long walks down country lanes and at times has joined my father-in-law on a walk through the cow pasture.  She has discovered that the local horses and cows have a strong desire to meet her…up close and personal.  Those feelings are not mutual.  The time she was surprised and then chased through the pasture by a giant bovine makes for a pretty funny tale.

The food is great, too.  Iris is much like my own mom was, in that, aside from being a great cook, she has this inbred fear that someone might go hungry, so food is plentiful.  For one thing, no one does pot roast like Iris, so the after church comfort meal and side dishes were divine.  Meals often include garden grown veggies or melons and homemade jams.

No one thinks twice if you disappear for a few moments of solitude to recover from these great meals.  So I managed to lay down for a “few minutes” on Sunday afternoon, only to wake up 2 hours later…something I had not done in a long time.  Peace, rest, and relaxation were the name of the game.

Wetting hooks in the pond.
 JC and Megumi even got to wet a few hooks in the “pond” out back.  They’ve always called this a pond, but it’s the biggest pond I’ve ever seen.  If I lived there, I would call it a lake.  The nice thing about this so called pond is that it just sits there untouched, day after day, and happens to be full of fish, therefore, it’s the perfect place for impatient fishermen like my crew.  And so, it was the perfect spot for Megumi to go fishing…for the first time in her life.  As she exclaimed, “I didn’t know catching fish was this easy!”  We didn’t tell her that it’s not.  She and JC spent a bit of time on the banks of the Brigman pond and we ended up bringing home a zip lock bag full of bass.  We’ll be having her over soon for a fish dinner.

One more for the grill...
followed by Daisy, the tire biting cow dog.
She wanted the full experience...slimy scales and all.

As usual, our stay was too brief and I left wondering why we don’t go more often.  It was lovely to feel normal again, but, unfortunately, in the back of my mind was the knowledge of how the next weekend would play out…the weekend following chemo #2.  So, I enjoyed it while I could and went into the shortened week with my usual energy and optimism, knowing everything is temporary and thanking God for the good, as well as the bad.  That bad makes the good seem all the more special.

I think it’s time to plan another trip down south.

1 comment:

  1. What a very fun time! I want to go too. I know my kids would love something like that. Anyway, the fishing pictures are just beautiful. We are doing a "friendship" kind of thing through our church. We haven't been paired yet but we went to a picnic last was so neat to hear about different places. I am so glad you were able to enjoy that "normalcy"...take advantage of those moments to carry you through the not so fun times.