I am writing this message as Reba and I are returning from what will be almost three weeks visiting family. We are on the road traveling from Colorado back to Michigan. We have made this trip about once a year for almost thirty years. It started as an eighteen-hour trip when we would drive straight through, sleeping for a few hours at a time at a rest area. Since we moved further north and added a couple of hours of time and we have gotten older, we would spend one night at a hotel. On this trip, we recognize that we can take even more time and visit the country that previously we had just sped through, so going and returning we stopped twice to stay overnight each way. What is that saying, “Stop and smell the roses”.
This trip was to be primarily about family. Our first visit included visiting Reba’s only remaining sibling, an older brother, who lives in southern Missouri and who we have not seen for a long period of time. Much of our time was spent reliving the stories of the “Baker Family.” We took a drive around the area that was in the beginning of spring planting. The primary crops grown in that area are cotton and rice. It is in the flood plain of the Mississippi River where many years ago levies were built to keep the river from over flowing its banks.
From there we went west to Wichita, Kansas and visited their outdoor preservation of the Plains Native America History River Front Passage. From there, we turned to head for the mountains visiting Castle Rock as we climbed to Alma, Colorado where our son and his family live. Alma is the highest incorporated community in the United States at 10,578 feet. When we get out of our car in their driveway, our GPS tells us we are at 10,532 feet. The air is thin, and we feel the effect for may days in that we labor for breath when we do anything that takes the smallest increase in effort, yet they have become so adjusted to it that our grandchildren have said, “Grandma how come you are breathing so hard?”
Our week-plus there included snow, cold, sleet and some warmth when we visited down into Denver out of the mountains. One of the highlights for all of us was a visit to the Denver Aquarium which included exhibitions of Colorado native aquatic life, and freshwater and salt water aquatic life. Our return trip back, we climbed back up into the mountains where there was more snow and our granddaughter exclaimed, “Its Colorado!”
The most important part of our trip was just being with family and sharing time together: playing board games, having pizza and movie night, playing charades, seeing doll fashion shows, visiting a race track with a grandson who gets to watch his father compete on the track, and worshipping at their small community church that has grown since Covid. The highlight of our visit was to see the growth in children, the family and to talk with them about expectations for the future. And, of course, what they want to do when they visit us this summer in Michigan!
Love family, take the time to be together and give hugs!