Friday, September 24, 2010


Sometimes you just have to get away to be able to see things that are near you more clearly.

I was able to take a trip to Utah to visit Barbara and her Littles. Instead of a week like last time, I was going to be able to spend almost two weeks. I thought it was was going to be a time to catch up and share, but it turned out to be far more than that.

Many things weighed heavy on my mind--my dad's health wasn't the best and I found myself feeling guilt for being able to get away for an extended period of time while he wasn't able to take a break from what he was living. I wasn't able to work as often as I wanted and that was putting pressure on my co-workers in that they weren't able to depend on me, which in turn stressed out the family budget...

I needed to re-prioritize in a neutral place. And, I knew Barbara would take the best care of me while I escaped my life for awhile.

She had great plans and we both hoped there was enough time to do it all. First up, a trip to Kanab to Best Friends Animal Society. On the way we stopped at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park--a huge sand dune in the middle of the mountains! We all spread out and wandered alone and in groups... the most urgent activity was finding moqui marbles . When we finally found them, we grabbed every one we could find; after the initial excitement, we narrowed our selections to ones that we were really moved by. Finding our way back to the picnic table, we talked of our adventures while others (me) gasped for desert air. As we were loading up, one of the Littles began to throw up her lunch.

Long story short, we made it to Barbara's sister's house in Kanab where the stomach flu in turn took us each down... except for Barbara. Bodies were strewn all over the place in various phases of the illness and poor Barbara ministered to each in turn, as needed. She even watched over me as I slept and tossed and turned in my bed. Eyes closed, I could hear out the open window in the room I slept in the call of an owl overnight, the rustling of desert scrub as a cat or other wild animal foraged for dinner, the breeze blowing softly on my face, and birds singing in celebration of the coming sunrise. If only I were well enough to catch the sun peering over the desert mountains... I just couldn't drag myself out of bed.

Eventually we all loaded up and headed back home, but not before we drove the entrance to Best Friends. The kids thought it odd but then, well, what's normal?

The rest of my stay is a kind of blur--we brought out an 8' table and set it in the middle of the living room and proceeded to create art every spare minute we had. The girls would rotate through the empty chair at the table while Barb and I were steadfast in our endeavors.

We visited Bridal Veil falls and took evening walks where I met not only neighbors, but neighbor's pets of all kinds. And I fell into a deep like with these beauties--

while the buckskin didn't really have anything to do with me, the bay never hesitated and I left liberally slathered with kisses and slobber.

Son my time was over and I had to return home. Dad had been in the hospital and Misty was there with him.

My discernment had been productive and sad at the same time. I decided I had to leave the job I'd been doing and loving for 10 years in order to be with dad, one of the hardest decisions I've had to make in a long time. My thoughts went to the animals I wouldn't be able to care for and to Rocky whom I wouldn't be able to see on a regular basis. Also, I knew this wouldn't be forever but right now the need was clear.