Josh, Emily, Brook, Kristie, 40 Horse Cave, Nov 24, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

EnJOY the Journey

While visiting my cousin and her family in Alaska last year I learned many new things: during the Summer in Alaska, sun-set and sun-rise are really close together; marrion berry licorice is excellent; goals can be set and reached; and, time with family is attention, relaxation, awareness and JOY in our journey.

We (my sister Kellie and I) were grateFULL to have Kary, Ray, Stephen, McKinley and Sage (the dog of wonder) join us to what has become one of my favorite areas on Mother Earth: Valdez.  While we were going there, caravaning behind the Hafens, I found myself learning from their example.  Kellie and I didn't keep much of a schedule, time wise, other than knowing where we wanted to be on specific days.  However, the everyday-busybody-get-there-as-fast-as-we-can-to-enjoy-it self was getting a little up-ity with how low it was taking to get going and to get there (this might have been due to the lack of sleep I had and the fact I had been in vehicles for long periods of time over the previous week).  Soon, when we stopped to take in an amazing vista of a volcano overlooking a lake, I realized Kary and Ray were teaching me something very important: find joy in the journey.  It IS about the journey as much as it is about the destination.  I always want to rush to get to my destination instead of savoring the time spent with people I love.  Kary and Ray move at the speed of their children and and the pace of their souls, taking time to notice the beauty in all that surrounds them.

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy most moments with my loved ones, but I have found myself not LIVING in those moments as best as I can.  So, my application of this principle really started to take root yesterday and more importantly today.  We drove up to Blackfoot, where Josh grew up, to visit his three best friends and their families.  We had a great time with them last night and crashed at his friend's house.  Today was the true amazing experience when we drove around Blackfoot taking pictures of places from Josh's childhood and life: his home, church, the elementary school his dad was principal at for 10 years or so, the now dry for the winter canal he would swing into and swim, Wolverine Canyon and 40 Horse Cave (where he proposed to me), Kesler's market.  It didn't stop in Blackfoot.  We took a slight detour just north of Malad and visited his favorite place to fish growing up, Hawkins Reservior.  Yes, it took us 2 1/2 hours longer to get home than if we only drove and didn't experience.  But for me, today, I found joy in the journey, life in the moment, love in the memories made.

Thank you, Kary and Ray.

Brook stopping to throw rocks into a stream near 40 Horse Cave, Wolverine Canyon, outside of Blackfoot, Idaho.

 Josh, Brook, Emily, Kristie (me), with 40 Horse Cave behind and above us (look above Brook's head).  I love Emily's quizzical look as she sees our image reflected back in my iPhone (I need to make sure we were in the picture with the cave, so I flipped the camera to my screen).
 Closeup of 40 Horse Cave.  5 years, 5 months and 29 days ago (May 26, 2007), Josh hiked me up to this cave, in the twilight, and under a full moon asked me to be his eternal companion, equal in all things.  This was our first time returning to this place that is such an important part of our story.  The cave was important to Josh as he use to go there often to write and reflect.
 View as we left the canyon.  You can see three volcanos, part of Craters of the Moon, on the horizon.
 The ol' swimming hole.  Josh and his buddies would meet here often, sometimes everyday after working moving pipe in the fields to water the crop.  This particular spot had a rope swing they would use.
 Brook.  Happy and enjoying the journey!
 Ridge Crest Elementary, where Josh's dad worked.
 Random pic, but there is a story here.  In high school, Josh responded to a girl who had asked him out to a dance.  He sent her on a scavenger hunt around town, eventually leading her to the elementary where he taped his response to the ceiling of the entrance.  Goes to show how often they paint or clean the outside...the tape is still there!  It also explains the look of surprise and amusement Josh had on his face when he was returning to the car.
 Brook and Josh at Hawkins Reservoir, Josh's favorite childhood fishing hole.
 Ye Ol' Blackfoot Wallace Residence: some outside cosmetic changes include removal of the fence and addition of the radio tower in the background on the right.
Video of Brook and Josh throwing and skipping rocks in the frozen water.  Brook never did figure out why the rocks were not sinking.  She just kept throwing them.