The numbers run like this:
Two time zones.
Several dozen tanks of gas.
More fast food than a person should ever consume.
A pair of very happy grandparents.
One overjoyed Alice.
One brand new nephew.
Several family dinners.
One porch-viewed lightening storm.
A graveside visited and cried over.
Ashes scattered over one lazy curve of the Colorado river.
More hours than were meant to be counted in a car.
Precious handfuls of time spent with the parents.
How many memories were collected in the pages of my mind to be pored over when the sun is not so bright, when time has spent itself, when I am closeted away in the dark winter?
We are home, and so happy to be here. But just one day before reaching our dusty porch, in one last night spent away from familiar bed and roof, one last surprise waiting for us: dear Chip was laid off, part of a corporate restructuring of which Chip wasn't the only casualty--- there are a lot of fancy words used to describe it, words that have become far too familiar for so many of us of late.
But new challenges await us, this is something I know. We have each other, and we have faith. There is beauty to be found even in these pavement cracks. I've laid low for this many days, collecting my thoughts and coming to a place where I am able to share these words with you. In the meantime, life beckons. The days roll on. Alice is growing and wanting more of me to stretch her mind and lengthen the reach of her understanding. She reminds me that even when the daily foundation of my life seems destined to quake - even when I feel like the planet should stop spinning for an hour while I try to catch my breath - even when everything is changing and I can't hold on to a sliding bit of it---- the days still shift and turn, the sun goes down, night noises descend on the house and sleep--whatever small bit of it--comes. And then you get up in the morning.