|Me, Norma Jean, PJ, Buz, Markee, Fia, oldest to youngest|
I also got another chance to spend time with Norma Jean, Allison and her beautiful child Lexie. She's grown so much in a year, but then again, she was only nine months old then, and now she's a toddler, with a full set of teeth! Allison had this picture taken and added to her Christmas card this year. She is certainly a happy child.
There is an incredible number of people around when you have five siblings who are all married and have families. At one point I think we had two or three dozen of us together, with barking dogs, shouting kids, and laughing adults. A madhouse. Every one of the young children are right around the age my grandchildren would be, if I had any, that is. Actually, now that I think of it, Chris would be fifty right now and could be a grandfather himself and I could be a great-grandmother! How quickly time flies by.
Although it was hard to travel again so soon after having spent three weeks in Florida with Norma Jean, it was wonderful to reconnect with my family again. The ones we really missed, though, are our parents, who seemed to peek out every now and then in the expression or mannerism of one of my siblings. Although I don't have any living children or grandchildren, I will never lack for family to love and be with if I choose it. Here in this part of the country where I live now, I've made friends and have a life that fulfills me, and because of iChat and Skype, I can visit with many of my family members any time I want. This technology makes all the difference in my sense of being connected. We live in a very interesting time.
I haven't traveled again since last March, unless you can count the numerous local trips I took with my Trailblazer friends. This past summer was filled with our regular Thursday outings, plus six or seven extra ones to new and different parts of the state. I learned so much and wrote a post on my other blog about my favorite hikes this past summer.
Now we are in the depths of winter, and the cold and snow of last week has given way to our usual wind and rain. At least the driving is reasonable again, but it seems a long time ago, more than a year, that I visited my family, and a long time ago (more than a few months) that I spent my days hiking in the sunshine, taking pictures of flowers and mountain vistas. These days are spent reading, blogging, talking with Smart Guy and just basically feeling more housebound than usual. I realize how much I enjoy being outdoors, when I'm dressed for the weather and active. We haven't gone snowshoeing yet this year, since the snow took its time getting here and now the avalanche danger is very high.
When I read the posts of my blogging family, it's clear that many of us are feeling a bit of nostalgia for other seasons. Some of my bloggers are in the Southern Hemisphere and dealing with heat and humidity. It makes me realize how insular my view of time and the world is. A year is a long time when I think of the change that has happened, and it's a very short time when I look at the longer view. The older I get, the smaller a percentage a year takes up in my entire lifetime, so maybe that's one reason it seems to have gone by fast.
And then I think of the many long dark days before the birds will be singing outside my window before I wake. This morning I am sitting in bed, laptop perched in my lap, and it's dark and silent outside. It's after 7:00am -- in the middle of summer the sun rises three hours earlier. It will come around and I'll wonder when that happened. Slowly, a minute or two each day... change comes on little cat feet.