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5.19.2010

Balm for the soul

What is it about the endless miles of corn and soybean fields in western Ohio that soothes my soul? 

Some of it I'm sure is the very simple beauty of tiny green seedlings emerging from the dark soil in neat rows dotted with farmhouses, red barns, and the occasional clumps of woods.  The rest of it is knowing that my dad's side of the family is there, waiting to visit with us. 

When Ian accepted his job, his new boss suggested that he take a few weeks before starting to "destress" and enjoy some time with family.  Initially I was envisioning just hanging out at our house for two weeks, but I guess the "enjoy some time with family" jogged something in Ian's mind and he suggested a spontaneous "tour de family" road trip that brought us first to visit with my grandfather, aunts/uncles, and several cousins that live near the Indiana border in Ohio. At first the thought of packing,spending 24+ hours of travel time in the van in just over a week, and simply being away from home right now totally stressed me out.  But after stopping to think and pray about it, I realized that some time in the Ohio farmland was just what I needed to help melt away the stress from employment changes and some other negative vibes that were really trying to steal my joy.  And as we rode through miles of newly emerging soybean plant fields, I felt the stress melting away.  And what little bit of darkness still shadowing my mind was left vanished completely after a walk with my children around Grandpa's farm...

The girls noticed the beautiful iris blooms growing near the "crick" and grandpa picked some for them ~ and Caleb too.
Pointing out spotted brim in the pond.
Oh the memories that flood my mind of summers past standing near this pond...  Sometimes I wish I could close my eyes and go back, just for a minute to hear some of the voices again.
 My youngest putting her trust in great grandpa's hand.

My grandfather is such a special part of my life.  When I try to sum up what he means to me I again find myself at a loss for words.  For now I'll just say that I love him so.  And I love that my kids are learning to love him too.

Picking asparagus from grandpa's patch ~ man did it taste GOOD!
Three generations of the S_____ family (oh how I wish my dad were still here).  It means more than I can express that Grandpa loves and accepts my children fully!
An animated conversation.
After we took our pictures Kylie plopped herself down on the front step, Grandpa sat down with her, and they had the longest conversation.  It was precious!  Kylie learned about the milkbox at the front door and how milk was delivered back when Grandma and Grandpa first moved into this home.  

Words can't express how much I wish we were closer than a ten hour drive to my Ohio family.  I am so looking forward to getting back out there this summer!

**We had such a nice visit with all my family.  I can't explain why I didn't pick up the camera to take pictures of Kylie,Caleb, and Darcy with my aunts and uncles.  Guess I'll have to work on that next trip!**

16 comments:

Cindy M said...

I happen to love your spontaneous road trips. :-)

Precious photos of your kiddos at the farm!! Your Grandpa looks like such a sweet man! I love the milk box story! Kinda wish I had a milk box on my front porch...

Rachelle said...

We have yet to get my boys to Oklahoma to visit my Grandma and other family... So special for you to be able to share your kids with your Grandpa. Treasured memories, I'm sure.

Pam said...

Oh Kristi, I just love the photo of you and your precious grandpa and your 3 sweeties!

Jess and Tim said...

What a great time visiting Grandpa! He looks like he really enjoyed the conversations also. :-)

Glenda said...

What a precious gift God gave you. Amazing how he takes the bad... losing a job, and makes it good...visiting with distant kin.
We've surely missed you around here. Abbey has asked about your kids many times. Look forward to seeing you all soon!

Andrea said...

Sweet memories! And glad to see you getting your verse on! Mine doesn't fit. That will be my excuse for getting another one.

Nancy said...

How awesome! Love the photo of you, the kids and grandpa. Kylie holding grandpa's hand is too sweet. We use the word "crick" here too in PA!

Sharon said...

So sweet that you have your grandfather to love on your kids...and yes, being so far from family I can relate! The pictures are priceless and so glad you were refreshed!!!

Larry and Carol said...

I loved seeing the pictures of you and Grandpa S. He looks like he is enjoying every minute of the visit. I'm sure it was well worth the long drive just to see the look on his face.

Jenn said...

Love the pictures! I especially love the picture of all of you, with Grandpa holding Kylie's hand.....SO SWEET!!!

Tricia said...

I'm pretty sure we had a milk box like that too, but I always remember Bill, the Milk Man, coming in and sitting at the kitchen table. And, I'm quite certain that pond used to be much bigger back in the day...

Traci said...

There sure is nothing like being on Grandpa's farm! Oh the memories of being chased by bulls, throwing moss at each other, popping tar bubbles... what beautiful memories!

Shannon said...

Oh Kristi, how very precious!! What a treasure these pictures are and the heart memories to go with them!! You are blessed indeed!!Looking forward to catching up soon! Glad you are home safe and sound!!

Anne Devlin said...

How funny! - where in Western Ohio? I grew up in Sidney, off I-75 North of Dayton. So glad you got that time with family to regroup, recharge and relax before Ian starts the new job!

KCCCKQCK's DAD said...

Sounds absolutely heavenly, Kristi!
I'm so glad yall got to spend some great family time together...what a BLESSING!!!!!!!!

Our Journey to China said...

I love the pictures of your kids and your grandpa - priceless! I remember staying with my grandparents growing up and the wonderful memories and miss them. It is such a blessing that your children have the wonderful opportunity of getting to know your grandpa. God is so good!