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Enchanted Rock, from a Distance- Blogmas Day 10-12

I’m combining some days because this little family trip took three days. The point was to hike Enchanted Rock all day one Saturday. This is the Texas Hill country, which is as close as I can get to mountains without driving through to west Texas. Driving to For reference, it would be like driving across Iceland three times. Iceland is now my reference for everything. Most of my state is flat. And my particularly area, by the Gulf, is a bit dismal, visually. So, we head for trees and hills as often as we can. Even desert is better than refineries and shopping malls. I’ll get on with this before I break out into a verse of “Big Yellow Taxi.”

Family hikes are my secret to meaningful conversations with my kids. On this walk, I noticed my daughter and I seemed to move ahead of everyone else and I got a lot of quality time with her.

As we talked I was overcome with deja vu because we tended to end up grouped together on most of our family hikes. She says she has the personality type that likes to get things over with, even fun things- she speeds on to the finish (very much like my grandfather).

I never thought of it before, but I may be a little that way, too. I don’t want it to ever end, but I do feel anticipation about what’s coming next around the next bend in the path, so I walk or run exuberantly. This, of course, is relative. I might look like a slug on the trail compared to you.

We talked about books we read the previous year- the Sagas of Icelanders (me) and Educated (her) and how we are both in love with The Expanse book series and never want it to end.
I heard details about her job and felt so proud of the way she is going beyond her official position to help the students she advises.  She heard about what it’s like for me to work with 3 and 4 year olds again in BSF.

As we talked, I felt some of the knot in my stomach untying. It’s a knot I didn’t even realize was there until I felt it loosen. I guess it’s just holdover from all the yuck stuff that’s happened in our family since my father died. It was good to see my daughter and son-in-law, to know they were okay after what had happened. It was good to have uninterupted time with my son and just be with all the family members I have left.

The guys tended to walk at the same pace, and occasionally stray to scramble on rocks. It was very cold for us, near freezing, so we kept moving.  I haven’t really laughed in a while.

And my son tried to eat a pricey pear. Why?

We recreated some photo moments from our youth:

By the end of the night, as we huddled on couches to watch Over the Garden Wall, the knot fell away.

I know some parents who don’t pine for time with their kids when they live far away. I can’t understand that. Even in hard times, I want to see them with my own eyes, to truly know how they are doing by the sound of their voices and the look in their eyes. It’s the matured version of a new mom creeping in the baby’s room to make sure it’s still breathing.

I accept that they’re growing and won’t live in my house. The room o yarn attests to my adaptability. But I would always prefer to be with them than not. I wonder what you think about this, as you’re either a parent, a child, or both.

All of this was for my husband’s birthday, which usually gets absorbed into Christmas celebrations. The kids hiked longer than they would normally just for him. He also got to pick out the Airbnb and pick all the restaurants- The Auslander for German food,

Hondos for the Tex Mex, and 78624 for the atmosphere. (I may have clips from some of these places in my next podcast episode.)

The Fredericksburg downtown does Christmas in a big way. Even the kids, who are perpetually underdressed for the cold, wanted to frolic there. I felt it was important to document the caution barricade you see in the foreground. Sigh.

Check out the livestock at the house where we stayed. They were my props for Phoenix photos.

Yeah, that’s pretty much all I had to say. Isn’t this guy the cutest?

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