Wednesday, April 26, 2017
My Grandpa's ranch....
I've mentioned it before, and we recently took a trip up to that beautiful place, so you may have heard all about it.
It's been a huge part in shaping me into what I am today, how I look at the world and life, and what a blessed gift family, friends, and love is.
My mom was carrying me one of the trips there, so I guess you could say it was in my blood before I was even born. lol
It was a great place for a kid, where you could do nothing but run wild and free, nose burned, freckles across your whole body (if you have skin like mine) and your hair bleached from the sun till nearly white.
Dust got in your nose, in your mouth, and in your eyes, but you loved every single minute of it.
It was pure bliss.
Grandpa would be there in his straw cowboy hat, with a large turkey feather tucked in the band, his dark mustache tickling your cheek when he gave you a hug.
Grandma, with her wide, beautiful smile and great big bear hugs.
In the evenings, gathered around the fire, you'd burn your face and freeze your back while listening to the uncles and cousins play and sing, and in the background you could hear the sound of young cousins running and playing in the dark.
The river, clear and sweet, was a place for happy play, swimming and dam building, and it was there, on the last trip when she was healthy, that Grandma taught me how skip rocks.
Grand, beautiful days.
And then Grandma got sick, and soon, she was gone.
My life was changed forever; turned upside down.
And things began to change, oh, did they change.
Grandma was gone, her smiles no longer there, or her hugs, Grandpa's dark mustache turned white, and I began to change, too.
I began to grow up, and everything around me was confusing, frightening.
Grandpa re-married, to a good woman, whom I have grown to love, but it was hard, very hard in those first days.
I was emotional, alone and bewildered in an ever-changing world and nothing seemed solid; nothing on which I could hold to.
But the ranch.
It stayed as beautiful, free and special as it had always been, the hills just as big, the trees strong and tall, and the river as musical as ever.
Here I could come and forget for a while, with nothing but beautiful wilderness, the wind in my face and a song in my heart.
It was my solid ground, unchanging and ever-true, and it became even more special to me.
And then my world came crashing down again.
It is being sold.
Last weekend Grandpa, some of the grandsons, and my uncle w/his family went up there to empty it out, clean it up, and say goodbye.
No, I didn't go with.
I have to admit I was pretty crushed when I was told that this was goodbye, for real.
I hurt. but it was a kind of numb, empty sadness, and I didn't even feel like crying.
I tried to once, thinking it would help, but it didn't work, and I was bitter that this was happening.
It didn't seem fair that I had to say goodbye so often in my life.
In saying goodbye, it was letting go of the last link to the old days.
My childhood had officially ended, and little LaKaysha was forever gone.
I had hoped to have my honeymoon there, to bring my kids there and give them the childhood I had.
Now that would never happen.
Then the truth slowly came to me, and it was a hard lesson to learn, but God got through.
It's just a place.
A very special place, that will hold a place in my heart, and many blessed memories that I can tell my children about, even if I can't show them, but it's still just a place.
My solid ground is no longer a piece of land or a memory-filled house, although I will never forget them, and will always love them deeply.
My solid ground is the Rock of Ages, my blessed Redeemer, Who I have learned to cling to because of these goodbyes, these trials I have had in my life.
I guess there will always be a small part of me there in those hills that I will never truly find again, but that's ok, and the way it should be.
To me, in my heart, that house will always be filled with singing, Grandma's smiles and warm laughter.
The river will always run clear and free, the trees will always be swaying in a musical breeze, and the flowers will always bloom each spring.
No, in my memory, the land will never change, and Grandma will never leave it.
The music, her smile and the peace will always be in my heart, and I will carry those precious gifts for the rest of my life.
So, goodbye, blessed land of enchantment.
Goodbye, you beautiful days of old.
It's to time step out of the shadow of the past, holding the precious memories close, thanking God for all those blessings He allowed me, and to hold His hand as He leads me on to the unknown.
'Some trails are happy ones, others are blue. It's the way you ride that trail that counts...' Happy Trails by Roy Rogers