Today was a beautiful day! I was up before dawn showering, dressing and hit the road running by 7:15 am. As the sun rose over the mountains, I snuggled down into the front seat of the car warmed by a fresh cup of Sheetz cuppuccino (vanilla spice chai) that I clasped in my hands. And so the beautiful day began.
As we topped the first mountain, I glanced out to look over the mountain ranges. Ahead in the distance where there should have been trees was what appeared to be an island surrounded by water. I stuck my nose closer to the open window to see if I could smell the salt air. I had a deja vu moment as I temporarily thought that I was on the Oregon coast. (The cuppuccino hadn't jump started my brain yet!). Soon I realized that there was heavy fog laying in the valleys that gave the appearance of water and I was indeed still very much on the east coast. I felt fortunate that I had enjoyed two beautiful scenes in one!
Down the other side of the mountain we went into hazy, semi-darkness where the fall colors seemed muted and a mist pervaded the air giving a mystical ambiance to the woods surrounding us. I strained as I always do to see if I could spot any of the virgin forest that lies amidst the hardwood trees on that mountain range. I couldn't. Someday I am going to go there and see it for myself.
As we topped the next range of mountains (don't worry, I'm not going to describe all 7 of them!) we rose high enough to see the sun that was beginning to peek over the mountain top and create shadows on the ground. There were a few puffy clouds floating above and as we passed into their shadow, the palette of fall colors dimmed, but were still beautiful with their cranberry reds, rich yellow-golds, and every shade of orange that can fall in between. Then without warning, we would pass out from under the clouds, and the sun shining directly on the those colors illuminated the landscape with colors so brilliant and vibrant that it almost hurt your eyes to look at them, but which were so beautiful, it was impossible to turn your eyes away.
For almost 125 miles, the mountain ranges were dotted with color as if God had taken a paintbrush in the night and carefully colored each leaf of every tree before painting the sky a beautiful blue. And so I sat for the 2 hour trip soaking in the glorious colors as my heart sang silently of the glorious one who had created it all just for my enjoyment. (I would have sung out loud except that we were traveling to somewhere my husband was scheduled to preach and he likes that drive time to meditate on his sermon. So I usually sit quietly, or busy myself with something like discarding his banana peel, donut papers, empty coffee cups, and cough drop papers into the trash bag.)
Sunday morning service went well. The style of worship was completely different to what I'm used to, but the presence of the Lord was there just the same and I was blessed! After lunch, we took some time with family and friends just to chat, laugh, and hug. Then it was back into the car we went for the return trip.
This time we took a different route. Instead of driving over all the mountains, we wound around them through the countryside admiring the farms that settled back against the foothills. We admired the cows resting and gently chewing their cuds under trees that shone like gold above them. ( This requires no explanation from former dairy farmers!) From the road everything appeared in miniature, like a carefully laid dollhouse.
Oddly enough, my hubby was quiet and reflective on the way home too. "We get to take a Sunday drive", he said. I was glad because our typical Sunday drives usually involve ice cream! But if we had wanted ice cream today we would have had to accost one of the cud chewing cows, and frozen the ice cream in the cool running water of a nearby creek. There was no way he was going to do that, not dressed in an Armani suit!
So once again I settled into the front seat of the car leaning over to snuggle under my hubby's right arm and there I remained for the 125 miles home to Happy Valley. My heart was at peace and content!
Upon arriving home, we greeted our kids, talked about their day and changed clothes. Hubby then snuggled onto one end of the couch while adopted son #1 planted on the other end and together they watched football, baseball and whatever other kind of "ball" there was to see. I, on the other hand, snuggled into my bed with daughter #1 for a couple hours of chatting, debating, dreaming, and laughing--as is our Sunday tradition. We emerged quite a while later to the familiar tunes of "I'm hungry!" So we grabbed some jackets and zipped off to the grocery store for Rotisserie chicken and sliced tomato--my DD#1's favorite.
After demolishing two chickens, some melon, chips and dip, and yes, I finally got my ice cream, we engaged in a wild game of Uno attack, wrestlemania with two barking, crazy dogs, and just general goofiness until it was time to say goodnight to the school age crowd. Nothin' beats fun with family! Another hour of chatting about spiritual things and life in general ensued, along with two very funny episodes of Andy Griffin until, alas, my beautiful day had to come to an end.
Tomorrow has in it's wake sore muscles and physical exhaustion. I don't think that I will notice them much. I'll still be looking at my heart snapshots of the beautiful day I had today.