We headed out yesterday in the hopes of seeing some of the golden Fall foliage that we all love so much. Since we are in the middle of rolling hills, Ozark mountains, and historic little towns, it doesn’t much matter which direction we go. So we just started driving fairly aimlessly, with no clear destination in mind. The eye popping color we usually see just aren’t doing their thing this year so far. Maybe next week.
As we cruised the back roads, we happened onto a sign pointing us to a beautiful spot in the road. Painted Rock Conservation Area. The area is 1,490 acres of preserved land. There are hiking trails, wildlife, and scenic overlooks over the beautiful Osage River.
We immediately thought back to not all that many years ago, when we first visited Painted Rock.
It was in the Spring of 1992. We enjoyed the day as Tessa, Julie and Greg walked in front of us along the path.
The path looked much different today. Not just because it is Fall, but because our children are no longer with us on these little outings. They are grown, with families of their own. That’s a good thing, though. Oh yea, I miss the daily commotion sometimes. I miss the daily hugs, too. But time moves on and things change. I’ve always tried to embrace change. In the long run it can be a very good thing.
I also remember that Tessa was not happy to have to be with us on this particular day. She wanted to be with friends and definitely not on an outing with her boring family. At one point, the kids were flinging rocks over the bluffs and out of the blue, a rock hit Julie in the back of the head with a sickening thud. My immediate thought was that Tessa had hit her in the head on purpose and I flew into a rage, screaming like a banshee and calling Tessa a name that to this day I am ashamed to repeat. It is amazing the memories that come flooding back when returning to a place of the past.
After a few tears (I think I was the only one who cried) and apologies (I was the only one who had anything to apologize for), we continued our hiking and site seeing and had a wonderful day. It is one of those memories that will stay with me forever. I’m pretty sure it is one that will stay with my entire family forever. It is things like this that makes us who we are today.
And who are we today? We are a happy couple who have been together 41 years; married 37 of those years. We are still parents, but our roles have changed dramatically. And we are grandparents of 10 wonderful grandchildren. But that isn’t what defines us. We are each very unique individuals, who if we didn’t have each other, would still have a very full life. Just like we continued to have a full life after our children left home. Life is a ever changing, and it is up to us to make the best of it with what we have.
This post turned out very different than I had planned. Sometimes my fingers have a mind of their own, and this is one of those times.
I was going to post about Painted Rock Conservation Area. That post and the pictures will just have to wait their turn.