There comes a point during parenting that you have to let go. Little by little, your kids grow into who they are supposed to be and little by little, you have to let them move on to adventures that can take them away from the family.
At the last Shindig we met a family who owns an organic produce farm in Colorado. They got to know Miles and offered him a full time internship all summer, actually a total of 5 months!!! We were torn. It seemed like a great opportunity but so far away from us!
After praying on it, and having multiple conversations with the family, we decided that Miles should take that opportunity. He would learn some great skills, work hard, and learn to relate to other people unlike those that live in our small community.
We packed our things and headed out on the road towards Colorado...
The drive was pretty spectacular. Living in the hills of Tennessee, we generally do not see a whole lot of flat land and wide open spaces so it was thrilling for us! Miles kept saying "WOW!" And now, join us, we will take you on the journey out West...
We finally reached Colorado...
Snow capped mountains...
After 12 hours of driving, we stopped to just take in the majestic view, for there were mountains as far as the eye can see. It is times like this you realize how big our God is...
We were greeted at the farm with work, which is our style! Felt right at home! We were all helping pack produce at the old farm stand to ready them for the farmers market the next morning. The family had a birthday party just for Miles.
They are the sweetest family. We could not be more thankful for how God provided a very close knit family for our son to be a part of. He fit right in the second he stepped foot on the farm and they seemed to take him in as one of their very own.
Here are some of the lovely gardens our son will be working in...the strawberry fields. Just look at the view!
This is one of the many hoop houses filled with rows and rows of crops. As you can see, there are drip lines EVERYWHERE! That is because Colorado is really dry country. Water is scarce and you have to have "Water Rights" in order to do this type of operation. All the water supply is irrigated from a reservoir up the hill on the edge of their property. They said they get a certain allowance each day that is pretty abundant for what they need. No wonder the fields look so lush!
This will be the view that Miles will see each day for the next 5 months.
At the far end of the fields, there is a volleyball net. They make time for play, too, which is great! Miles loves to play volleyball and other sports. He told me just the other day that they went rafting and that he is having the time of his life!
After a couple days, Mark and I had to say goodbye and it was hard. I never have been away from any of my kids for this long, but I knew that God has a good plan for his life in Colorado.
Mark and I had to press on. We had to keep traveling West toward Las Vegas. We planned our trip around our Vegas convention. Originally we had planned to fly out there but since Miles was taking that job in Colorado, we figured we would drive so that we could drop him off ourselves and see where he will be working!
I must say, the drive was amazing! Especially UTAH! Every time you look out the window, it gets prettier, more colorful, and you just praise God for his marvelous creation. Wow!
We spent 4 days in Las Vegas which is not the place I would have chosen but we had a convention there for Plexus. We were learning all kinds of great things. It was pretty amazing to see 12,000 other people who's lives have also been changed just like ours was.
It was fun getting dressed up together and seeing so many of our friends there.
I never forget how far I have come. Some would never understand the simple things that make my heart so thankful. Like wearing cute shoes again! For 6 years, I just wore a big ugly brace and I had to buy 2 pairs of shoes each time that matched because one was my normal size and the other had to be 2 sizes bigger so that I could fit the brace in that shoe! And that was no fun. It is funny, this photo was taken of me about 7 years ago. My friend, Sara was carrying me because so many people had to take turns carrying me around in places I could not handle walking.
I soon learned not to go those places because who wants to ask for a lift? I no longer got to do adventurous things. I became a sort of hermit because life was just too hard outside. And around people. I would be scared that people would bump into me and hurt my foot. Large crowds would make me dizzy and have anxiety attacks. I just felt it was easier to just be at home. It was hard to sit in a car to drive places. If my foot was down it was throbbing something fierce, so that took a lot of courage if you saw me in my kitchen cooking a meal or driving to the store on rare occasions. I had the handicap sticker on my license plate just so I could park close to the building. It was all I could do to walk from the car to the building. But I sure did not look like I had a problem, so I was met with a lot of people staring at me as I would sit in the motorized cart. No one really understands what it is to be disabled until they are.
I am so thankful. I was able to make that long trip across the country. I thank God for being pain free. And so thankful that my foot was not throbbing. You think of these things when you hit a new milestone. It all seems like the first time all over again! It was so fun to dress up and put on pretty shoes and feel like a normal person again. I can go on adventures and live life. God is so good! On our way home, I got to see Hoover Dam with my sweetie pie. What a precious gift to share, the gift of life and adventure. We are just having such a great time doing all the things we could not do when we were so sick! It is kind of like coming out of a dark cave into the light!
Two full days of driving home and we were so ready to just be back to our normal life again. We sure missed the kids and our homestead. City life is not for us country mice! The trip back home was also very pretty...
And now we are settled back into our homestead, minus one special young man. Our Miles is many miles away! It is fun to reach for the phone and call him each day and see what he is up to. We all huddle around the phone like kids used to 70 years ago around the radio each night. Everyone smiles as we listen over the speaker phone all the fun stories of his new adventures. We did leave a part of our heart out WEST, but we know he right where God wants him.