heading north.

we didn’t mean to take a trip.  which i’m glad of, because if we had had it on the calendar, i would’ve obsessed about how many pairs of pants i’d pack, & whether or not i needed two thermos:  decaf and/or just regular coffee.

as it was, andy mentioned offhand on tuesday afternoon that there was an auction in grand rapids, & maybe there was a screenprinting heater (screenprinting is what he does to keep us afloat) that would make his life easier, & would i want to go to grand rapids?  i couldn’t even remember where it was, & bumbled around in my own head, scanning the kitchen for an answer, coming up with only a jumbo pile of dirty dishes.

but grand rapids?  & an impromptu roadtrip?  8 hours in one day with 4 kids in a minivan?

as we were getting the coffee poured into thermoses (i always want to write that word “thermosi”.) to take the kids to art club, i heard myself say, “you better stay home & bid on that heater.”

thirty six hours later, we were in the car at dawn heading north.

after loading the heater into the van in grand rapids, we turned south again & drove to duluth.  andy had pricelined a hotel for $58, so we made a mini vacae out of it, starting by lake superior to walk the beach.  the kids had a ball combing driftwood & scoping sea glass.

walking out there on that sandy, cold beach with my brood scampering ahead of me, it occured to me that i’m a beside-the-lake instead of a in-a-museum kind of girl.  i hadn’t put my finger on that before.

duluth has a special place in my heart, too.  andy got his first job out of college in cloquet, just west of duluth a few miles.  i moved there the following year, after i graduated, & lived in the basement of an old couple in his church, so i could be close to him.  we went to duluth all the time, to sit at barnes & noble & read books & eat expensive brownies with coffee, dreaming all the time of what life could be like.

now that we have a partially clearer definition, it was amazing to be back, a few years wiser, a few kids fuller.

before we hit the hot tub at the hotel, we took the kids down to the pier to climb on the rocks & see the lighthouse.

we didn’t know a ship would leave port as we were walking back to the car.  

that’s how God works, i guess.

i’m reading a book called “bread & wine” by shauna niequist.
she writes, “one of the ways we grow up is by declaring what we love.”

yes, i agree.

i love roadtrips.  to anywhere.  being in the car, with barely a bag packed & a thermos, a novel & a backseat bursting with activity.  with andy driving, & hours on end to talk.

i love walking on the beach on a chilly day, thinking myself tough enough to be outside & not in with the wind cold in my face & my hood up, collecting small bits of sea glass & big armloads of driftwood.

i love playing around with a camera, & showing my kids the places i love that maybe, someday, they might l, too.  or least learn to love their own places in the way i do.

i love big gigantic ships & feeling really, really small.  i love my kids holding hands & how all 3 big kids take special care to look after leif.

i love looking at them & knowing they are mine.

& mostly, i love being surprised by God.  because a roadtrip on a random thursday in november was certainly not on my agenda.

but i’m glad it got written in.

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