Whew!  8:54 on a Monday night and I'm shot.  I wandered into Mom's at about 6:30 tonight thinking I was going to grab the kids and hustle home to start Kaleigh's homework.  But a funny thing happened... 

It's amazing how when I reach the bottom of Candy's driveway and the front tires of my truck hit the gravel, my shoulders come down, the seat belt comes off, the window comes down and the weight of the entire world is lifted off my shoulders.  It's almost as if the smell of the freshly chopped corn rides in on the breeze to capture that city air and whisks it outside to show it what real life is all about.  I rounded the corner by the wooden bridge and saw the silage trucks all lined up behind the chopper.  One of the trucks was up on the road, blocking my way but I just didn't care and ambled along behind it a bit noticing how the dust made patterns on the back gate.  The driver was kind enough to move off the road and let me by.  It was then that I noticed Larry's pickup on the road ahead.  As I moved up closer to Ben's truck I noticed all the girls in the back.  They started waving and making faces.  I could make out Kaleigh mouthing the words "my momma" and "I love you".  Taylor's ponytail was flapping in the wind and Lyndsey's smile lit up the whole back of the truck.  As we neared mom's yard, I also noticed they were all wearing dresses.  I laughed and thought about how Mandy and I would be reminded of that ride every time we washed those dresses.  I laughed again when my motto "nobody died" popped dutifully into my head.  I was practically tackled by Ty in the yard and with a quick "I love you mom", he was off to continue doing boy things.  I went inside and plopped down in the rocker with a puppy (Poon had two boy puppies this morning) and realized how tired my body felt.  Mom announced that dinner was almost ready and I told her we'd be leaving.  She informed me that we weren't leaving, that Ty had made dinner and he was expecting to eat it.  Sometimes I hate it when my plans get changed for me but most of the time, it feels good to know she cares enough to insist.  After dinner on paper plates and kids dashing off in four directions to enjoy what felt like a nice reprieve from the heat, mom, dad, Larry and I were left at the table to chat.  I still enjoy the time around the table where we can all share what's going on in our lives but I thoroughly enjoyed my brother tonight.  We got off talking about hunting and Larry lit up like a Christmas tree on December 24th.  He leaned forward in his chair and talked with enthusiasm that is sometimes robbed from you as you move through your day.  I missed part of the story because I found myself picking apart the look on his face as he talked about laughing at watching Barry Birdwell shoot hopelessly at some very unfrightened deer in Utah.  The corners of his eyes crinkled and turned up to match the smile on his mouth.  He laughed right from his heart as he relived the story he saw through his binoculars.  It made me really thankful that he could find so much joy in something.  If someone asked me to describe Larry, lots of adjectives come to mind and most of them aren't too flattering.  He's pissed off most of the time and almost unapproachable.  He wouldn't give half the population of the earth the time of day.  He sure comes across as a hateful person....but he's not.  He doesn't ask for anything from anyone...he's too proud.  He loves his family more than life itself although, he forgets to share that with them sometimes.  He's quick tempered but it's usually born of a desire to stand up for what he thinks is right.  He's a good man.  Anyhow, I guess it really doesn't matter.  We all come and we all go.  It just felt good to finally look a little deeper and actually *see* him.

 Well, I'm home and the kids are in bed.  It's probably time for me to lay down, too and start the madness all over again in the morning.  Thank God for home.  =-)


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