Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Found Gold!

We hit Arizona last Wednesday. Hit it with a 95 degree sizzle. Our first day's hike through the desert left us a little...well...droopy. Wilted. Thirsty.

Ahhh, but the infamous saguaro cactus has no such reaction to the heat. We were all infatuated with them. They don't grow arms for the first 70 years of their life. They grow roots first. Then the arms they grow are grown to keep them balanced. We laughed at the "noses" on some of them. The outstretched "arms" praising the Lord, on others.
And I learned from God's creation.
Roots first, appendages in balance.

We went to the Phoenix Zoo on Sunday. As we walked toward it, you could smell the hundreds of animals confined in the close city. I was about to comment on the odor, when my little Rose piped up and announced, "I smell Mommy!"
I laughed humility. Everyone within hearing distance just laughed.

"Little People" were my kids favorite toys for years. The zoo had a full fledged "Little People" petting and play area.
Some of my "little people" aren't so little any more.

We pulled off to take a picture of this canyon and the song, "Hold Me" by Sanctus Real came on. My ballet III class is dancing to that this year, so I pulled Avonlea out of the car and yelled, "Dance! Dance in front of the canyon! We'll never live this moment again!"
I'm sure that statement made her profusely grateful.
We slowed traffic for several minutes.
I have it on video if anyone is interested.
Love them. Love them. Love them. Love them. Love them.
Did I mention that I LOVE THEM?

I'm kissing Grant, but I'm looking at the cookies.

We had a fun meal at the Mining Company. It was all-you-can-eat ham, chicken, ribs, and side dishes. Dave was vaguely disgusted with us because we couldn't eat more. We ended up leaving him at the table while we explored the gift shop.

The highlight of the trip for the kids (besides finding the iguana in Trader Joes) was panning for gold. We spent the day at a real live ghost town that boasted a gold mine and a 1883 population of 5,000. We rode a train, toured the mine, and watched a gun show. But...the exciting part for them was the gold.

Really, once we looked, we were hooked. A handful of rocks at the lake yielded amethyst, quartz, rose quartz, fools gold, and every once in a while a sliver of real gold.

I watched them sort through the rubble to find the precious, and my heart swelled.
And I learned from my children.
Look for the gold, look for the gems, and delight in them.
That's Rowan's "I'm trying to figure something out" face. It's my favorite.
We stumbled across a real herd of wild horses. We watched them long enough to figure out who was the stallion. They were utterly magical.

We hiked to the top of this little mountain. Rowan thought perhaps the Lone Ranger and Tonto were hidden up there somewhere. Dave told him they were dead.

At the end of the day, Rosy and Cherrypop her doll (they are interchangeable-Rose was known to introduce herself as Cherrypop and announce that she lives in a hotel), sleep the sleep of the wild west.
I came home today delighted to have had a week to learn with my children and husband.
To look at the world with wide eyed wonder.
To laugh at the personalities that make us a family.
To spend a day toasty and drowsy in the sun.
To come home refreshed, watered in the desert.

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