Monday, October 18, 2010

An Unexpectedly Sweet Fall

Fall this year has truly felt like a new, unique season.

The routine imposed by school has proved to be more relaxing than the haphazard nature of our summer activities. We've had the most perfectly sunny and crisp fall weather, the kind that makes you smile even while bracing for the meteorological bummer that will inevitably follow.

I've been thankful for how beautiful it is where we live, and for the fun I'm having with Shaun as we get to know our increasingly odd and delightful children. This quietly busy time feels like a real gift, and I feel gratitude to God for the undeserved goodness in my life even on the days when I think my ears will start to bleed if Willem asks me one more question.

We recently took advantage of the fine fall weather, taking a hike at Beacon Rock State Park. We'd already hiked up Beacon Rock itself before, so this time we opted for the less harrowing trek to the (more poetically named) Rodney Falls Pool of Winds.

Our kids seemed the only kids on the trail that day, and nearly everyone we saw greeted us. It was the friendliest bunch of outdoorspeople I have ever encountered.

This part of the trail has a spectacular view of Bonneville Dam. We did stop to take in the view after powering up this little stretch.

It's so pretty that sometimes I feel like I'm getting away with something by living here.

The damp smell and feel of this little hollow were exactly those of the Log Ride at Knott's Berry Farm. I had a total flashback to my childhood and almost cried.

Looking down from the Pool of Winds.

Time for a trail mix break. The boys were tired...

And loopy. Per usual.

Yep, it's still beautiful.

And, yep, we are the kind of people who take pictures of bathroom doors if the hardware takes our fancy.

All of the original buildings at the state park are just beautiful. I am ready to move in to this picnic shelter.

It even has an oven.

We've been enjoying ourselves right at home, too. I don't know how it started, but Willem likes to ask Nels if he wants to "have a chat," and it is a definite thing. Nels sits in a chair, and Willem pulls up a bucket or a stool, or whatever is handy. Shirts are optional, but leaning on the elbows is obligatory. Extra authenticity points if you have a beverage that looks like a glass of whiskey.

Willem took this picture of Nels in his yard-sale helmet. And astronaut suit.

Wow. Who knew that a Clone Trooper outfit cinched at the waist with a leather belt would be soooo creepy? Way to bring the weird, Nels.

Happy fall, all.


Mullins said...

That "having a chat" business is definitely one of the cutest things I've seen. How neat that they have such a good relationship. Beautiful time of year.

Ariana said...

Yes, I love the shirtless chats! I know Jeff and I also felt like we were "getting away with something" when we moved to Portland from LA. SO beautiful. Glad this has been a good time for you!

Danica said...

I may have said it before, but I'll say it again, I LOVE your boys - they are so full of awesome quirkiness and nuttiness!

Emily said...

Your boys are amazing. My little sister and I had a similar relationship. We were really weird kids and had many sisterly quirks that we love reliving now. We even speak in our secret language occasionally. It still frustrates our parents. I love the out-of-the-blue flashes of funny and strange things we did. N and W will totally do this.

Gypmar said...

Emily, I can only hope that our kids will one day enjoy their shared history of weirdness like you do with your sister :)

Gypmar said...

Emily, I can only hope that our kids will one day enjoy their shared history of weirdness like you do with your sister :)

veronica said...

this chat business over brownish colored drink is killing me.