My sister, Kerri, her husband Paul and son, Zac were in Michigan visiting and left this morning pointed towards their home in Colorado. Along the way back they will be camping at Paul's family reunion in Iowa. It is an annual reunion and one they look forward to, but their hearts are worried right now for the wildfires that rage just outside their city of Colorado Springs.
Kerri and Paul own a well used and well traveled 5th wheeler. When they plan a trip back to Michigan, (usually every other year), they try to do a good amount of sight seeing along the way and camp in places that will give them the most vacation bang for the buck. This year's trip was a bit more "spur of the moment" due to scheduling conflicts later in the summer when they planned to come. While in Michigan, they managed to hook up with both of my brother's kids and families in the more southern part of the state and get in some Lake Michigan camp time. Hitting both Jeremy's place in Caledonia and Shawn's place in Charlotte is no mean feat and then heading back to the west side so as not to interrupt Mom at the farm for too long a time. We are all very conscious of giving Mom her space on the farm, something she will adamantly tell you if you overstep.
They got here on late Tuesday afternoon. I missed seeing her that first night as we were training dogs at Omega Farms. The next morning was hectic for me as well with a hair appointment, and unless there is a death I do not give up my monthly hair time. Then I took a friend out to a long overdue lunch, and the afternoon was gone, that fast. It was my night to open the Historical Museum and then a meeting afterward, so long story, short, it was after 8 on Wednesday night before I saw my sister.
Kerri and I are five years apart in age. Until I went off to college we shared a bedroom, but because of my brother being between us and closer to me in age, and my best friends down the road, we were never particularly close as some sisters I knew, namely my best friends down the road. But we were leaning more that way after I married and while she was in college. Then she decided to move to Colorado, about a year before she would have had her college degree. She and her friend packed up and moved to Colorado and only really knew one person there and he was a school friend of my younger, (her older), brother, Kim. She had contacted Greg and he said she could come out and stay with him until both found jobs or whatever it was they were looking for. So off they went. They settled in with Greg, found jobs, moved out, moved back, found love, un-found love, and ultimately the two friends went their separate ways, Kerri stayed on with Greg, and then met Paul and moved north to marry him and live in Colorado Springs.
It was hard to stay close with the distance thing, and when she first left, our lives were drastically different. But in the last couple of decades she has married and experienced child birth and what being a parent is. She has asked advice and I have seen her go ahead of me to rediscover her Lord and Savior, while I hung back, somewhat content to be the "Always Has Been Christian". I am now getting there, but Little Sis led the way. We have reconnected over kids, our parents, burying a parent, husbands, and menopause. We schedule bike rides together so we can have that "sister time" and we never get talked out.
We now share Faith, worry about our Mom, and remember our childhoods and what will become of the Farm. She has a wonderful husband in Paul and a great son in Zac, who is just testing the teenage waters, (and I wouldn't do that now for all the electronics in China). We had a cookout here last night, and she was the best at making light of the bet Kurt and I made not to turn on the AC in June. It was 97 degrees yesterday, but we all had a good time.
Last night when my sister left, (who's voice I now realize is my voice), we hugged and I told them, "God Speed". May He speed them back to Colorado in good time as their hearts right now are with the people of Colorado Springs worrying about the wildfires. May He help those fighting the fires to continue until they are no more, and may He give the people the will to rebuild and reach out....
God Speed, Sis.