Thursday, July 7, 2016

The First Fourth

We spent our first Fourth of July at the cabin.

 And it was incredible. Around 2:15 pm on Friday, the sky darkened and the trees shook with ripple after ripple of thunder. Then the rain started.
And it pounded down on the parched high desert for almost an hour.
 Rivers ran and kids ran and I  . . .
 . . . sat on my porch in my rocking chair wearing slippers and a shawl as I watched it rain.
 The beauty of storms like that is seeing how God knows how to refresh the planet even during an Arizona summer.
For the rest of the weekend, the air was clear, the leaves were green, and the Dentons enjoyed all that nature had to share with us. Worst part of that storm? It took out our water heater, so there was no hot water for the rest of the weekend. We had to rough it, I tell you!

We had a few visitors while we were up north. Tucker, Karli, and Annie spent one night, and these two little girls ran around, dressed alike, and shared everything from pudding cups to snuggles on the swing.
I had a few school things hanging over my head that still need to be done before August, but with a view like this and graham crackers and milk, I was content.
 Annie loves shoes and found my hiking boots in the shoe bucket
 After nearly toppling down the front steps, Karli found shoes more her size so she could run some more. Karli loves the cabin almost as much as I do, and she convinced a few of her aunts and her mom to bring all the kids and spend the week up there this week.

Remember Eve and her stitches last time we were up here? Brad took some time to show her how to use the hatchet, and I was glad to see she conquered her fear. Eve is learning how to be braver in her life.
 On Monday, the cousins came up for the day, and we faced down a 90+ degree day in the high country and hiked the Mogollon Rim (much nicer temps than the valley, but still pretty warm).
I love Arizona. I have now lived here longer than anywhere else in my life, and while my Idaho girl runs to the bone, Arizona is now home.

And I love these guys. We don't much family down here, but the cousins are growing up together, and these adventures will lay foundations for adult memories.
 Manon really isn't that much taller than everyone else--it's the slope and the angle. Micah would want me to point that out, since they're the same age. I keep telling him that they're twelve, and the odds of her staying taller than him are pretty small. I know the day he passes her up will be one he'll record for posterity.

This doesn't look like your vision of AZ, does it? From the views on top to the fern-covered river bottom, this hike was awesome.
 Even my two littlest made it the whole way.
 Like every hike, there was a bit of complaining by the end.

And one little girl begging to be carried by her daddy, who held her hand and encouraged her to tell stories of how she would survive as a jungle girl if she got lost in the forest--first she'd take her shirt off because that's what you do in the jungle (aka Mowgli--the little boys thought this was hilarious because they are so much older and understand social mores better than Eve does), then she would swing from the trees and eat dinner with a bear. Once all the food was gone, she may even eat that bear. Telling and retelling that story got her through the endless last mile.
After cleaning up the cabin (and no showers after the sweaty hike), we ate a quick dinner on the steps and most folks drove to Payson for the fireworks. I brought Lily and her friend back to the valley, but Brad said Payson was fun and he enjoyed it (which is saying a lot for my husband who dislikes crowds and waiting and spending money on expensive crap (light-up swords and wands).

Happy Birthday, America, from all of us here at the Sanatorium. 

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