Whew! I can’t believe it’s July! These past 2 months have flown by! Well, as you can read below, April was pretty much filled with Haiti and I spent a good part of May processing the experience (I have another post or two to write, but I haven’t had the time to open my heart to it again, putting the whole thing in words was a heavy, healing task and I want to be sure to do it well). Toward the end of May Ben and I celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary. Talk about time flying! Three years?!? Holy moly!
We had decided to go away to celebrate and my heart was set on camping. I didn’t care where we went or what we did, I just wanted to take our little family somewhere outdoors, pitch a tent and savor Gods goodness while surrounded with dirt and the sweet smell of campfire.
We had to be flexible, as life started to throw us some curveballs. Some snafus with our schedules came up (I had to work, Ben had an unexpected show), the forecast for every spot within driving distance showed nothing but torrential showers, unexpected bills came up leaving our finances were really, really tight (we were rationing our final bits of cash until I got paid), and to top it off on the morning of our trip, I went to Les Schwab to have a funny shake looked at (I figured the tires just needed to be rotated – some mechanics daughter I am!) and ended up with a whole new set of tires.
I must admit, both Ben and I felt very defeated. We were run down, stressed and the thought of a fun vacation seemed very unlikely. However, in the end, we decided to trudge on. We had a reservation at the McMenamins Old St. Francis in Bend and we were at least going to go for a drive and stay in a nice room on our anniversary. And, for good measure, we threw our backpacks in the trunk on the off chance the skies would part and we could hit the trail for a night or two.
I am so glad we didn’t choose to stay home! We loved the Old St. Francis! It’s a small McMenamins but not short on charm! We found out when we arrived that we had booked the nicest room in the house (it was the last one left), complete with a King size bed and TWO claw foot bath tubs. It was so lovely!
We took Bridger for a walk around downtown Bend and quickly got to dreaming about what it would be like to live in one of the cute houses surrounding the perfect downtown. After our walk we were took advantage of the complimentary movie and enjoyed some tots while watching Alice in Wonderland in the movie theater. After the movie we had some awesome cocktails (passionfruit margarita – yum!) and then headed back to our room and ordered room service. We took Bridger for another walk after dinner. We held hands tightly, smooched and sillily talked to each other as we enjoyed our completely refreshing break from reality. We didn’t expect to feel so rejuvenated after only one evening, but we did!
Ben kept a close eye on the weather throughout our evening and much to our surprise, we found a spot calling for sun! We woke early the next morning, enjoyed a delicious breakfast and then headed just outside Sisters to Alder Springs Trail.
**I meant to finish and post this many, many days ago, but here I am, July 10th!**
Alder Springs was wonderful. There is a short (2.5 miles) hike down a desert trail into a beautiful meadow laced with bubbling brooks and sweet, green grass. It truly is a secret paradise in the middle of a dry, dusty desert. We set up camp next to the brooke and let the gentle bubble lull us into a state of utter relaxation.
Bridger was so excited to get on the trail! That dog loves being outside! We got him a little backpack so he can help carry his gear (and to hopefully tire him out – he never slows down!) and after a few minutes of total paralyzation followed by some full-blown gallops, he carried his pack like it was made for him.
(We took a day hike to where the Deschutes River met with the spring.)
Our few days away were so wonderful and we quickly forgot the stress that was involved with us actually getting away. We so needed the break from the “real world” and we savored our the time we got to spend just being together.
We are so blessed to have a strong marriage. That is not to say that it is an easy marriage (I don’t think any marriage is) or that we don’t have our own day-to-day struggles, but we are blessed. The past three years have been so good to us, even when times have been hard. Ben and I have both grown and our relationship has settled upon a foundation of trust, love and faith. Of course, we’re only three years in and we’ve got a lot of years ahead of us! We’ll continue to build on the foundation we’ve set, of course, but at this point, where we are now, we feel like we’ve got the hang of each other and in my husband’s words “We’re good.”
We’re really good.