"Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."~Henry James
Some days, I make really good decisions.
Grabbing a bucket of chicken, my kids, my parents, and five chairs and heading to the mountains: that was a good decision.
Just a few years ago my parents would have been game for a short hike in the mountains, but not anymore.
Fortunately, the Foothills Parkway has some of the best views of the Smokies, and Mom and Dad, who are in their late-80s, were so happy just to be able to sit and soak in the mountains—a change of scenery for them—and their grandkids.
Dad and Duncan went on a really short hike. Dad mows his lawn, tends a big garden, and spends a huge amount of his day doing yard work, but he gets winded while hiking.
We ate our chicken, watched the mountains, talked with some bikers who stopped for the view, and then headed down the parkway for another view. We sat there for nearly an hour, just watching the mountains and the clouds, listening to the sounds of summer.
You can't help but feel refreshed and revitalized when you've breathed in all of this, all this green and blue, this wide expanse of creation, this marvelous, wild, incomprehensible beauty.
I savor these days with Mom and Dad and with my children. I know that right now I am in a special, precious place, when I still have my parents and my children are still at home. I choke back that panic of a life without my parents, of the emptiness that I know comes when each child leaves home. You have to quiet the fear, you must in order to embrace perfect days like this.
"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time." ~John Lubbock
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