Over the weekend, I traveled home to western Nebraska for my niece's wedding shower BBQ with her fiance. We held it on my brother's farm and even though it was hot, we had a great turn out and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
And me? I realized once again that I have an amazing family. We're not perfect, but we support each other through thick and thin. They've been my rock during this divorce not only for me, but for my daughter, as well. Right now, she needs a good father figure to look up to, to see that there are men who take care of their families and do not abandon their responsibilities. My brothers fulfill that role incredibly well, and I'm so, so thankful for that.
There's something so peaceful about our farm. Under that vast Great Plains sky, you can take the time to listen to the wind rustling through the corn, watch the barnswallows flitting from place to place, breathe in the fresh, clear air, and truly relax. After the party ended, my daughter and I went with my brother to check water (i.e. make sure no ditches were broken and that water was reaching the end of the rows) and to look at the crops.
Childhood memories came back, of me starting tubes and digging ditches, of weeding beans and feeling hot and sweaty and dirty. I never truly appreciated the farming life, always eager to leave and go explore the world. Honestly, I couldn't live that life even now. But I understand it, the deep need to be your own boss, to plant seeds and watch them grow, and the fulfillment when the crop is harvested. I admire my brother a great deal for choosing this life.
Whenever I go home, I feel an incredible sense of peace. Here I reconnect with who I am. It also allows me to hit the "reset" button in my life. I leave with a greater sense of clarity in a way I don't when I go on vacation somewhere else. In short, going home grounds me.
If I had stayed in my hometown, I wonder if I would have a place that helps me find my center again? Perhaps not, which makes me appreciate it all the more.
One thing I will forever regret is the wedge my marriage put between my family and me. My ex stirred the pot more than once, but now that is all behind us. I'm so glad to make the bond with my family even stronger than before. I realize more than ever how truly blessed I am to have them.
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