Life had reached a crescendo of activity before we sold our home, possessions, and quit our jobs in 2012. A common phrase to friends and family, if we had time to utter it at all, was "I'll call you later." How many of us have said the same to those we love, care for, and who are important to us? Yet, so often, the months or even years pass with a few Christmas letters and hugs at funerals and weddings as our schedules keep us from greater investments of time for friends and family. Our society is a busy one in America. We work hard, encourage our kids to keep busy, and many of us have multigenerational responsibilities that involve significant time with immediate family.
One of the joys of these past two years has been having the opportunity to visit with people. While some of our international encounters have been well chronicled, we have been quiescent about much of the past few months back in the states. We have loved this special period in a manner completely different than the months of international travel. We have had time, more than we have in decades, for friends and family. We have spent plenty of it in just each other's company as we journeyed and camped in "The Mansion", our beloved camper van. However, we have also walked in deserts, through snow drifts, on city sidewalks, and across sandy beaches beside people we care for and love. We have packed, organized and laughed with friends in their periods of transition and change. We have met the newest generation emerging from our families and friends and have tumbled along in their youthful exuberances. We have had time to visit and listen to rich lifetime stories from senior mentors and matriarchs. And everywhere, we have eaten well. Too well!
Our memories from this period of our adventure will be filled with the smells of great meals in the best of company. The smells of steaming tamales, vegetable soup, fresh flour tortillas, campfire hotdogs, Cajun, Mexican, Indian and Thai will be gateways into memories of conversations punctuated with laughter and/or tears. While we have been mainly traveling in the southwest, we have been welcomed into abodes all over the country. In those homes, we have found the time to reconnect to people we love through song, games, concerts, potlucks, and movies. Rich spicy teas, fun spirits, and strong coffee have been the mortar binding many of these moments into new foundations of friendship and family.
Time. It is such a valuable resource. Yet, unlike more material resources, it cannot be saved. It must be spent. We are fortunate beyond all measure that it is our most plentiful resource at the moment. And we have loved spending it with our friends and family. We know how valuable a resource it is to all of them as well and we are humbled at how many found some to spend with us as well. We are getting ready to head to Nepal and to explore more of Southeast Asia. We leave with physical and spiritual strength given the nurturing and love of our family and friends.
Posted in Gunnison, CO. Images are of wonderful food and fun with family and friends throughout the Southwest and Canada.