i got ten hours of sleep last night, why do i feel this pooped? ugh, i get frustrated when i feel so tired after having had so much sleep. oh well.
today was a great day. we went out to the kuiper's new house on lake superior (misery bay area). it is a gorgeous little house/cottage tucked away in the woods on the high shoreline. they have "the great room," which is just lovely--all wood and windows with a small stove in one corner. then there is their master bedroom, another "guest" bedroom, and the basement with washroom. through the trees out the back you can see the lake, cold and foreboding in the winters but (no doubt) delightfully enticing in the warm summers. we sat and talked drinking tea and eating left over christmas cookies. i will always remember gene as the one who devoted such sincere time to me that summer we lived here before I started high school. she recognized a relatively friendless and insecure teen and befriended me. we spent a few different afternoons together. i specifically remember walking the canal and getting macdonald's happy meals for lunch (she said "no one is ever too old to get a kids meal").
listening to her today i was reminded why i love her so much, even though i hardly know her and never spend much time with her. she lives life with unashamed commitment, determination, and a certain settled contentedness. she seems to find real joy in any circumstance--she seems to suck enjoyment from life, but it is never fake or dishonest (this, my reader, i believe is quite rare). she's matter-of-fact about life and its realities. both her and don are now over 60. she doesn't apologize for growing old, though she does recognize the changes that come (some of them that do amount to a certain kind of sadness). she said "i just loved my fifties. sixty feels a little weird but i loved my fifties." this makes me smile. I hope i'm like that when i "grow up."
don is equally encouraging (even refreshing) to be around. he always maintains what seems to me to be a very healthy understandings of the "carefree." he can joke and laugh on one hand but express equal measures of genuine care, concern, and "seriousness" when a particular situation calls for it. he truly is all kinds of sincere.
i think the kuipers just kind of epitomize what you would call "wise" or "seasoned." They never seem old to me--only wiser, stronger, richer. they are always encouraging and refreshing to be around. they told me that if i decided to come up to the u.p. for a break i could bring friends out to their cottage. wouldn't that be fun! :)
so...the HIGHLIGHT of today: snowshoeing with the kuipers. i've ever been but have wanted to for a long time now. it's been one of those things on my life's list of "to do's." i decided that i would really enjoy (for a time of my life) living somewhere that gets a good winter, with woods to tromp around in (and, of course, at that point i will invest in snowshoes :)).
we walked through the woods chatting off and on, admiring the snow-graced trees, climbing over logs, and taking in the glorious winter atmosphere. absolutely breathtaking. i'm telling you, it was good for my soul. remember how i mentioned my prayer that break would be good in ways i didn't know it needed to be? today was one of those "ways" and i am grateful for that. God is good to give simple gifts like these.
i. love. snowshoeing.