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After all this zipping, zigging and zagging, it was nice to visit with the Read Family for a couple of days. We rang in Bryce's birthday with cold drinks in hand, seated in lawn chairs, listening to goats bleating and kids splashing in the pool as fireflies and stars lit up the night. Just the way it needed to be.
Didn't last too long. Up and ready in the morning, the kids were running, Carrie was working on teaching the world math equations from the computer, then loading up her CSA shares for folks in town. Bryce was off to the far reaches of the state for meetings and Andy was back to work offering folks ideas and solutions to their Ag. questions as extension agent extraordinaire. As for me, it was easy street. Kid duty. Luckily, the kids were all so wrapped up in their imaginations and underwater world, I only managed from afar. It was nice and a little unnerving to not have so much going on. I know most of you are thinking ,"What the heck? What else does this broad do but hang out all the livelong day with her kids anyhow?" Believe it or not, there is always something to do. Though, I admit, I do occasionally long for an address and all the trappings (well, most of the trappings.) For whatever reason, on this day, hanging out with these four kids (my own and the Read angels; Izzy and Hollis) out in the sun, playing games and hopping in and out of the pool, with only the occasional skirmish, I felt really lucky to have such great friends (here, there and everywhere) and to have this experience overall. There are few people out there who can, in a matter of only a few weeks, camp with friends in the Rockies, pick strawberries with old pals in Iowa, celebrate a birthday with new friends in Lake Superior, drink beers back in our home state with old friends, and only days later be on a hike in The Smoky Mountains. Sure, the packing gets old (you'd think I'd have a system by now, right?,) and not having stuff can be no fun sometimes, but really, it is nice to get to see the friends we love and spend this time as a family enjoying each other while we can, and before the kids are so grown they have their own lives and activities to attend to without us getting in their way. Bryce, unfortunately, doesn't always get to join in all of this fun, but he is the reason we do this. He works tirelessly to provide us with the opportunities to see all these wondrous places and never ever, ever complains that he misses hikes to waterfalls, camp outs, craft times and all the museums and such we get to enjoy without him. It is always more fun when he joins us, but it isn't always possible. Instead, he drives for hours to meetings, gets the car stuck and unstuck in gravel bars, negotiates contracts, wakes up way too early to revise documents and finish computer work, walks miles with a cell to his ear, and does it all without a shred of resentment or bitterness. (At least I hope, or he's quite good at hiding it.) Without him though, this would have never happened. So is the plight of the father (and often both parents.) Always working for the enjoyment of others. So, to Bryce and all fathers out there, Happy Father's Day! We appreciate all of you and love you for what you do and what you are to our families; amazing examples of humility, love, understanding and generosity. Thank You!

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