todd's grandfather has got to be one of the most tender, admirable people i know. his memory is impeccable and he has this laugh that fills you up like soulfood, heartening and real.
we spent parts of thursday and friday with grandpa owens, and already i'm certain those days will rank as one of the more treasured times of our lives.
(note to owens clan: more photos to come. patience is a virtue.)
so tomorrow we're heading out for a week of basic contruction and repairwork in the community of beattyville, kentucky...the "we" being comprised of the hubby and rob and a bunch of extraordinary teens and me. (check out this brief video clip from abc's 20/20: hidden america for a glimpse of life in beattyville.)**
while we're gone, todd's parents are caring for our kiddos. in fact, they took the children back home with them when they left our place yesterday.
our house has never known such quiet.
perhaps you’d think that after eleven years of nonstop children, i’d welcome a week of someone else fielding their myriad queries, their bickering, their self-renewing energy.
but while i am profoundly grateful to have left our kids in such capable hands, the truth is i missed them the moment i retraced my path up the driveway without the weight of a small hand in mine, the second i took a step into this suddenly cavernous house and let the screen door slap shut behind me, no one treading on my heels.
i'm certain to fare better next week, once i'm engaged in labor and hanging with my surrogate church kids, but this morning was difficult: waking to a silence that pressed my lungs, a palpable stillness.
it strikes me how often the human experience is rife with conflicting emotions: we are at once heady and listless, content and yet bleak with grief. we are frail and complex and so utterly predictable.
it's a grand mess, isn't it? and i could not love it more.
**since i know better than to leave y'all unattended, i've scheduled a few ramblings-slash-photos to post while i'm gone. check back soonish.