It's almost time for our trip on the rails to the Grand Canyon, and I'm already planning a trip beyond that to the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Tentative planning, that is, without setting a date.
We know Colorado well, and it's only a day-long drive from here. No motels will be reserved and nothing paid for ahead of time, because we will be ready to go at the drop of a hat.
The thing is, many times the little girl we babysit goes to spend a week with her grandparents in Iowa. We'd like to go to Colorado during one of those weeks. There is only one time we know for certain she will be gone, and that's during the first week in October, but there will likely be others.
I've always wanted to see Colorado in autumn, and at first I was going to plan on going in October. However, when I put out feelers to my Facebook friends, the idea didn't sound so great. Among comments like "It can be nice then" and "It's my favorite season in Colorado", I heard disaster stories: hailstorms, snowstorms, ice... yes, during the first week in October.
Well, October is a lovely time to go to south Missouri and Arkansas and check out the fall colors. So we'll just wait until the child's next unplanned trip to Iowa and pick up and go. We can leave with little notice.
Speaking of the little girl, she isn't even three years old yet, but she thinks she knows everything and will argue her point. Although Cliff still calls her "the baby", she is anything but. She's more like a miniature teenager. She's a nature girl, a hillbilly whose shoes come off as soon as she's in the house (sometimes before). She's a free spirit who has no problem with squatting outside when nature calls rather than going in to the bathroom. She's a chatterbox in the true female tradition. She still would rather do adult things (cooking, cleaning, gardening) than play with toys. In fact, she usually only plays with toys if Cliff or I join her in playing. Then she'll play for an hour at a time. But we have to play by her rules. She has a hard head and an unquenchable spirit.
Being around the little girl as she grows has been so good for us, because we've had all the joys and few of the responsibilities and worries that go with raising one's own child. She's truly a gift to us and to the world.
I thank God for her. She has given us more pleasure than ten vacations.