It's a long way from Nebraska to my prairie place.
And it's a long, tough journey being a person in this world.
But people you love make up for that.
Especially when they surprise you.
Laura came. She hid out in room while my sneaky family got me out of the house.
When I got home, there she was when I turned on the light, a bouquet of white tulips for my birthday.
Yeah. That was a good surprise. Come see this huge smile I have on my face right now from just remembering it.
Everything started to make sense then, all the frequent drops Ethan made into my room the day before to say hi. House cleaning disguised as spring cleaning. Hannah's excitement about Easter weekend and hiking, and a movie out.
I have the best family in the world. And the best friend.
It cheered me up so much.
The next morning we got all spruced up for Easter Sunday. The boys are looking rather dapper.
There are some pretty lovely girls in my life.
The puppy dogs got a lot of extra loving that weekend.
Easter dinner in all its numminess.
Monday was a full day of busyness and togetherness. We went hiking up Lover's Leap and had a picnic lunch in 40 degree weather. Midwest people are weird like that.
Up, up, up we go, off into the wild, forest yonder.
Mum taking our departing picture.
The Eye of Mordor watched us from the trees.
Here are just a few pictures of the trip upward.
And the forest along the way.
The "false leap". It's the top of the ridge so I imagine it fooled a lot of people. It confused Hannah and I on our first trip up.
At last! On top of the Leap!
The photojournalist. Capturing everything.
The view down. Which was a long way.
Just hanging out.
The prairie way out behind us!
Ah. There. Now, the trip is complete.
Hannah and I up there again together, in remembrance of our first trip.
Mountain Man was not in his element in the least. He had a miserable time running, hiding, jumping out from behind trees, climbing rocks, flirting with the edge of the Leap, and frightening us half to death. No, he didn't enjoy the hike at all.
Almost all of us!
Giving a helping hand.
And we're off again. Just a short ways further it all goes down hill and you follow a lovely, winding trail through the forest.
Just one of the ten stream crossings.
We never kept the same position in line. Someone was always stopping for something or changing direction. So this is the line behind me at that moment in time.
The Eye of Mordor still with us.
When we got back to the cars, these friendly mavericks thought we were interesting and decided to come visit.
But they soon got bored and decided they were hungry instead.
After saying hello to the mountain sheep, we set up lunch at a picnic table and had sandwiches, and rice krispie bars, and vegetables, and got warm in Hannah's car.
Some warm beverage was definitely in order after that cold hike. But Laura and I were the odd ones and got iced coffee while everyone else was smart and got hot chocolate. But I must say, I loved the drink Laura got me. I will be returning for it.
That evening we went to a movie, and the ride home was a very quiet one.
When Laura left the next morning, I wasn't too sad. I was, but I didn't cry as much as at other times when she's left. It was like she said, I felt like I could face the world again, and my soul was cheered and my heart happy, and I felt so loved. It was a very good surprise.