I of course had to take a few pictures of my mountain off the back deck. I promise you I have at least 100 pictures of Pikes Peak from this exact perspective. Yes, I am okay with that. And no, I don't plan on showing you all each and every one of them. You're welcome by the way.
After a final family breakfast, well, minus a sister-in-law and niece who apparently requested breakfast in bed (how did I miss that being an option?) we started packing up.
I had to take a few pictures of the great room and our loft bedroom just because. And by just because I mean, just because I have issues and take too many pictures.This is where the girls had slept each night. They had been offended every single night because they hadn't gotten the loft like last year.
As I was helping Shawn load the car (he likes hearing my suggestions) McKinley took the camera for some final pictures. And I'm completely lying, he doesn't really care for my suggestions.
I hadn't heard about the offense to the trees until I was looking through the pictures.And to tell you the truth, deep down inside I wished I'd done it.
Even though we hadn't seen our niece that morning, her dog Tucker was out and about. I love this shot of Kennedy holding him that McKinley took.Another family that was moving into the Chalet that morning had brought this dog. Isn't he cute? Looks like Jackie 'O' with about 30 extra pounds.
As always I was teary as we headed back down the mountain. I hate seeing this view for the last time. I seriously need to have Shawn pull over so I can get a non through-the-window shot sometime.And of course I took another one as I was passing through Woodland Park for the last time.We stopped in Colorado Springs to see the house that my Grandpa had built and my mom and her sisters had lived in. Grandpa died in 2003, my mom in 1996, my Aunt Nonie this April, and my Grandma Maybelle in 1974. I have no memories of my grandmother. I know though that she was a sweet, precious, loved by all woman. Her first name was June but after she was born her parents found out there was another little girl named June already living close by. So she always went by her middle name of Maybelle. McKinley's middle name is June after her.
To be standing where they had all stood, just in front of the house my sweet Grandpa had built was completely overwhelming. We'd been there before but after dark and in a rain storm. This time I was able to walk around it, take pictures, and take it all in.I stood in the front yard and looked at their view of my mountain. All those special people in my life had stood there and seen the same view. I had to get myself in the car before I collapsed in tears on the sidewalk.All too soon the mountains were gone and the fields started looking more like Kansas than Colorado. These were the cutest cows I saw in the whole trip though. Love the horns!These cows stunk. For miles. And miles. It's how we knew we were in Kansas.
I love Kansas. My mom's entire side of the family came from Kansas. Grandpa's from Ford and Grandma's from Garden Plain. But still, Kansas kind of stinks in a few places.And guess where we went?
Ford, Kansas. Home of the Blue Hereford.That's a restaurant, in case you were wondering. I don't want anyone hopping in their car and driving there searching for a blue cow.
It was our second stop of the day at a family home. Since I posted on Facebook that I'd been to this house there has been some family discussion going on. My Aunt Janis, mom's baby sister, told us it was the house her dad built. Our cousin Wanda told me that my great grandpa built it and that he and my great grandmother lived there. All I know is that as I stood in front of it I was once again overcome with emotion. No matter who lived there or who built it, my family once lived there.The town is so small that only the highway going through the center is paved. The dirt roads leading both directions are so cute. My Aunt Janis had also told us where the cafe she was born in once stood. We also found my Uncle LN's old grocery store. Or what's left of the building. The last thing she'd told us about that I wanted to visit was the high school. My grandpa and several of his siblings attended here and graduated from it. It was closed years and years ago and I was crushed to see the state of the building.If I could live in Ford, Kansas I would buy the land and building, re-do it, and move my family in. Wouldn't that be an amazing house? I used to watch a show on HGTV that showcased homes that were once banks, stores, schools, lighthouses, and other neat things. I wanted to move after every 30 minutes show ended.
As we drove out of town I was once again misty eyed. What a day.
This windmill just spoke to me. I had to add a quote. That seems to be something I do lately.Soon we saw this...
...and this. And as is family tradition we sang the state song as soon as we crossed into our state.
Okay, okay. It was nice to see our house. I had missed the pool. My couch was thrilled to see me. Jackie 'O' had a blast at the neighbors but she was glad to see us. But as I drove to and from the piano teachers house the next night I didn't take a single picture.