When Uncle Carl comes to visit,
he wisely brings a pile of wonderful children's books of the finest quality.
The children soon learn that if Uncle Carl is sitting, they can climb aboard for a story,
or seven, as the case may be.
Captivated by a new story,
they all listen rapturously.
I caught even the older children peeking over his shoulder more than once.
Even Olivia would sit still for, well, several seconds, anyway, to listen.
Then she would be off to toddle around and get into trouble, mostly,
but back again shortly to listen for a minute more.
I think Uncle Carl is more patient than I.
Joe and Jim were spellbound by a new book they had never seen before.
Besides reading to the children,
we enjoyed several walks and a late night hike with our house guest,
he taking beautiful pictures all along the way.
Every once in a great while, you may find a soul with whom your soul connects.
One who understands you, and you understand them.
This someone may seem to know you right off, and surprisingly,
love you anyway.
These relationships are to be cherished.
Every occasion to visit must be savored like a morsel of fine steak.
Such people quickly become "family" and nothing can change it.
Even when far away, or even far in between visits, these special souls are always near at heart, in thought, and the relationship quickly picks up right where it left off.
We are blessed to have these wondrous people in our lives, and in our homes, as was the case last week.
Tis a little bit of heaven on earth.
One of the things that keeps us smiling, laughing, and oft rolling our eyes here at the lodge with Carl is the endless dirt that permeates everything, everywhere....
especially short, bossy toddlers.
He thought it very picturesque apparently:
At this stage in our landscaping adventure, such is usually the way we find Olivia playing in the "yard."
The grass seed is sitting on the porch awaiting planting,
and I am optimistically dreaming of acres of green grass to replace the powdery clay dirt that has settled, less cutely, but just as thickly,
on the logs inside our home.
In the meantime, we refer to her as "Pig Pen" from the Peanuts comic strip,
and smile and laugh.
A toddler's life progresses so swiftly,
soon her little dirt magnet days will be a memory.
The Dirt Days will be a memory,
one we share with a rare and beautiful soul we call Uncle.