We returned about 25 minutes ago from a long weekend with my sister and her family in Central Oregon.

We feel full.

From minestrone soup and brownies and nest building under the pine trees and running in the open grass and playing in the pool and listening to music too loud while we make cleaning the borrowed home on the Ranch fun.

Right now, my legs are warm, and my hands are cold. As I type, I sit under my favorite quilt that is nearly every shade of fall.

This patchwork reminds me of our weekend, of comfort wrapped through years and of living harvest in saffron and burnt umber, coral and olive, rust and chocolate.

This weekend, I watched the way people who love each other look when they’re living the moment. That twinkle, that fierceness, that softness, those tears that fill eyes when the time for goodbye comes again.

In the midst of the weekend, my sister offered Michael and me the chance to get out for a late afternoon date to grab a drink or coffee, to finish a few sentences. It’s been a while.

Are you sure? Really? Oh, yes, please. Woohoo. And off we went.

First, Michael and I visited the lodge, but an event looked to be in progress. So we headed a bit up the road to the clubhouse restaurant, which we discovered had closed an hour earlier. So we drove back to the lodge to see if we could get a seat in spite of the event and found out they didn’t open to the public for another hour. So we visited the coffee shop for a latte, which was also closed.


We plan B’d it and walked around the lake.

Along the path, past the bees in their houses (hutches?). Next to the cows who turned and stared when Michael mooed, between the orange and yellow bushes and the grasses dripping gold. Over the small foot bridge and to the edge of the fence.

We breathed smells of fall miracles — the sweet scent of foliage’s decay, contours of  landscapes made so different through transition from one season into another — and we interlocked fingers the same way we always have.

The date was detour, unforeseen, unexpected, and we were there to receive the gift and give the meadow, the lake, the sky, each other our full attention.

Then we returned to a passel of happy kids around the table, licking pumpkin bread from fingers while pasta bubbled on the stove.


This is Day 14 of Right Here (and the 31 Day post that almost wasn’t). Throughout October, I’m joining with a community of other bloggers (over 1,500 strong with The Nester). Each person who’s writing for 31 days is attempting to write for the entire month, every day, about the same topic. This is a good kinda stretch. To find all posts in my 31 Days of Right Here, click here, or see the listing below.

Today, I’m also linking up with Michelle DeRusha, who is hosting Concrete Words — one of my very favorite link-ups in which we write about the invisible prompted by something concrete. This week’s prompt: DETOUR.

To continue receiving these 31 Day words, subscribe to this blog on the sidebar at left, click here to Like Draw Near on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @AshleyMLarkin. I am immensely grateful to share the journey with you.


An introduction: Welcome to 31 Days of Right Here
Day 1: For You, Too
Day 2: Fear’s Invitation
Day 3: My Portion
Day 4: Five Minute Friday – Write
Day 5: Rise and Shine
Day 6: My Joys Mount As Do the Birds
Day 7: A Mother’s Fierce Love
Day 8: When Life’s A Mad Rush – How To Slow Time
Day 9: The Fight For Right Here Told Through Two Tales of Epic Whining (Part I)
Day 10: The Fight For Right Here Told Through Two Tales of Epic Whining (Part II)
Day 11: Five Minute Friday: Ordinary
Day 12: When Right Here’s A Mess
Day 13: O God, We Thank You
Day 14: The Date That Almost Wasn’t

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