When Anthony told me that he had enlisted in the infantry, at age 30, I almost had a stroke. I am certain at least 10% of my hair went white in that instant, but that's a whole other story all together.
From that instant on I was bound to spend every moment I could with my girls before Daddy finished boot camp and drug them off to parts unknown. This adorable face is going away in just a matter of weeks.
How can that be?
And this chubby one. Little Miss Amelia. Be still my heart. Always smiling chunky butt.
How many memories will I miss?
While Anthony is in boot camp, Lacey and the girls went to stay with Lacey's daddy. He lives way out in da' boonies; a little over an hour trip from my home. It's a beautiful drive and doesn't seem a terribly long trip, but when your car is having issues it might as well be a thousand miles away.
You never know what you might see along the way though.
I made the trip out today even though my car has just been dying at will. Never know when you might need the tow truck home. That's no joke. I drove on a wing and a prayer. Every second of the white knuckle ride was worth it. Those tiny smiling faces are worth it.
I couldn't resist stopping for a barn along the way, even one that's falling in on itself. It's Southeast Missouri. This one may stand to rot like this for years. The loft is now about four foot off the ground and keeping nothing out, and nothing dry. I am sure the squirrels and deer and very well nested and fed around there. I saw signs of some sizable coons so I didn't hang out long; no telling what wildlife takes refuge there now.
Before I arrived at the Pack's, the neighbor's dog came to meet me at the end of the lane. Nice looking Heeler mix, if not a little intimidating. He turned out to be a really sweet dog. When traveling in rural anywhere, especially Missouri, it's a crap shoot to how a country dog will act when you exit your car.
It was great to see Ally having such a good time with her cousins.
She's a handful but keeps up with the boys just fine.
Amelia was tripping on my camera, even without the flash. You'd think she's be used to it by now, but she's not. I could sure get her used to itwith a little practice if daddy weren't about to drag you off away from home.
Allison is all about giving Nany a pretty smile, chocolate-cookie-lips and all.
Amelia will settle for sweet little toes to snack on for now. They leave less of a ring around your mouth than Oreos. :-)
Ally look so much like her Grandma Angie here. She walks just like her. Odd the little traits that children inherit.
And here. She's Angie's mini me, for sure.
We had a big "adbenture" in Grandma Kathy's back yard . Ally wasn't real wild about that very tall grass, well over her head, but she just couldn't stand it and barreled right in. She's fearless I tell you.
I'm going to miss this wide eyed beauty more than I can say. I was so prepared to spend the next 20 years dragging her around. And her sister too. Now they are army brats so that won't be happening. But even without me, I am am very excited for them and the real adventures they will surely have, in places I will never see.
Maybe I'll luck out and one of them will be a camera bug like Nany and they will allow me to see the world through their eyes.
Miss Amelia just likes to hang out with her mom and chew on her toes. I cannot fathom the things I will miss out on with her. I have always thought my grandchildren would be nearby. Now I wonder if they will ever really know me.
On the way home, I realized just how true the statement, "Southeast Missouri is an odd place," is.
Sometimes while driving, I hold my camera and just shoot off the cuff. No focusing, just snapping as I drive, and I get the to see the treasures when I get back to the house.
I'll leave with you with these.
Bus stop straight ahead- Do you see the curve?
And just around the curve.... this one stopped and never started again.
Sitting along side a field full of...
And made it home just about nightfall.