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THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

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Michael and I are planning a big camping trip to Colorado with the Cabbage this summer. I have told him stories of the family campground resorts that we would sometimes stay in when I was a kid. I talked about kids running around in packs and the movie nights and the potlucks with Bingo. All of those places seemed to be stuck in the 50s and had this nostalgic Amercana feel. Dad and I would joke about how cheesy some of it all seemed at times, but we all enjoyed ourselves. I want that for the Cabbage. I want her to be able to just run off with another pack of kids and hang out around the big bonfire making s'mores. I would also like to leave some of Dad's ashes in Colorado since it was his most favorite place to visit. 

Earlier this week I had a dream that Michael and I were setting up our camper in this tiny camp spot that we were sharing with Mom and Dad. They're camper was already set up and Dad was puttering around the campsite, asking us questions about our setup process. I remember that everything was wet, like it had just rained. Dad asked me if everything was okay. I nodded. Then he said "let's get the campfire going" and we all sat around the campfire. The sun had just dropped down. Yet when I looked up at the sky, it had already filled up with stars. I stared up in amazement and I urgently tugged at Michael's sleeve. "Do you see this?!?! Do you see this sky?!" I said to him while sweeping my arms wide. It was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes and I woke up with my pillow and cheeks damp from the tears. 

I remember on that very last trip, waking up around two in the morning and stumbling to the bathroom. When I came out of the bathroom, I glanced up at the sky and what I saw in that first brief glance nearly knocked me flat to the ground. It was as if the sky was only inches from my face. I could feel the weight of space pressing down on me and I felt dizzy as I looked up at the wonder of all of it. In all of our many many trips to Colorado, I don't remember ever seeing the sky look so breathtaking as I did on that last trip. I imagine that it is always just as remarkable but that this time was the first time I was actually paying attention. I want Michael to see this sky. The truth, though, is that my memories might just be all memories. We might end up at Fun Valley Campground to discover that they've traded in Bingo night for how to pin stuff to Pinterest. Those packs of roving children will no longer be roving, but sitting around the Wifi router. The Cabbage is already disappointed that our pop-up does not have a TV.

The one thing I can be sure about is that dang sky. 

I am thankful for all of those memories. I am thankful for those times that Dad visits me in my dreams. I am thankful that there is a sleeve of someone that I urgently want to tug so that I can show them something amazing. 

I am thankful for you.