We just had a nice weekend. Many tasks were done, and many were left undone. The stock show animals were taken to market, pens were cleaned, everything had that feeling of being 'finished up'.
I enjoyed a lot of time at my desk creating projects for new classes. The boys had some hours of just being boys. There was bike riding, hole digging, and just plain ole' country living.
Then, as we sat down for the regular Saturday night taco dinner, the most wonderful unexpected thing happened.
The cousins stopped by.
It's funny when the cousins stop by. All on their own. Because they can both drive now, and they have a deep well of independence. It was a choice. It completely blessed our weekend.
They were happy to stop long enough to eat some tacos. The Bossman is famous in these parts for the best tacos, and I expect the cousins thought the visit might end there.
We thought it was a perfect night for a fire, so the Bossman and Mav fired up the pit, and all the cousins gathered outside. We didn't have any fixings for smores. We didn't have anything special. Just each other. As it turns out, that was more than enough.
I listened to many glorious conversations about classes at school, friends, sports, Bar b Que grills and new jobs. Some funny stories were shared, a jacket was borrowed, dogs chased balls and enjoyed their ears being scratched.
The simplicity of the evening surprised me. And, made me feel happy. And, grateful.
Then, I grabbed the camera and took a few snapshots. These pictures don't come close to capturing the feeling of the evening. The togetherness the cousins felt. The comfortable feeling of knowing someone their whole life, and the expectation of things yet to share.
The past year or so has been hard on the cousins. Life lessons have been learned. Experiences have been had. Worst nightmares have come true. We have lived through it all. Together.
Maybe all those things were floating through my mind during that enjoyable evening. I'm not sure. I don't think any of the cousins were thinking about any of those things. I'm pretty sure they were just happy laughing together. When they are all older, they might look back and remember the tough times together, but I really hope they just remember the unexpected times of joy.
As I'm remembering the evening, one quote stands out. I'm not sure why. About half way through the picture taking, the Bossman asks me to take more pictures of him with JM. That request rings in my head, still. I still don't know why. I snapped several, we laughed. I remember. And, I'm thankful.