My folks live on an old 300+ acre hunting preserve on top of a "hill" south of Black Mountain, NC. Dad is 87 and Mom 86, and although traveling is not a strong suit for them now, they remain in great health and stay very active on their mountain. The last time they saw me was in April, when I was hospitalized and bedridden, unable to bear weight on my legs without excruciating nerve pain...not the last image I wanted them to have of their oldest son. Since that time (7 months), though we talk every day and send email/pictures back and forth, I had not been able to travel the four and a half hours from Wake Forest to be with them, and they were unable to make the drive to see me. We deeply missed each other.
Mountaintop views, old roads and walking trails on their property
Beautiful mountain scenery full of Fall color, right outside their front door
Finally, this last Thursday Linda, Ginny (Linda's mom), Nick and I piled in the car with Nick at the wheel and my seat reclined, and headed to the mountain for four days. Leah and Kyle drove up from Georgia and we all enjoyed a beautiful weekend at "Grammy and Pop-Pop's".
Dad and I with our canes
Giving my mom a bear hug
Linda and I with our moms
Charlie, their "guard dog".
Leah, Tyson and I out for a walk
I truly love to visit the homestead, as dad has all the play toys like tractors, tools and 4-wheelers, and the beauty of the mountains with the fresh air and stillness is just a super place to replenish one's body, mind and soul. My family loves to get together every Fall as the men help restock dad's firewood supply for the coming winter. There are lots of roads and trails for walking, and we are all drawn outside to enjoy God's handiwork.
Nick and Kyle stacking the firewood
Fruit of their labor
Dad's tools on a very uniquely crafted stand.
Dad on the 4 wheeler bringing back the mail (about a 2 mile round trip down the mountain)
Pop-pop teaches the 'young-guns' about chain saw repair.
Three generations of Baker men...getting progressively taller!
I have many reasons to be thankful for my mom and dad. Though they have worried about me ALOT since I was diagnosed in January, they have also loved and supported me in whatever ways they could...be it long distance for most of the time. I feel blessed that they are still a part of my life, and 'by my side' in this battle with cancer. I am grateful to God that I could finally make the trip over to their mountain once more. Perhaps next time I can resume my role as my dad's #1 helper and the "Chain Saw King"!