October is a perfectly reasonable time to share photos from our family vacation to Pennsylvania back in August, right?! I think so too. I used to strongly dislike Pennsylvania. I finished my college years at a wonderful small liberal arts school in the northwest part of the state. The campus was gorgeous. The surroundings were too! But the weather...well I just don't endure endless days of gray well. And back then I thought that in general the Pennsylvanian life was too simple. I had plans for a more global way of living.
Then, after graduating college and moving back to Colorado, I fell in love with a Pennsylvania boy. I moved to Pennsylvania once again, but it would only be for a short time; so I "endured" it. I loved my new family from the start, but I was still a proud Colorado native (I suppose I'm still a proud Colorado native!). Pennsylvania would never be Home.
Fast forward 10 years, more than half of which we spent living in Africa, all of which we've spent living away from family. I don't need to go into all the ways I've changed since then, but I will say this: today I no longer turn up my nose at the simple life, where roots grow deep, and I appreciate the role of family more than ever.
Now, visiting Pennsylvania is a true gift, not just because we get to see family but because we get to spend time in Pennsylvania, where gardens don't need sprinklers and the sky is big and road side farm stands are everywhere. And conversations are simple.
The following is my Ode to the Pennsylvania Life, and Family: