Pearl summed up things quite nicely in this letter that she dictated to me for her school friends:
I have been having fun except for when Lusa bit a porcupine on a ranch in Colorado. We had to take Lusa to a vet to get the quills out. We saw a hot air balloon. We fed alpacas. We saw an ice castle that was big. We stayed in a motel last night in Texas. A motel is a place where you open the door to the outside.
In the van, I sit in the back with my mom and my sister. Lusa sits in the front seat next to Papa. The van is full of bags. The bags have clothes, sewing things, art kits, sleeping bags, stuffed animals, blankets, dolls, food, and tea. We make presents, listen to stories, take naps, draw, and eat in the van.
My favorite part of the trip so far has been in the van because I am a traveler. I miss my bunny and all of you. Little Rose [Pearl’s doll] is enjoying the trip.
The only thing that I need to add is that I no longer need to regret that we did not have room for skis or snow gear, as there was hardly any snow in Colorado. I guess Mother Nature didn’t want me to feel like I was missing out. Now that we have passed, winter storms are being forecasted.
Acknowledgements thus far:
Many people have helped us along on our journey and a little thanks is in order. Thanks to April, Jeff, Greysen, and Olive for being the best friends we could ever possibly wish for. We also thank you for feeding us, helping with the girls and whatever else we seem to need, always being ready to hang out, and for taking such great care of our animals in our absence. I want to give a special thanks to April for helping me laugh about all of life’s lessons and for always being there to support me. And thanks to the April and Iris team for helping me get my Pleather on, even when I didn’t know I needed it. Thanks to Sagit, Alex, and Elinor for giving us some fantastic accommodations while we packed up our house. We know who to move in with, if ever we need to. Thanks, Oso, for altering a harness for our little Juniper. Thanks to Jess, Noah, and Isla Bandstra for the awesome activity bag. We especially love the bird stickers and bird origami paper. Thanks to all of our Bellingham friends for making such an incredible and supportive community to live in and for helping us feel so welcome and appreciated.
Thanks to the McDermotts- Barry, Susi, Leina, Marty, and Mira for adopting us as family so many years ago. The binoculars Barry gave us have already helped us immensely. Today I got to see wood ducks so clearly! The pocket Chapmans will be indispensable. Barry, you always know how to give us the gifts we most need. And you all share your Kirkland home with us so graciously.
Thanks Tammy and Dale for putting us up in Boise and making that awesome stew. Juniper is still asking to see Tammy.
Thanks Grace, Brian, and Penny the cat for the sweet sleep and walk in Palisade, CO. Pearl has been trying to sleep in forts ever since. Pearl also reminds me daily that she promised Grace that we will stop back by on our return trip.
Thanks Sarah for such swell accommodations in the intern house on the Carpenter Ranch outside of Steamboat Springs, CO. Lusa has fully recovered from her porcupine experience and it was so good to reconnect with you and Kristen. The pickles are grand!
And thanks to Denise, Ken, Chase, and Casen here in New Braunfels, TX. We are so comfortable and we saw some amazing birds today at Landa Park- LOTS of wood ducks, grackles, geese, an egret, and other birds that I have to figure out. Oh yes, and we saw a nutria- funny, large, swimming rodents from South American that cause havoc in wetlands. Pearl and Juniper are ever so happy to be with their cousins.
And many thanks to all of you who read this blog. We feel your support and good wishes!