Tag Archives: What I Learned this Summer

What I Learned this Summer

This has been a summer for the books. And by that, I mean actual books.

Our unexpected summer included one familiar tradition—visiting Randy’s parents in North Dakota in early August. Here, we’re relaxing before bed in their cozy guest quarters.

As in, if I ever write another book, what I’ve been learning these past few months will permeate the pages in ways I can’t even imagine right now.

When the summer began, my mom was living at home with my dad. Now—following a bad accident, a few weeks in the hospital, a couple of surgeries and almost two months of rehab—she lives at a long-term care center about 10 minutes from my house. (See here for a bit more on all that.)

There’s much more to the story, of course, and I have a feeling it will take a long while to process it all. For now, though, here are a few lessons I’ve already gleaned from this season none of us were expecting.


What I Learned This Summer

In early August, we packed up the family minivan and headed north.

After stopping at Wall Drug (if you’ve ever driven through South Dakota, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about), we continued west through the Badlands and the Black Hills, swung by Mount Rushmore, trekked around Devil’s Tower in Wyoming and then headed east across North Dakota to visit the dear ones we affectionately refer to as “The Northern Flowers.”

Wall Drug

About 2,400 miles later, we arrived safely back in Kansas. And it was only then that the belt that drives the air conditioner, alternator and water pump in our 2004 vehicle decided to snap in half. (See how a major annoyance suddenly morphs into a praise report? It’s all about perspective, even when you’re without AC and it’s 95 degrees outside.)