And, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, for that matter.
The next night, he brought an engagement ring. They married on August 9, 1947. A year later, they gave birth to my sister, Jane. They spent a few years up on the plains where dad worked as a ranch foreman, and when my brother was a baby and I was a toddler, we moved back to the area they would call home for the rest of their lives--I assume they have no plans of leaving at this point. We were in Newcastle, then Seymour, and then Graham, where they have been ever since.
It was a bittersweet trip as the last 4 since December have been. Ever since I have gone to Alaska and heard the Aleut/Unangan saying, "It is what it is" I have really tried to be more accepting of things over which we have no control. One night, I said, "It is what it is." Dad responded, "And sometimes, it is just what it seems like it is." I was not sure quite how he meant that, but I found it funny and laughed.
It began to storm Wednesday morning about 3:30 a.m., with lightening and thunder, and poured rain. It was still raining when I went out to feed Rio and Jenny for the last time on this visit, but by then, it was a gentle, steady rain, and one that had been desperately needed. My sister took me to the airport, and though it made for almost as long a day as driving, it was not nearly as hard. You don't have to pay attention much when flying other than which gate you need.
I missed feeding Rio and Jenny this morning. For the first time since Dad got Jenny, she ate out of my hand. In a world where I feel as if I am rapidly losing control over the things that matter most to me, it seemed like a little miracle.