I am a girl who loves mountains, changing seasons, running, true backpacking, strong coffee, and knitting with high quality yarn.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Thankful.

Another Holiday season. It's the 8th year we are making a trip to a little Oklahoma town of Claremore. In fact, my first introduction to Larry's family was on Thanksgiving in 2009. It seems so long ago...we have grown together, and continue growing.



Claremore grew on me, too. This little town 30 miles off Tulsa had seen had despair, as many small towns in America, and all around the world, do - but it seems to have been picking up some youth blood and attitude lately. The parks are getting updated, new playgrounds put in, businesses open up, and the main street is seeing some life being brought up.

Family. It's not easy to try and merge lives after you hit 40, and even more difficult when you are both #2. Families oftentimes have harder times to accept fully, to trust, to just simply get used to. But 8 years is a good chunk of time. Time is the only valuable asset we all have. And so every year I felt a little more part of my new family, part of Claremore, OK. Until this year, it hit me: this is it. They are pretty much all I got here. Yes, I still have mom and sister, but here, in US, anything happens - and Claremore family is it. Larry is it. And it felt that we all felt the same. It's the vibe, it's in the air. From last Christmas to this Thanksgiving, huge steps were made in that "feel", and a few days before the trip, I realized: Claremore is the place where I want to be put to final rest, when it comes to it. And that gave me peace. A place that reminds me one I grew up in Belarus in, if a little bigger. Life is a circle. In a weird way, knowing I have a place where I could stay "forever", eternity is not so scary anymore. There will be a place for me to, literally, rest in peace, and someone, passing by, will remember me, and will actually have known my name...And that is the definition of family.

It was a beautiful weather, we got incredibly lucky. Sunny, crisp the first morning, warmer next couple of days, but not stinky hot. We never skipped a run that week, and I had discovered new places, falling more in love with Larry's place of birth. Will Roger University is gorgeous, with a trail system. The lake park is getting lots of upgrading. Turkey mountains in Tulsa is amazing, can't believe it's our first time! Thanksgiving dinner had its all traditional fare, and we happily stuffed ourselves with food and love and smiles. And we simply hung out, no agenda, no errands. Quiet times. Talks. Things family does, together.
Hawk in the backyard

The lake park

Walking off Thanksgiving dinner

Thankful to have him in my life

Oklahoma has Fall!

Will Roger University trails

Sunrise over Turkey mountains and Tulsa

We are not acclimated, coming from TX!

Happy man on the trails

Catching the sun

Lovely miles of trails

Turkey mountain park entrance

Claremore is a birthplace of this great man

And a birthplace of THIS great man, too:)

His quotes are timeless

A happy guy with those he loves most: mom, son, and, well, me, too.

Great spot for contemplating

More Fall colors on the Hill

Blended family

My friend Eman came to visit Austin after Thanksgiving

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