Freedom, joy, and High Cotton

pic I took of our state flag at the Columbia Farmer's market in the rain

pic I took of our state flag at the Columbia Farmer’s market in the rain

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

It’s been a hectic summer.  Odd work hours for both mommy and I, practices, bible school, always something these days.

Several weeks ago we started a new family tradition. Each evening after the plates are cleared from the dinner table we take a “family walk”. All 5 of us, plus Coco, walk down the sidewalk to the trail. Some nights we visit the creek where you kids and Coco get in up to your ankles. You giggle as the cold water rushes around you, tiny fish flashing in blurs of metallic color around your feet. Most nights we end up at the school playground where you swing, slide, and chase each other.

It’s usually dark by the time we get home.

We’ve all come to love this nightly routine. I think Mommy and I love it the most.

Watching our 3 children run, sing, and dance together. The freedom of summer and the joy of family in your hearts.

And in ours.

We rode in grandfather’s truck one day last week. I borrowed it for work for a week. I’m getting one of my own soon.

When I drive I always put the radio on 650 AM WSM and listen to old country songs. The same songs I remember being forced to listen to as a child riding in the backseat of my parents car as we drove East to the mountains of Elizabethton, TN. Outlaw country, bluegrass, songs from simpler times.

I tell you kids about the songs. And about my memories of the old days, when I was a kid, when freedom and joy were all I knew as well.

The song “High Cotton” by Alabama came on the radio as we drove a few nights ago. I turned it up. Rolled the windows down. I watched the wind blowing in your hair.

I asked you kids to listen.

That same freedom and joy overcome me as I thought about these being our own “high cotton” days as a family.

Freedom, joy, togetherness, supper tables full of local produce, my wonderfully weary arms and legs from long days of real work, and a family walk through our neighborhood to creeks and playgrounds.

Funny to learn what walking in high cotton really means as an adult. 

I love you,


TRAINING: easing back into training. My high volume days are over for this summer though as I shift to one final sprint distance race for the year.

Mon: Swam 1500 / Ran 3 miles

Tues: Rode 30 miles

Wed: Ran 6 miles

Thurs: Swam 1200

izzy and friends at VBS this week

izzy and friends at VBS this week