When Ethan was little and I was pregnant with Ellie, Larr and Ethan would go with Mark, Larr's cousin, exploring and photographing many of the mining towns on the western slope. It was a wonderful way for them to connect with each other, one that continues even now.
Larr and his cousin, Mark, have two things they both love - giving each other weird gifts and mining. They usually to out do each other with the weirdest gifts. However, this year Mark gave Larr a copy of Stampede to Timberline by Muriel Sibelle Wolle.
As Larr reads, I see images in my head like a slide show, images of my little Ethan wearing jeans, tiny hiking boots and a serious expression on this face. I imagine what it looked like when they would hike around the mines, now long abandoned, looking for treasures, climbing tailing piles and filling his tiny pockets with treasures for his rock collection. In the evenings they would return home, dirty, tired and excited, full of wonderings. Ethan still as such adventures, wonderings and still comes home with rocks, though now he is much more discerning and the rocks are usually in bags.
I listen for the enjoyment and I soak in the chance to have a leisurely time with Ethan, for I know that it is fleeting and may not happen much in the future. I have been helping him write cover letters and apply for positions in Antarctica and for a voyage on a tall ship. He will soon go in search of some adventures and our time in the living room will be done, at least for a while. I am excited for the adventures he will have, but I will miss him terribly.