This past holiday weekend we went to Flagstaff with my sister- and brother-in law’s family to play in the snow. It was a wonderful, relaxing few days away. There’s nothing like being able to drive a few hours away, to enjoy a completely different climate, being watched over by gorgeous mountains.
I am not one for winter sports…you won’t catch me skiing, or doing anything involving getting chilled to the bone, trudging through snow. Rather, my idea of a wonderful winter sport is cozying up in front of a roaring fire, sipping some rich hot cocoa topped with whipped cream, reading some wonderful book, while snow lazily floats down outside. However, I had a ton of fun watching everyone sled and tube down the little slopes, and even took a turn sliding down with my niece. Lucky for Beau that his Dad is more of a winter sport person. He got to go down a little slope with him, though I’m not sure how much he enjoyed it! It was invigorating to be outside, breathing in the crisp mountain air, being surrounded by nature in all her glory.
We also took The Polar Express (commonly known as The Grand Canyon Railway) from Williams all the way to The North Pole. On board, we enjoyed hot cocoa and chocolate chip cookies, listened to The Polar Express being read aloud, sang Christmas carols, and got to see Santa. I probably had the most fun of our bunch; it was so magical to see the children get so excited to actually see Santa and get a bell from him. I felt a little like a kid again, with no worries, believing that anything is possible.
On our drives there and back, I couldn’t help but imagine what it must have felt like to trek to Arizona as a pioneer. Leaving everything you had ever known, navigating your way through a harsh climate and terrain, knowing that death could find you at any time in any manner, hoping that what you were after would sustain you and your family in such a way as to make all your sacrifices worthwhile. What bravery, courage, and determination it took to homestead this place I call home.