every day we woke up and the mountains were painted with the weather. the first day was sunny and the colors of the trees stood in contrast to the sky. bright orange, flame red, deep green. the second morning we woke up to heavy fog and gradations of mist dulling all it touched. the third day there was a dusting of snow on the mountains and clear skies again. the last day was sunny, still remnants of snow, but the shining colors were back.
we visited elodie's "horse cousin" and elodie brushed her gently. she wore the tiniest helmet that her auntie found just for her. francesca slept most of the time but woke long enough to visit with the other horses.
on the rainiest day we were supposed to go to sundance for a hike. instead, my niece lorien took us for a walk to visit her cow friend. she had her walkie talkie so that she could stay in touch with my sister which was the sweetest thing ever. we tramped in our thin california clothes (lorien was well prepared in cowboy boots) through the rain and mud across the varied, beautiful terrain. i was carrying francesca in the ergo and my shoes were soaked as we made our way through the woods. we stopped often to collect pinecones and acorns for our nature table. i listened to the girls talking up ahead and felt so grateful for their connection by blood. elodie doesn't see her cousins often enough and that is something i want to change (cassandra, you are next.) we made our way home and traded our cold, muddy clothes for hot chocolate. i hope elodie remembers this for as long as i do.