Yesterday, I went on a long hike with two of my favorite hiking buddies. It was a nice reminder to slow down, take in the view, and talk. We talked about school, where lightning comes from, Charlie Brown's Christmas (Woodstock is cool, but the rest of those kids are kind of assholes, right?), and the amazing taste of orange Gatorade. My son carried his own CamelBak and snacks that we ate at the top of the climb, overlooking the Olivenhain reservoir and dam. We did about 5 miles of pretty steep hiking, and he only fell six times. I guess I should have bought him the trail-rated Chuck Taylor's. He's a good little hiker, though, strong and deliberate. He would stop every few minutes to point something out to me, he spotted Double Peak Park, the new hospital by Stone Brewery, a hawk circling above us, and he would ask me to be quiet so he could try to hear the stream down below. I run this trail a lot, but I generally don't take the time to look around, and yesterday was a good reminder.
My wife's friend passed away a few days ago. My wife and kids went to the memorial service on Sunday and had an amazing time. Her friend was an artist, so all the guests made a huge splatter painting. My kids came home covered in paint and laughter. I can't think of a better way to celebrate a life.
Thanks for reading. I hope you are all able to slow down over the holidays and enjoy time with friends and family.