About two weeks ago (I always seem to be late in posting about events), Ethan and I took a forty-five minute drive down to Norman and visited The Vine, which was Ethan's (house) church when he lived in Oklahoma before. We don't get to visit too often because of the distance, but these people already feel like family to me. I love being with them.
After church, we visited Grandma and Grandpa Sisson. We socialized for a while, got work gloves and tools out of the garage, and tended to some issues on their ten acre property. It was a tough job - exercise with a purpose, as Ethan called it. He cut down a couple of encroaching trees and limbs of others, while I hauled away the branches. We both took turns dragging the whole body of one tree to a brush pile across the front yard (for lack of more accurate term). It was exhausting, but I find manual labor enjoyable when it's outside, especially when it's in a beautiful place.
"Papa's Country" or "The Farm" (a misnomer: it has never been a farm) is peaceful and lovely even when most of the autumn leaves have already browned and fallen. It reminds me of wild places I've been. Even though I was dog-tired, walking back and forth between the brush pile and the area we were clearing, I wanted to skip off into the trees and frolic. Why? Because I'm a dork, that's why. That and I love nature. I get a natural high off of just being in a place like that. I like gardening. I liked clearing away the usurpers so that a lovely old pecan tree could thrive. I liked making the wildness a little more inviting. Both Ethan and I feel at home in a place like that.
The two of us make a good team. We fell easily into step with each other. I think it's a good sign that we can do manual labor together for hours without arguing or, heck, without even a hint of conflict. Even happy couples I know would've argued. We enjoyed ourselves.
At the end of the day, Grandma Sisson paid us money we didn't ask for or expect and sent us on our way. We spent the rest of the evening getting ridiculously full on the taco salad we cooked together, watching a movie by the fire, and drinking tea.
In my world, that was a sweet and excellent day.
[Note to self: Start taking photos of days like this, even if it's just with my lame iPad camera.]