“Grandpa?”

“Yes?” Christopher looked down at his 5-year-old grandson.

“I really like this place.”

Christopher smiled. “So do I, Joey.”

They sat in silence for awhile.

“Grandpa?”

“Yes?”

“I heard Mom say something about you being sick. Is it true?”

Christopher put his hand on Joey’s shoulder. “It is.”

The boy stared at the water for a moment before he spoke again. “Are you going to be okay?”

Christopher hesitated for a moment. He didn’t want to lie to the boy. “I’m not sure. But for now, let’s just enjoy this moment and this beautiful place. Okay?”

The boy stared at him for a moment before nodding. “Okay. I really do like this place.”

Still growing


Normally Sara lived to hike, but lately she had trouble just getting herself out of bed.

So when her boyfriend kept trying to drag her along on this hike, she wasn’t sure she wanted to go. He seemed so eager for her to come along though, so finally she relented.

Her sadness continued along the path through the park, though she still tried to smile since her boyfriend seemed to be having a good time.

Then she spotted something in the rocks and bent down, and she did something she hadn’t done on a long time. She genuinely smiled. Somehow that little flower growing out of this rock gave her hope. If this flower wouldn’t quit growing, neither would she.

Peace and quiet


“It’s so quiet here. Allison? Don’t you think it’s quiet?”

Allison opened her eyes and glared down at her little sister. “It was before you started talking.”

Mandy frowned. “Why do you like just standing there with your eyes closed? That’s boring.”

“If it’s so boring to you, why don’t you go away?”

“Fine. I can find something a lot more fun than hanging around with you.” Mandy stomped away, hitting branches with every step.

Allison closed her eyes again, ready to finally have some peace and quiet. She loved just listening to the sounds of nature without anybody interrupting. 

“Jimmy! Look at this!”

Allison sighed. Someday people would leave her alone. Apparently that day was not today.

Waterfall


“All that hiking, and this waterfall is just a trickle.”

I stared at my friend. Fine, there wasn’t a ton of water in this waterfall today, but it was still a lovely waterfall, and this canyon was so beautiful.

“Why are you always so negative?”

She shrugged. “You’re the one who likes hiking and waterfalls so much. I’m just along because you dragged me here.”

I sighed. I knew I needed to find better friends to hike with. In the meantime, I was fully planning to enjoy this hike and any waterfalls we might find, regardless.

A year later, I hiked to the waterfall with a friend I had made in a hiking club.

“Look at this! Isn’t this amazing?”

That was more like it.

The Lakehouse

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“I want to go back home!”

When they finally arrived at the lakehouse for the first time, the whole family was exhausted. The kids had been arguing the entire ride, and their navigation system sent them down a dead-end road. They were seriously discussing never coming back again.

Once they finally got unpacked and went out to the lake, though, everything changed. The lakehouse was small, but the lake itself was so blue and seemed to stretch on for miles. The kids couldn’t wait to swim, Mike wanted to go fishing, and Angela wanted to sit and relax, just watching the water.

“I need you to promise me something,” Angela said to Mike. “We will never give this place up, no matter what mood we’re in or how crazy our summer is.”

“Done,” Mike said.

Thirty years later, Angela and Mike were sitting together by the lake, watching their grandkids swimming in the water.

“Remember when we were about to give this place up?” Angela said.

“Nah, I think you’re making that up,” Mike said. “This is our home away from home. We never could have given this place up.”

Angela just smiled.