I stood at the edge of a cliff, staring out across the valley. The brisk air chilled my face, but the jacket I wore warmed my body. Colors danced in the wind—crimson, gold, and bright orange—heralding in the late autumn. The scenic view is stunning, almost more than words can express. God’s glory is displayed in a richness that comes with the waning temperatures and rustic forests.
I held my oldest daughter in my arms as she giggled and pointed out each color. In the distance, more mountains towered over the valley, their peaks blurred by mid-morning fog. My daughter looks at me. “Mommy, I’m hungry.”
“We’re almost there, honey.”
“There” is a quaint little inn that serves breakfast to the travelers trekking along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. Its breakfast buffet is a delicious secret that is being discovered by more and more people each year.
It’s been several years since I took the last time I took that trip with my daughters and my parents. Even today, I can still close my eyes and see those breathtaking views. And I wanted to keep sharing that experience with my family even though we’re no longer in Virginia.
Thankfully, here in Kentucky there are still a lot of trees and even some big hills (at least where I live). My husband and I can load our three kids up in the van and take a trip through the back roads and find our own stunning views. The girls hunt for “fire trees” (trees that look like they are on fire because of their colors) and ooh and aah over each one. Then we end up at IHOP for an extra special treat.
We even continued this into the winter. Sometime around the week of Christmas, we bundle up, grab some hot chocolate, and then hunt down the best light displays. We grab dinner and then hit the light display out at the lake.
I know the kids probably won’t enjoy this forever. When they hit their teen years, they’ll probably roll their eyes at the family bonding (though I hope not). For now, though, they enjoy the experience, and I treasure each moment that I get to spend with them—each sparkle of their eyes, each rounded “oh,” and every single smile and hug.
Do you have an area around where you live that is perfect for watching the trees change colors? Or is there somewhere that you love going to look at Christmas lights? What special memories these create!
Whether Ralene Burke is wielding a writer’s pen, an editor’s sword, or a social media wand, she always has her head in a dreamer’s world. And she wants to make it SHINE! In her own writing, Ralene spins fast-paced tales of fantasy worlds, angels and demons, and the broader calling of every human being. A place where the light pierces the darkness . . . You can find out more about her writing and editing services on her website: www.raleneburke.com.
Outside of the publishing world, she is a veteran’s wife and a homeshooling mama of three amazing children. She enjoys crazy nights with friends and board games, snuggling with her family, or, more often than not, enjoying the company of a good book.