Friday, April 17, 2015

A Glimpse of the Empty Nest - Part Two

The transition from parenting to becoming empty nesters can be a little daunting. We recently experienced a “trial run.” To read “A Glimpse of the Empty Nest - Part One,” click here. Today I am publishing “Part Two” …

Stopping overnight in Sheridan, WY. on our way home from Denver to Montana had been an excellent idea. After the outstanding meal we enjoyed at Frackelton’s, we still weren’t very hungry the next morning, but wanted some good coffee. We found a fun little coffee shop on Main Street and lingered there a while, deciding there was still no real reason to rush home.


Custer's Last Stand


It was a beautiful day for a drive. We’ve driven by the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument any number of times without stopping, but this time decided it was a good day for us to be tourists. 

A week ago I asked if anyone could identify the location of these photos.



If you guessed Little Bighorn Battlefield, or Custer's Last Stand, you were correct!
We spent nearly two hours exploring the monuments, the gravesite, and the museum. American history came to life, and my heart went out to all the soldiers and the Native Americans who fought that battle now known as “Custer’s Last Stand.”




It is hard for me to understand the arrogance which led up to this battle. What Crazy Horse had to say makes perfect sense to me.  How we treated the original inhabitants of this land does not.


Welcome Back

Driving back to the main road, we were reminded by a couple of horses that we were back in Montana. They meandered up the road ahead of us, and came up right alongside our car.




Madison Buffalo Jump

We continued on. The Madison Buffalo Jump State Park is only about an hour from where we live, and we have driven by it without stopping countless times. We took another short detour and a small hike, and we were there.





 It didn’t require a lot of imagination to picture a herd of buffalo tumbling off the steep cliff. 


This is a photograph of sign at the site with an artist's drawing of what a buffalo hunt at the jump must have been like.

A series of signs explains how the buffalo were lured to their death by the Native Americans, and butchered. It seems to me as though the men enjoyed the fun of the hunt, and the women did the bulk of the work! 




Instead of being tedious, our 800-mile drive back had felt like a mini-vacation. When we arrived home, it was only Friday night. We still had two more weekend days ahead of us to enjoy! 


Easter without Family

It was strange spending Easter without either of our kids, but we decided to make the best of it. Bringing our pets home from the kennel on Saturday made the house seem a little less empty, and we went for a fun hike with our dog on Sunday afternoon.



Friends of ours had also been driving to different places looking at colleges over Spring Break. When we found out they would just be getting home late Saturday, we invited them to have Easter dinner with us.


We ate well all weekend!


I am fortunate enough to have a husband who likes to cook. He prepared some really delicous steamed clams for our dinner Saturday night. 



We prepared Easter dinner together, serving both marinated chicken thighs and a boneless leg of lamb, which we butterflied and cooked on the gas grill. I did a lot of the prep work, but my husband tended the meat on the grill. Somehow, I think I got the best end of the deal, as it had begun snowing that afternoon, and was quite wintery out by dinner time! Brrr!



Life returned to normal on Monday. I was happy to see my son when I picked him up from the airport that afternoon. I miss my daughter, and I'm glad that it will be another year before he heads off to college! 

We will miss our kids, but I would give our trial run at being empty-nesters an A+.

Any comments on “How the West was Won?” What are your thoughts?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!

Note: In the spirit of full disclosure, this post is linked to a sponsored post that I wrote. All opinions expressed, however, are entirely my own.




17 comments :

  1. How lovely. My mouth is watering over your Easter Dinner! Those mussels and the lamb sound amazing. My son and I spoke last week and he had an unusual request. Could I come back east again for Thanksgiving? Sure! He'll be in 3rd year and living with 2 new housemates plus one from this year. Could I come a week late? Yes. Why? He wanted me to meet his housemates who'd be away during Thanksgiving. Love that. You've got great things ahead as an empty nester. It's a magical time.

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    1. How wonderful that your son wants you to visit - and while his housemates are there too! Who cares if Thanksgiving is a week late ... if you work things right, you just might get Thanksgiving dinner twice :)

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  2. Such a great post Susan. I'm glad you had a great weekend with your husband. I know mine is looking forward to these "empty nest" days with no responsibilities. Looks like you had great weather (well, until Easter) and your pictures are amazing.

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    1. The weather, the week we were in Colorado was absolutely perfect Lana!

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  3. What do you know???? I actually got it right. A sad memorial though.

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    1. Yes Delores - you were the only person who guessed Custer's Last Stand! Good for you!!! It is indeed a sad memorial. A blight on our history, for sure. After touring the grounds and the museum, I am even more confused as to how we justified our actions.

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  4. A sad memorial of a sad time.
    Love that you found time to revel in your empty nestdom.

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    1. To be truthful, I was dreading Easter without my kids - and it turned out that we did have a really good time! It was extra special, knowing they were enjoying time together as well.

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  5. We've toured Little Bighorn several times. A tragic story of one man's pride and arrogance. My Husby has spent the last thirty years researching and constructing on the historic sites in Alberta. His first? Head-Smashed-In Buffalo jump. The site still fascinates me! our weekend sounds heavenly! Thank you for sharing it with us non-empty-nesters! :)

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    1. Heehee! That was supposed to read 'Your' weekend. It's Sunday. I can't type . . .

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    2. Your husband must have a lot of interesting stories to tell Diane - just like you! Now I want to visitSmashed-In Buffalo Jump .... what a great name!

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  6. I miss traveling so much! I would love to jump in the car again and just go, but one day I will be able to do that again. I had to laugh because of the picture of your husband at the grill I have a pic of my hubby somewhere and he is doing the exact same thing in front of his grill! Men and their grills...it's a love affair that stands the test of time! I am finally get caught up! I didn't realize I had missed so many posts lately! I will definitely do better! No wonder I have been missing you!

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    1. And I have a photo of my dad grilling in a snowstorm in Calgary when I was about 10! Oh yes - it is wonderful that men like to grill, because it means a night off from the kitchen for us! No need to apologize for missing posts Rena - I have been way behind as well! Where do the days go?

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    2. This why people could never understand why I loved camping so much! No kitchen duty. Missing your posts are not an option for me my friends come first!

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    3. That is a great thing about camping Rena - and thank you!

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  7. What an amazing article. My son is on his way right now to Montana. Today he was at Mt. Rushmore. I love the wilderness and terrain that Montana has. The horses were just gorgeous. I've been having travel itch and after your beautiful photos I really want to head out now. Thanks for inspiring us with the nature of the land and history.

    Irish

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    1. Thank you Irish, for this lovely comment! I can't tell you how much it means to me that you enjoyed this post. Where is your son headed in Montana?

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Many thanks to everyone who leaves a comment here!