It's a 'rite of spring' in our family to take our first trip up the mountain each year, finding wildflowers and opening up the cabin for the season. And it's always a guessing game to try to determine just when the roads will be cleared of enough snow and mud for us to make it through. Generally we are over-eager and have been known to get stuck before and have had to receive assistance from others in getting our rig out of mud or snowbank. Yesterday we decided to see 'how far' we could get in our journey up the mountain. Wildflowers, patches of snow, a few raindrops, and other eager people were common sights on this trek. The higher we got, the fewer the flowers (and the people). And, the higher we got, the smaller the flowers grew. We were surprised and delighted to be able to drive right to the cabin, with only a few barriers to our progress. We had a little tree removal necessary on our cabin-woods road by Brent and Rylan --- as a tree blew over in a winter storm and blocked the roadway. Fortunately it was a small tree and we were able to make a simple passage so we could continue down the road. It's always exciting for us to be able to open up the cabin for spring --- and to determine what things happened 'at the cabin' during our absence. The lavender is gangly and needs trimmed, but survived being buried in four feet of snow! And yes, it grows much shorter at the cabin than in the valley below; but at five years old, it continues to grow and bloom each year. Chipmunks evidently set up housekeeping in the outhouse. Their standards vary greatly from mine! They found much to soften their nests with, though. A broom and some disinfectant are noted as necessities for next trip. The top of a tree snapped and fell --- right beside the cabin --- but fortunately fell downhill and across the watershed trail, rather than on the cabin roof! And somehow, even amongst a damp, snowy winter --- dust has managed to settle on the furniture and it all needs polished and freshened for spring! But, the work could wait! We hiked, ate, read a good book, enjoyed warmth from the fire, and visited with our cabin neighbor. Serenity, calm, peace, and nature --- God's gifts on a beautiful spring day!