Last night it was cloudy, but the forecast said there was only a 30% chance of rain. I watched the clouds on the mountain with a wary eye as I steered the car to Laura's house. We had originally planned to go for a drink, but realized that both of us would prefer a hike. So we changed our plans and put on hiking gear.
I picked her up at her home. We checked the weather again and it now said 40% chance of rain. We hopped into the car, unwilling to let go of this last opportunity (for a while) to hang out. You see Laura is like adopted family to us. My family has known Laura since childhood. She attends family dinners, birthdays, and holidays when she isn't with her actual family who live in another town. My girls both love her dearly, as do we all.
When Laura announced that she was leaving we all knew it was for the best, because there is a world calling to her, but it is a bittersweet goodbye. We will miss her. It was particularly difficult to break the news to the girls, but they understand as best as two kids can. We also assured them that she is only moving to Colorado, that we will still see her.
So last night neither she nor I were willing to call it a wash when, on the drive up to the trailhead,it started to rain and then pour and then hail. I kept driving, feeling certain that the storm would pass quickly. I parked the car and we chatted as the rain slowed and finally stopped. We hopped out of the car and headed to the trail. It was closing in on sunset, but twilight lingers this time of year so we knew that we probably had a couple of hours of light.
It was an absolutely beautiful evening as we had the trail mostly two ourselves, only passing a few others over the course of nearly two hours. We talked and laughed and made a good memory. When we came off of the mountain we didn't say goodbye, because with family it is never goodbye.