Our friend, an Army buddy of my husband and mentor to my oldest son, invited us to go out on the lake with his family before Gabe left for his tour in Iraq, and we jumped at the opportunity. We spent the afternoon trying (and failing) to waterski, tubing, fishing, frogging (no, we didn't bring any home, thank goodness!), and just all around fun in the sun and lake. It was almost guilty pleasure as thousands of people still suffer down south in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. That thought sobered the ride home and intensified the appreciation of the gentle yet powerful beauty of the world around us.