I drove to Casper today to meet with the good people from the St. Anthony Tri-Parish School Foundation.  It was a good meeting, and the school has a vibrancy to it that is infectious.

The drive to Casper from Cheyenne is 180 miles. If the roads are clear and the weather is good, it takes 2 hours and 15 minutes if you don’t stop for coffee or a bathroom break.

I would bet I have made this trip 1,000 times in the last 31 years.  I could do it blindfolded, but the Highway Patrol tends to frown on that. I know where the radio poops out, where my cell phone loses coverage, where the wind blows the hardest, and where the ice builds up the fastest.  I know which bathrooms are the cleanest and which gas stations have the best coffee.

Familiarity, it is said, breeds contempt.  Yet I have no contempt for this drive, as it is stunningly beautiful when I am paying attention. Rather, the familiarity in this case causes one to miss the wonders that are the changing landscape.  It is easy to get caught up in thoughts of work and family, or the noise from the radio, and miss what is going on around me.

Today had the possibility to be such a day.  Then I looked to the clouds building in the west, getting ready to dump snow and wind on the eastern plains of Wyoming tonight and tomorrow.  Laramie Peak was hidden behind streams of snow and sunlight coming from the clouds, giving it an ethereal appearance.

Each time I see something as wonderful as this, I am grateful to God for the gifts he gives us.  This 365 project has started to make me pay more attention to things I don’t usually pay attention to.  Any other day, I would have missed it.  Today, the gifts were the beauty of Laramie Peak and the fact that I noticed it.  Thanks be to God!



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