Everyday Adventures – Country roads take me home
We got out of town today, to the farm where I grew up. My mother still lives there, as she has since my dad died in the late 80’s. I can’t tell you anything about where it is, as she is convinced the interweb is crawling with people wanting to steal the identify of an almost 80 year-old Memere.
Like all our everyday adventures, this one involved copious amounts of nature and conversation, hiking and excitement. Kid1 had been zoning in on wanting to play Wii before we left. I detest his intense focus on video games, and how much he yearns to play them. Tossing both kids in the car and heading for the great outdoors combats cabin fever in all of us, and gives us a pure, old fashioned tired at the end of the day.
After yard work and helping with some chores, we ate a quick lunch and headed out. It’s not hard to get kids thrilled about doing something as simple as going exploring. Letting them ride in the back of a hatchback for a 2K almost off-road drive back the fields is illicit enough for shrieks galore. Our usual equipment of nets and a bucket were augmented by bug hats. My kids are the type to find exploring exciting. They are truly interested in nature, and have a sense of fun (that I like to take credit for) that makes something like putting a bug hat on automatically shift them into adventure mode.
In the two hours we spent adventuring, we found a painted turtle (which we returned to the pond from the scorching hot field it was toiling through), uncovered bits of a deer skeleton (kid1 kept the jaw bone), walked a beaver dam, saw and discussed waterlillies, got squawked at by a blue heron (big, raucous bird, that), chased a flock of seven wild turkeys that somehow got away, poked a chipmunk with a stick to make sure it was dead (very), and debated whether what we were standing in was poison ivy (it wasn’t). Along the way we talked, laughed, and learned.
My kids will grow out of wanting to spend days like this together. Their activities already cut into the time we can spend adventuring. Kid2 will even eventually get coordinated enough she stops wiping out. Our system for when she crashes is to wait two heartbeats. Her to catch her breath, me to see if it’s to wail in pain or yell ‘I’m okay!” Today, as she did a Laura Ingalls down the hill where we were chasing turkeys, I froze and winced… she had landed in some huge nettles, and had wiped out so hard she almost kicked herself in the back of the head. She popped up out of the brush, yelled “I’m okay” and resumed tear-assing after the long-gone turkeys. After a couple bounds, she breathlessly edited her status: “I’m itchy, but I’m having fun, so I’m okay!”