I'm on the fence about sharing the gritty truth of life here. Sometimes I like to read blogs that are only pleasant and cheerful - they really do lift me up! But sometimes it can be discouraging when everything appears to be perfect and you just can't measure up. Usually I consider a blog to be like the front entrance to your house. You don't hang out the dirty laundry and deposit all of your junk out there. You like it to be pretty and welcoming. But we all know that inside might see some days with housekeeping disasters, sickness, and irritations. I'm opening the door! Come on in! Who are we if we can't laugh at ourselves and our imperfect existence sometimes!
The autumn weather has been so lovely. The drought means we have had no rainy days to be stuck inside. The kids have been out in the yard hours each day. But yesterday, the cloudy, crispy evening was just beckoning me to get out - I mean, further than our yard - so, in spite of protesting kids who didn't feel like walking, I marched everyone down to my favorite country-in-the-city lane. It's only 1/2 a block from here, and maybe 3/4 mile long, and I love it! Only 2 minutes from all the shopping, schools, and freeways, this little corner of country is my haven. There are sweet country houses on rolling lots with trees, rail fences, ponds and even horses. You can't even hear the traffic once you get back there. I secretly want to live on that road. Shhh!
Ah, paradise. There are red and gold leaves, some crunching underfoot as squirrels dart across the road. Hickory nuts and acorns for picking up. Interesting seed pods on that bush. I'm returning... to the autumns of my childhood... except for that annoying voice, whining. And whining. And whining. My legs hurt. I don't want to go this way. I only like roads with sidewalks. I'm a city boy. Why can't we go to the park?
Aggghhh! Knife in my heart!
It was a difficult walk. I don't suppose I will instill a love of nature in anyone by forcing him to participate in my favorite activities. Oh well. I really needed to be out there, but it wasn't exactly... pleasant. Another kid was crying by the time we were heading back. I got everyone back home where they acted as if we had just hiked 10 miles. Poor kids. Yeah. Charlotte Mason is probably rolling in her grave!
I know it was just the day, one that had many challenges aside from our walk anyway. The irrational devil on my shoulder tempted me to be discouraged that one of my chief goals with my kiddos apparently has foundered along the way. But I have pictures (and memories) to prove we have had many other days of success and wonder, out in nature. I bet if we had been stomping around in the woods off a trail somewhere, it would have been a lot more fun. I'm still hoping that Molly will share the love of my heart for nature - she's the only one who didn't complain!
I'm not giving up. Even if I have to pick up all the cool nature things myself. Here's what I brought home:
If everyone stops complaining, I might let them play with my treasures... tomorrow. I love Fall!!!