Puddle Stompers: Bitten

I got in trouble again. We were packing for today’s adventure (per Ada’s request) and I went to load our bag, the baby carrier and the camera.

“But no camera today”
“How about we bring it and see how we feel when we get there?”
A skeptical “Okay”

She was asleep by the time we got there. We had driven so long that she must have given up, as I was about to. Then, like these adventures go, I spotted the perfect place. I tried waking her only to hear adamant statements that she’d rather stay in the car. I told her we could eat snack, but only if we got out and walked around (the usual food bribery methods we all use).

Seconds later she was happily hopping and chatting away as we took our time walking around the house. See, I realized that our adventures were too focused on what great photos they would make rather than actually observing the nature and the buildings. We took one lap with no photos and talked about who might have lived here.

“A family. With a dog”

And this is why I love the creativity of young minds. We rounded the back of the house, which you can see is bare rafters in parts.

“An aminal took a bite”
“An aminal bit the house”
“What kind of animal?”
“It was an aminal and it saw the house was scary inside and then it wasn’t scared anymore”

Sure enough, you can look at the photos and imagine some animal came along and bit holes in the house. So, we peeked in windows, looked down cellars, played in the yard and picked ‘adventure flowers’. And I took a few photos once we had our fill of our grand adventure.

I’m finding the best things that happen are when we’re not mind numbingly hitting ‘refresh’ on the computer or stuck behind the camera. It’s the things we see when we’re present to see them. The things we can talk about and discover when we let our minds wander.

Puddle Stompers: Bitten

Puddle Stompers: A Little Rusty

It’s the middle of summer and I feel like I’ve come out of winter hibernation. Ada had a few temper tantrums during our previous adventures, and after creative questioning to discover the workings of a 2-year old mind, I unearthed the fact that she doesn’t want the big camera along on our adventures. At least for now.

So, yes, we’ve been out exploring our rural world and seeing how nature has overtaken the inorganic, but I haven’t been able to share with you. You see, I take my word seriously….at least with our kids (and I’m working on cycling it through the rest of life). Decision making must be something else that you lose when half your brain cells get squeezed out of existence during childbirth.

We visited this rusty, gutted truck in the woods earlier in the week. Ada gleefully exclaimed “We found the truck! Great job, Mommy. You found it!” and expressed a desire to adventure again there with Daddy.

I asked, “How about we bring the camera next time?”

So, here’s our recent adventure that I can finally show you. Photographing in the woods is tricky with the mottled light coming through the leaves. I just blame it on the fact that I’m a little rusty (ha ha…oh, I’m so funny) from adventuring sans camera. It’s kind of like where I feel right now. Rusty. Stuck in one spot. Some days I just want to sit on the couch and wish the cacophony of little people would drown into the background. There’s no energy to get up, pack up, and take the chance that we can make it out of the house and back in one, sane piece.

I guess you need to oil the joints regularly and keep moving so you don’t rust and sink into the ground like this truck. Oil the joints regularly? Morning coffee and some time reading to get my head on straight. It’s a bonus if I can drink the entire cup hot and make it through reading in one sitting. Keep moving. Some days I have to tell myself not to stop. To go ahead and brush my teeth, get out of the house, empty the dishwasher yet again, and go through the perpetual motions. Because some days, going through the motions at least will help me not get stuck. And sometimes that momentum picks up and I actually accomplish things I need to. And that’s when I feel like I can rest.

We’re learning to rest at our home. To quiet ourselves, to be present. In that rest some of the most amazing ideas are born. Ideas for things of meaning that I want to do with you and show you. I guess not all the good brain cells ran for the hills in that labor and delivery room (just the ones that remember things and do math). We learn to rest or we’ll inevitably rust.

Puddle Stompers: A Little Rusty

Puddle Stompers: Your Own Backyard

Some days I get to the end of myself. She melts on the trail in a pile of hungry, tired tears. I tell her we’ll just go home, but selfishly I want to stay. Instead, I yell at our sweet two-year old. We then hug, I ashamedly say “I’m sorry”, take a bathroom break in the woods (to which said two-year old requests to also participate) and we wind up having a grand ol’ time.

Most of our adventures find us miles out into the country, but there are things to explore right here. Close to home. Today was that sort of adventure. We crashed a day camp full of elementary aged kids that ran circles around us, but we managed to find some quiet spots to explore at our own pace. And I must say, Ada is quite an accomplished technical trail walker, jumping off roots and rocks as good as any little fox running through the woods.

It was such a neat location (we even found an abandoned building! and I hear there are caves around too) that Ada suggested we come back again with Daddy to explore some more. All fine with me, dear. We desperately needed some space to run around today, and from here on, I’ll take a minute to check myself before I yell at you for just being you.

Puddle Stompers: Your Own Backyard