It was one of those fall days. The air was crisp and clear. Chilly but not cold with the sun shining in that brilliant golden way it does no other time of year.
We left early for gymnastics, leaving my husband in the field with his combine. My daughter asked for doughnuts, who am I to tell her no. We ordered ahead and stopped on the way to pick them up. Then ate them on the way too the state park. We had good reason for leaving early!
The children wanted to stop at the usual playground, or the unusual one. I had a goal in mind though. There was a picnic shelter, we had stopped near it to pick wild raspberries this summer. From the road you could see the trail wending up the hill. It didn’t look exciting from the road but we had never hiked there. Might as well give it a try.
Starting up the wide mowed trail the first thing we came to was a jack-o-lantern. Its face charred and black. Finding that out in a national forest surrounded by bone dry tender was horrifying. The ease with which a fire could have started was terrifying. Probably college kids out messing around? We walked on.
The kids fought the whole way up the hill. It was cold. They were tired. Why couldn’t we go back.
I was determined though and with a firm grasp of each child’s hand I drug them up the hill.
At the top the trail narrowed, then narrowed further as we walked. Then began to snake about through rocks forgotten as the rest of the hill wore away. Ungainly chunks of stone left bare and exposed. By now the children were happy. Nothing pleases them more than cliffs falling away on both sides that they can try to throw themselves down. Up and around and down we twisted, finally coming back to the car. Laughing and happy by then to have been forced on the walk.
It was too late to have time for lunch before gymnastics though.
Oh well a lunch of the remaining doughnuts it was!
Back home again they wanted to settle in in front of computers. Until I lured them back out with promises of combines and grain trailers.
A grain trailer full of corn is akin to a huge wonderful sandbox that could kill you. Shoes discarded at the bottom you have to scale the steep walls of the trailer, scramble over the top to find the safety within. Protected by those same fortress like walls play inside can be as wild and carefree as can be. Until the trailer gets full. Then the sides can be reached again. Bouncing must be constrained.
They frolicked until the trailer had to be hauled to the elevator and dumped. Then we took a break all squeezed into the combine together. With the children getting bigger we don’t fit as well as we used to. It was warm and sheltered from the biting wind that wanted to be included in the play in the trailer.
The children finally began to wilt from their long day. After a couple of rounds we headed back to the house. Who doesn’t deserve some computer time after a day that long? Tomorrow it may snow. Today we enjoyed fall.