Family, Festivals, Fire Trucks

10- 5-2019

It is blustery, rainy and cold today. The electricity went out mid morning. My brother is visiting and we had planned an early breakfast outing to Delta Diner but gave it up after thinking on it. The weather wouldn’t keep the place from being busy, but it would mean we would have to sit in the car waiting for a table. We always have to wait there.

This is October, month of Cranberry Fest (today) and Apple Fest (all weekend in Bayfield) and the area is hosting people from all over. Some just come to see the fall colors which have not disappointed, in spite of rainy weather. Hayward is a destination. For us, family is the draw.So, we gathered one by one in Mom’s living room while it was still dark.

I’m first. Like Mom, I usually can’t sleep much past 5:30 so I get up, dress, make a cup of coffee and peer out towards Mom’s condo. She turns on her outside light when she’s up, just to signal that she’s alive and okay. Today I managed the short walk in the rain with my cup of coffee and the umbrella, my coordination challenge for the day.

Dennis, my brother, was next, raincoat and hood in place. Somehow he had managed to keep his toast from getting rained on, and he graciously chose the wooden rocker, saving the recliner for his older brother. Gary came out of the guest bedroom a few minutes later and we sat, three siblings and Mom, talking about life and the world. I’ve come to love these times, whether we are two, three, four or all six.

Deciding we would be happier making our own breakfast was fairly easy. The night before we had gone to a notable fish fry at a resort in the area. I say “in the area” when it was actually as much as 20 miles away. It was so busy the host couldn’t even determine what the wait time would be. We left. It was not a total waste of time because the drive was beautiful, and we did find another fish fry, as good or better, and were seated immediately. I’m learning that life is like this when you live in a tourist town – be it in Florida or Wisconsin.

The rain and wind continued even later as we sat around the table. We had finished our blueberry pancakes, eggs and sausage, and fruit salad when the place went dark. Strangely, we had been talking about things like the power grid going out and how we would handle that. It seemed appropriate for us to think about it more.

The husband and I are back home now, wondering why there is a fire truck and more than usual commotion next door. It is a blustery, rainy day – a good day to stay home, which I intend to do. Just sayin’…

A to Z Challenge: J is for Journey

Journey is a very romantic word for going someplace. The word has always sounded to me like it had purpose connected to it – a journey is for a reason and has value at its end. Evan and Claire were quite young and in my charge for a week when their parents were on a vacation. When taking care of children one of my fears has always been that I will run out of things to do to entertain them. And a week is a long time.  I decided to whet their curiosity and told them we would be going on a journey one of those days, but I did not tell them where or why (because I hadn’t yet figured that out).

Evan and Claire lived in the small Wisconsin town where I had grown up. I had memories of the places that I had played in and explored as a child that had captivated me – the farm, the backyard woods, the beautiful spring fed Round Lake. The purpose of the journey would be to share the magic of this outdoor wonderland. The challenge of the journey would be to keep it simple enough for a 5 and 8 year old to appreciate without making it too boring or tiring. Clearly food had to be involved.

Keeping our destination a secret, I packed peanut butter, apples, nuts and water for all of us. The children were excited to get into their car seats and head out on the journey.  We drove to the countryside and pulled into a field.  Just walking through the tall grass in a place they’d never been, carrying their backpacks and provisions, they were full of questions. They looked at bugs and plants and small animals, birds.  I made them count how many different sounds they could hear if they listened really hard.  The woods were even more magical with the fall colors at their peak. There was a golden glow on the forest floor and in the canopy with leaves falling everywhere. We ran to the places I had built forts and given certain trees names of their own. We climbed and balanced and explored an old machinery graveyard.  We ate our snacks nestled in the leaves.  I hope the kids had as much fun as I did, visiting my favorite places. There is something very special about revisiting places with a child and seeing them again with fresh eyes, fresh excitement.

We’ve had other journeys since and the name has stuck.  They ask me about their journeys and refer to them when we’re talking about times past. I’ll bet someday they will take their own children on journeys. What place could you share with a child on a journey?

Journey to the woods
Journey to the woods
A Special Journey
A Special Journey