I can remember how my mom would pack a picnic early in the morning and we would go on an adventure. Our family was not affluent so we often times had to be creative to find FREE activities. One of my fondest memories was our hikes at a place we called "Mosquito Hill". We would climb up to the top of a ridge and look across the countryside for miles and miles. I felt like I was on top of the world.
We would sit up there and eat our lunch. Mom always packed the best things like whole wheat sandwiches, fruit, and a little bag of popcorn. I remember the breeze blowing through my hair and the feeling of the crisp cool biting my nose. The skies were bright blue and the leaves would gently fall around us like rain.
My dad would find interesting things to show us. We would gather around and he would teach us something about the bark of a certain tree, how to identify it by its leaves, and what the tree was good for in nature. Some trees made nuts that we could gather into our hands and save for when we went home. I always had a pocketful of nuts that we would later crack open and eat.
My brother and I had fun racing down the big hill. We would yell all the way down just to hear how our voices would fluctuate from the vibration of our stomping feet. The smells of the earth still ring in my mind. Certain days I smell that same smell and it causes my mind to go back to those family hikes on Mosquito Hill. That place was so special that once I had my little flock of children, I would relive those memories and family adventures with them.
They would look out across the horizon on top of that same Mosquito Hill, and I could see the brightness in their eyes. They were feeling on top of the world. I would pack the same kind of lunch my mother would pack and we would sit on that hill, all seven of us, and feel that same cool, crisp breeze biting our noses and pushing our hair across our faces. And they would all race down the big hill, I did not have to teach them, yelling and enjoying the music of their fluctuating voices as they stomped down in complete bliss. That music was such a joy to my ears.
My kids would climb back up several times just to race back down again. And Mark and I would just hold each other as we looked on in laughter.
Even now that my children are a bit older, we still try to bring them on little adventures. Lately we brought them to an old shackville. They built little bridges to get across the creek and found persimmons all over the ground. The little cabins were so inviting. They would sit on their little porches and dream of what they could do to modify them in order to make them the nicest living quarters. Miles was talking about having a cook stove that he would gather up wood to heat with. He planned out electricity and even a system where he would be able to have an indoor compost toilet.
Molly and Megan were planning little flower boxes to have on their porches and how they planned to decorate their little houses. There were trails to discover, work laid out for them, and a future that was planned in one afternoon. Talk around the dinner table was glorious. Talk of buying our own land someday and finding all kinds of adventure and all kinds of homesteading that we will do. My husband smiling, dreaming of having his own land, making a way for his family, and living off the land. His eyes sparkled as he envisioned how he could make something from an old shack, make it a home, keep us warm, and give us more memories to cherish. God is so good to give us such opportunities to enjoy life and a mind that can keep those memories tucked away.
Fall is a time to enjoy making memories. They can be so simple. Don't let those moments pass you by. You only have your little ones for such a short time. Today, if you are able, take your family on a hike and make a picnic meal. Even in your own backyard if you have a hard time getting around. Anything is an adventure if you make it fun!