If you have kids I’m sure you know how quickly you can reach that moment; that moment when things suddenly cross the line.
The other day I was home with my kids and things were going well. The girls had dressed up and were having a tea party and the boys were building robots and swords. I was curled up reading a book when I heard a sniff next to me.
I looked up to see my son standing there crying because his brother had made him (made him??) eat a rubber ball and the girls were “being mean”. I got up at went into the other room to find my youngest daughter holding our 17-year-old cat upside down while her sister had managed to find every single nail polish bottle we own. My other son meanwhile had decided that the family room was a good place to eat chips. The room was trashed! I mean stuff was everywhere.
We had reached the line!
“That’s it” I yelled, “it’s time to get out of here. It’s time for an adventure.”
But really what is there to do on a cold winter day in the Northeast that doesn’t cost money? I decided that it was time to do some geocaching; something which we had not done in a long time.
So we piled into the car and headed to a local park where there were a couple of caches we had not found. We grabbed the GPS and began to walk towards our first cache, watching the numbers get smaller and smaller as we neared the spot. Days old snow and ice crunched beneath our feet in the near deserted park.
My four-year old trailed behind us dragging her stuffed animal schnauzer puppy Tinkles,which she thinks is a Chihuahua (we can’t convince her it’s not!)by a jump rope tied to its neck. I watched her drag it through frozen puddles and sand on the road but decided to let it go because she was having so much fun!
We quickly found the two caches in the park. One, when we opened it, was a solid block of ice!
As we drove to our next stop, a few miles down he road, I crested a hill that looked out over the landscape. I pulled over and got out with my camera.
It’s a bleak time of year around here. The rolling hills were covered in brown matted grass with icy patches of snow scattered about here and there. Trees, nothing but skeletons with a few dried up leaves clinging to their branches, stood solitary in the fields. It was quiet other than the wind rattling last season’s weeds at my feet. This spot, so beautiful and peaceful during other seasons, sat dead and dormant now. As brown leaves scattered across my feet I felt a sense of waiting on that hill. A sense of longing for what is to come. Soon…
My revelry was interrupted by “Mooooom…” and the sound of music blaring from my car. It was time to move on. I snapped one more picture and jumped back into the car and headed to our next geocache…at the foot of a volcano!
There is a long dormant volcano down the road from us! A lone house sits perched on top exposed to the elements. There were two caches near this volcano. As we searched the kids had fun discussing what exactly would happen to the house if the volcano ever blew again. I think the consensus was that it would be cool to live there if it happened.
We completed the geocaches quickly; they were all very easy finds for us seasoned cachers! But no one was ready to head home yet. I turned down a road we had never been on before and we explored.
As the sun began to set filling sky with the muted oranges and purples of winter we came upon a field of cows. “Stop!”, yelled the kids. I pulled over and they piled out and ran to the fence. The cows quickly came over to check out the kids too! They talked to the cows, took pictures of them, named them, and decided that a few cows were out to attack us. The cows just came closer sniffing and staring. I have a feeling we were the excitement of the cows’ day and they were ours!