Those were the two highlights of the day. My wife went skiing for most of the day. I stayed home with the children. We stayed inside for a bit to let them get their craziness and creative play out. Then we had lunch of tortillas and cucumbers. Then we headed outside.
We took a walk down the road. We spent a good deal of time exploring the ditch that runs along our road. The town road crew has spent lots of time over the past couple of years clearing and improving road drainage in town. Last year they got by our way. The ditch is filled with ice, which is covered in sand and dirt, which is mostly just under the surface of the flowing melting snow. I was cautious about letting the children walk on it at first but it was solid and we hopped back and forth all down the road.
We also picked up trash which consisted mainly of discarded beer cans and bottles. There were many. The children had fun both spotting them (“I see one under that bush!” “That one is buried in the sand!”) and fishing them from their various hiding places. We couldn’t carry them all so we set up stations of them along the roadside. We wouldn’t have been able to carry them back either so we left them to pick up later, cairns of aluminum and glass for drivers to wonder about.
We cut across the field to get back home. It was rutted and frozen and muddy and wet. Not all in the same place, of course, but we found some mixed terrain. By the time we made it back, the children were wet and muddy. “My feet are chilly,” explained the boy child. His boots were soaked through. Plus, he hadn’t bothered to wear socks. Despite this, they stayed outside for a while before heading in to clean up.
They played outside together for a good chunk of time after they did get cleaned up. Then they had to clean up again. They each went through three sets of clothes today, not including the pajamas they wore this morning. They got wet and muddy more than once.
Last summer I bought a pair of tall rubber boots. They were one of the best purchases I have ever made. Those things can take me anywhere and I am confident going. Hike across a wet muddy field? No probs, babe. Step in a ditch of meltwater? Easy. Hike to meet the bus in the rain? You bet. Those puppies served me well today.
Tomorrow I will need to head down the road and collect those bottles and cans. I hate seeing all that garbage on my road. What gives with someone who will toss their empties for someone else to clean up? That’s crap, if you ask me. Heck, even if you don’t ask me, it’s still crap. In any case it will give me a good excuse to take the kids for another walk. Maybe we can see if the spiders are still crawling all over the grass by the big culvert. And if they don’t want to come with me, it will feel good to gather the refuse and see that it makes it to the recycling bin.
Somebody’s got to take care of the empties. If the end user won’t do it, that selfish butt, I will take it on myself.