So, remember how I mentioned (I did mention it, didn't I?) that I'd gotten a part time job at an antiques store? Well, I do love the job. The hours are great, minimal and timed so that the kids are never here alone for more than an hour or so -- but there's a catch. I have to work every other weekend: 1 - 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday -- and in the rotation, I had off Easter weekend, but I have to work Mother's Day weekend. So, well, darnit... I can't say much. It is my turn, and I'm not the only mother/grandmother on staff. In fact, it's mostly mothers and grandmothers that work at the antique store. But it's all good. In a happy twist of Serendipity (otherwise known as Divine Providence), I got to spend this past Sunday with six of the children, doing all the things I love to do -- a perfect Mother's Day, just a week early!
After getting to witness Anna's reception of the sacrament of Confirmation -- the true highlight of the day! -- we got to attend a picnic with a whole bunch of other parish families. Happily, Frater Philip was able to join us and suggested that, since he had permission to "go afield," we should light out of the picnic early and go check out Lewis and Clark Recreation Area in Iowa (just across the river from Omaha). He'd been telling us about it for years, and the day had finally come when all the stars aligned for us to go! Except only half of us had a change of clothes and a couple of us hadn't brought anything that even remotely resembled hiking shoes. But, no bother! Clothes wash, and certainly Mommy can hike up and down the Missouri Valley in flipflops. Sure she can. (And she has a limp now to prove it.)
|Frater pointing out Omaha landmarks.|
|You can barely see the Missouri River on the other side of the railroad tracks down below.|
|And here are the children, starting down the trail. Why walk when you can run, right?|
|The Picture Tree of legendary fame. Clockwise from noon: Cathy, Gabe, Frater Philip,|
Theresa, William, Anna.
|The parents, laughing at how much harder it was for us to get up in the tree than it was for the kids.|
|Heading down a steep part. Check out barefoot Anna. (She's really a Hobbit.)|
At the bottom of the steep section, there's a big beautiful swing. (Isn't this a funny picture? You have to look pretty close
to see the rope Gabe's swinging on.)
|William's got Gabe a little worried here. (But have no fear: no children were injured in the swinging episode of this hike.)|
|They call this the "Bigfoot Walk." (But it could be the Beetles Walk if this were Abbey Road and not the middle of a forest.)|
Where great pasta is eaten by the bucket,
Italian ice is enjoyed by the gallon,
and great thoughts are thought
-- by someone else.
Guess whose wise words are the following:
"It is not only possible to say a great deal in praise of play;
it is really possible to say the highest things in praise of it.
It might reasonably be maintained that the true object of all human life is play.
Earth is a task garden;
heaven is a playground.
To be at last in such secure innocence that one can juggle with the universe and the stars, to be so good that one can treat everything as a joke — that may be, perhaps, the real end and final holiday of human souls."
-- Right. G.K. Chesterton