It was an absolutely beautiful day.
Olive and Maya found a strange rock in the water.
It was crawling with bitsy living bugs. Somehow, in their young imaginations, they decided that the bugs were leaches and that they were going to grab onto them and not let go. (They must have seen a movie.)
The rock plopped back into the water with a splash.
Just like Grandpa and his favorite fishing holes, we try to keep this place a secret. Not that thousands of people don’t drive right by it every year because they do, but we don’t think that many ever stop and almost no one knows what a perfect place it is for small children who are floating boats.
It is only a few steps from the car.
It isn’t a picnic without Grandpa clowning around.
How he thinks up all of these silly things I will never know. All I know is that he always has and likely always will. I missed the photo I should have taken of his chicken drumstick microphone which produced howls of laughter from everyone.
Building boats has always been a joy to these children.
They have built them many times from plastic bottles, toothbrush holders and rubber bands around pieces of wood.
Today they used corks, driftwood and Ivory Soap Bars.
At the last minute,
I grabbed some Rubber Duckies from the playroom and some gold Duck Tape.
Tally’s boat was really cool.
He used a little bit of everything
and took great pride in having secured the rubber ducky for a safe ride over the rocks.
One child sat on a rock and another on a log.
One sat in a chair and another on a quilt.
They ate chicken, watermelon, potato chips and graham crackers with chocolate frosting inside.
Lunch lasted the whole time we were beside the river.
Munch, munch, munch.
Nature made places like this with children in mind.
Time stands still.
I think that is what everyone loves about it. No rush. No noise, except the water. Millions of places to walk and stand and sit and move around. Few dangers. Few people. For grown-ups – no deep water – endless play with little supervision. Mothers can actually sit in chairs for extended periods of time.
When it was time to go, the children put their boats into a little pile.
They scratched a little note to the children who might come next to “USE THESE BOATS”. They delighted in the thought that someone might find them and joyfully put them back into the water or race them over the rocks as they had.