This weekend we enjoyed a quick trip to my Grandma Polly's house in Virginia. I'm going to hold off on how happy I was to be there, how it felt like home, and how I felt sad to let her go just a little bit more because time and aging is taking its small toll. Instead, I'm going to talk about how much time we spent outside. Between the weather, the screened in porch, the perfect climbing tree, and my uncle's attempt to take us hiking, we were constantly lured to be out of the house.
Every morning started with drinking coffee outside. The front yard, screened in porch, or both were my favorite locations to sip my preppy-dressed coffee. (Lynchburg is home to not only Grandma Polly, but J.Crew as well.)
We played outside so much, including Burl's favorite thing about Grandma Polly's house: "Mama, look what I found. It's the perfect rock climbing tree. See all those rock climbing points." He had so much fun in the tree and we all had a good time playing in her front yard:
We had fun watching Joseph run the Virginia 10-Miler, which happened to be outside. It was a fun morning of dashing to good lookout points and waiting for him to run by. He finished under an hour, placing 40th out of 1,400+ :
The most outdoorsy-poignant part of the trip was our little hike that my uncle took us on. After seeing the spike of outdoorsy-ness in my life over the past two years, my Uncle J has slightly teased me about "who is this Meg? where has she come from?"
I've always enjoyed things about the outdoors, but my own laziness kept me from getting out there and trying different things. I built up excuses. It felt too hard to pull off an adventure to the woods. I acted like I was too busy to pull away for a little bit. And a small part of me felt like it was only for the cool kids. In Chattanooga, everyone is outdoorsy. It's just a part of our community, but there are definite degrees of outdoorsy-ness, and I never felt like I was cool enough to get out there and do it. Now, I just enjoy it and I'm always gravitating towards a little adventure with my kids. The key was attempting to do it. The more I did it, the easier it felt. Sure, I might have to pack a bag lunch, wash out shoes at the end, carry a kid on my back, but those things felt less hard and more exciting the more I got out there.
Now, I just laugh at it all. It's not a cool kid thing. It's a have-to thing. I just have to get outside.
Last minute, I forced my uncle to take us on a quick hike, assuming that every city is like Chattanooga with small and large hikes within a 10 minute drive. He ended up taking us to a gravel road leading to an overlook of the city. It was barely a hike and more of a walk. Burl kept asking, "Mama, when we gonna hike?" We took a short trail to the overlook and my uncle relented and teased us at the same time, "Look, Meg, NATURE!"
That's what I want these days, a little touch of nature in my life. Our trip to Grandma Polly's house was no exception. We're just happier that way.