The first days of spring did not disappoint. For our family, it was filled with a family birthday party, the honorees, of course, our three children, and all of the wonderful, yet typical, spring activities.
We flew our first kite of the season on the first day of spring. What a beautiful day it was. It really was exhilarating, taking in the brisk but fresh air, blue sky, and the sounds and smells of spring.
Hopscotch, basketball, bubbles, and a few games of hide-and-seek were on the docket for our family day of the ultimate spring fun. To top it off, my husband and I, and all three of our children (including our now teenage son, who just turned 13) took a bike ride down to the Crow River.
We threw some rocks and viewed the water level, which just the other day was at the highest and widest I have ever seen it since I was a little girl growing up on our family farm that abutted the Crow River.
Sitting along the river bank was a recliner that either got moved along down the river currents or was a fishing spot for someone who wants to fish or nature watch in comfort.
Growing up by the river, it provided wonderful entertainment, scenery, and childhood memories. I recall sitting on the banks of the river each summer watching the annual canoe races.
As children, my twin and I, along with some relatives, would find our way to the river to skip rocks and set camp with our tent and picnic basket.
The woods surrounding the river was like an obstacle course for us. We would climb under, over, in, through, and around all of the natural obstacles that a woods provides fallen trees that formed a bridge over the running creek, stumps, grasses that were taller than us, and even some nettle and poison ivy. (These types of adventures serve well as hands-on educational lessons in science, math, and social studies.)
Living along the river with my own family now, my children and their cousins enjoy some of the same adventures, minus the camping trips, cows and forest density. They continue to enjoy racing their homemade boats down the creeks that form when the snow has melted and the water levels increase.
Just last week, our children discovered a mouse tunnel and home that had nestled in the snow bank that yet remained until the week end. Not only was the tunnel discovered, but the inhabitants, as well. Thus, we have a new pet for a short while a mouse named Mervin that makes its home on our porch in a shoe box with holes, until it will be released in the very near future. (Mice are not my favorite creatures.)
Although there are no longer canoe races, my husband and my twin brother took our respective children on their own canoe trip down the river just last year. There were many spots along the way that required them to empty out of the canoe and push it along, but they made it to the destination they had set out for.
Spring is here, and my family and I are already enjoying its glory.
Extras: April is National Kite month. Honor the month, and yourself and family, and enjoy some time watching a kite sail in the open blue sky.
Birthday party update: the trip to the mall with a bunch of 10-year old girls was successful and entertaining, to say the least. Bath and Body store provided the longest stop for the girls, as they enjoyed the various scents and samples of the lotions, shower gels, bubble baths, perfumes, body sprays, and hand sanitizers. In fact, the scented hand sanitizers that could hang from their book bags were the biggest item purchased among the girls. They want clean, but good smelling hands.