From the moment we got in the car, everything went right. The weather was beautiful. The air was cool and traffic was light. We live in a part of the Midwest that is not flat or boring. Over the course of the two hour drive we saw rolling hills, foggy valleys, flourishing corn fields and cows grazing in their pastures. We drove by sleepy little towns and cozy farm houses. Everywhere we looked, the beauty of this area was evident.
The boys wanted the windows down while we drove, and so we sped down the highway with the wind blowing the wonder of summer through our car. Tom told stories and Huck sang "Jingle Bells" for most of the trip and I couldn't stop smiling. It was a perfect drive in pretty much every way.
Part of the weekend plans included some canning that my Dad and I wanted to do - so we quickly did inventory and got started on the first item of the day: Bread and Butter Pickles. These are one of my absolute favorites and I was excited to make some of my own. While Dad and I sliced and diced cucumbers and onions - the boys and my Mom were playing outside in a tent that had been set up for the occasion. When we had finished our first step with the pickles, we set those aside to soak while we started in on the salsa prep. We were done with the salsa by lunchtime, broke for our midday meal and then finished up the pickles. The boys (and probably Grandma too) were happy for us to escape the kitchen.
|Me, Dad and Huck & the results of our labor!|
The boys wanted to get dirty, so we went to the garden. Several hills of potatoes were ready to dig. Dad used his pitch fork to loosen up the hills and the boys scrambled for potatoes before carefully placing them in the same old red wagon I played in thirty five years ago. Dirty, but happy - we put the boys in a big wash tub to clean off. Once clean and changed into new clothes, we all went for a walk around the property. We watched birds and enjoyed the views of hayfields and forest that surround my parents little house.
Dad started a camp fire and we gathered around with hotdogs and fruit, chips and marshmallows. When it comes to campfire cooking - simple sometimes wins the day. That was certainly the case for us. Tom was especially hungry and gobbled up three hotdogs. Huck kept getting distracted by the tent, but even he was getting plenty to eat. The fire kept the bugs at bay, and after we ate we went to the best vantage point to watch the sun set. It was beautiful.
Day two was to be short, so we started early. The boys filled up on pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse accompanied by glasses of cold milk. I loaded up the car while Huck rang the dinner bell and Tom pretended to 'drive' Grandpa's John Deere tractor. Both boys got a kick out of sitting in the back of the farm truck (also parked) and playing with the water pump. They chased the farm cat around and ate a snack before it was time for us to say good bye.
|Huck and Grandpa checking out the water pump.|
We packed a lot of activity into this weekend, and it was really perfect. The only thing that might have made it better was if Hubby could have went along. Maybe next time he'll be able to. What I know for sure is that there WILL be a next time. This was too much fun not to repeat.
|My Mom and I had a lot of quality time and good conversation!!|