Although there were storms in the forecast threatening to ruin our Memorial weekend plans for outdoor fun, the weekend was near perfect. Only two storms and they both happened at times when we would not have been outdoors anyway.
We spent all of Saturday with my husband's family at their farm. We went down to the creek for a picnic.
The kids cannot be near the creek without being IN the creek. Before we knew it, they were shoulder deep walking through the creek, trying to see just how far they could get before it got too deep. They got all the way around the bend and found a glorious mud bank. They forgot their mission to see how far they could go and dug into the mud. They sat there for hours making "stew" in a spot all their own.
I sat in a cool spot in the shade with their grandmother. One of my favorite things about our visits to the farm is listening to the kids' grandmother tell stories. I love to hear her stories about her childhood, her husband's childhood, my husband's childhood, and the stories about the family farm. And while I'm listening, I get to watch my children enjoying the mud and sunshine, hear the birds singing and listen to the wind blowing through the trees. It is all just heavenly.
On the kids' return trip from their mud bank, a water snake was spotted. My little two panicked and were screaming and hurrying their way through the water back to our side of the creek bank. Once they returned, I brought them close for a snuggle while their grandmother began a story. The girls got quiet and listened curiously while she told them about a particular black snake that she often sees when she is mowing by the creek bank. He slithers his way up the trunk of the tree (and she is showing them how he slithers with her own body), out onto a branch and then drops himself into the tall grass on the creek bank. "See, right here is where he gets up onto the tree, then he goes out here, over to there and right down there". And right at the place where he begins his climb, the kids look and find some snake skin that has been shed, which really brings this story to life for them. Grandma and the two girls all huddle around the tree looking at the snake skin and talk about how the snake is useful on the farm, what he eats, where he lives, etc.
The girls have retold that story several times since, using their bodies, just as their grandma did, to show how the snake slithers up the tree so that he can drop down into the tall grass.