I took DD school shopping the other day. She has been becoming more and more independent, fiercely so, and so the shopping took approximately 3x as long as it should have. She would carefully consult the list of items needed for 2nd grade, then wander up and down the aisles looking for the perfect match bypassing many things also on the list just because they weren't the item she was looking for right that moment. Then would come the inevitable "do I want a pink folder, or purple...Or maybe this $5 folder with the pretty heart on it" etc, etc. It was fun to see her so excited about the beginning of a new school year, but I wish she could have been a little quicker about the whole thing.
Today she is off to pick blackberries with my dad. I am swamped with fond memories of doing the same every year with him, and am so glad that the tradition is being continued. My father has the gift for foraging. I swear that man can spot a wild berry patch at 200 yds, and even tell you exactly what berries they are and what weekend they will be ripe. He is nearly as good with mushrooms and other wild edibles, to the point that sometimes I wonder if he wouldn't GAIN weight if lost in the woods for a period of time. Of course, losing him would be a challenge as well. No matter how many things about my dad make me roll my eyes and sigh, I am very proud of this ability of his. Especially when it provides me berries for jam. Little one has taken her camera and binoculars, two of her most prized posessions. She hopes to do some bird and butterfly watching in between buckets of berries. Knowing her chatterbox tendencies, that will be the wildest wildlife she will probably see despite there being a very real possibility for deer or bear watching. I have had some experiences of parting a berry bush to pick on the other side and coming nose to nose with both of these animals. Deer are startling yet adorable, bear are just startling and usually end my picking for the day. They are a lot bigger than I, and I figure if they want those berries I will not be the one to tell them NO.
Yesterday was a day of fun and frolic for my family (check out THAT alliteration!). DH's bandmates hosted a BBQ, and friends from Zumbro Falls drove up to join us. So much food! So much fun! We played volleyball, badminton, bocce ball, frisbee, and a rather unique game we call Wompee Ball. I have seen it advertised in stores as ladder golf or rodeo golf, but our set was made by a friend years ago and provides endless entertainment at all outdoor gatherings. Imagine, if you will, 2 "ladders" with 3 rungs each placed a certain distance apart in the yard. Each rung is worth a set number of points. Each player has a set of 3 ropes approximately 12" long with golf balls attatched to the ends. The goal? to throw your balls over a certain distance and wrap the ropes around the rungs of the ladder, gaining points to a certain total to win. Imagine the frustration of watching your balls spin and spin around those durn rungs only to fall to the ground. Or worse yet, to have them hanging precariously and have your opponent knock them off. FUN!