Saturday, November 5, 2016

Today Was A Good Day

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day. It was the kind of day that we don't see that often in November in Wisconsin. The temperature hovered around 70 degrees and the sky was a brilliant blue. Even though I still wasn't feeling 100% (I was VERY sick the last few days with hot/cold sweats and extreme achiness but now I just have chest congestion and a nasty cough) I knew the day couldn't be wasted inside. 

My plan was to take the kids to Parnell Tower in the Kettle Moraine. I hadn't been there in over twenty years but I always enjoyed it as a kid. Todd and I always planned on taking the kids and I wasn't sure I should do it without him (Todd needed a break from his work and has cleared his schedule for most of November and is spending much of it up north) since I know it is something he would enjoy doing with us. But, with a day like this I had to pull the trigger and do it.

After a crazy long car ride that took an hour instead of the 25 minutes it should have taken (I had gotten the wrong directions) we finally arrived and the kids and I were miraculously still in good spirits. The hike through the woods to the tower cheered us up even more. It was such a gorgeous day to be in the woods.  

When we got to the tower we were all a little out of breath. I forgot how steep that hill was! I suppose being sick (and 20 years older) didn't help much either. The tower looked smaller than I remembered it but it must have looked gigantic to my kids because they were all pretty nervous. I wasn't sure I would be able to get Joey up the tower at all. He has quite the fear of heights but if he could force himself up there I knew he would enjoy the view.

We began climbing and Molly even came up to the first level with us. Then she stopped. She decided that was as high as she wanted to go and then wouldn't go anymore. Smart dog. I took her back down and tied her at the bottom of the tower and began to climb back up. By the time I caught up to Joey and Tommy on the third level they were already saying they wanted to go back down. It is a little spooky because it is a wooden tower and the stairs are the type you can see through. Something about that just makes it creepier. 

Ben and Grace, who were already at the top (brave little turkeys) were encouraging Joey and Tommy to come up. Tommy and I headed up to the top and Joey slowly made it another level up. I stopped to wait for Joey one floor below the top deck. Tommy had made it to the top and was telling Joey that it was definitely worth it. I went up above to the top deck and told Joey that he could stay in the center of the deck and there was even a look-out scope for him to try out. That seemed to do the trick. 

And there we all were at the top. I had already explained to the kids earlier that they needed to be very good to their mama when we were on that top deck. No running or jumping around and no leaning over the railings. If they did any of those things I would most certainly have a heart attack and die and then they wouldn't have a ride home. Luckily for me, and for them, they all behaved and we had a nice time taking in the gorgeous view. 

After we'd had our fill of the view we went back down and walked Molly on the hiking trail for a while. Then we turned around to go back to the car. When we passed the tower again Joey actually wanted to go back up to the top. I was very surprised. I'm so glad he was able to push himself out of his comfort zone and enjoy the experience.

It really was a wonderful time and I'm so glad we went. 

It was early afternoon and we were all getting hungry for lunch so we stopped at a new soup/sandwich shop on the way home. It was delicious. I know we will be back. And the chicken dumpling soup was just what I needed for my raw throat.  But the best part was the love in that little restaurant. The owner and her husband and daughter run it and they are just lovely people. Right next to the cash register is a sandwich board that says "Pay it forward" with little notes attached all over it offering various menu options.  "Large soup", "Sandwich and soup", "Small soup", "Specialty sandwich" and so on and so forth. I asked the owner if that was for homeless people who couldn't afford a meal and she confirmed my hunch. Customers add something extra to their order and leave a note of what they paid for on the board. When someone comes in and can't afford a meal they can pick a note off the board and choose a meal. I LOVE THAT SO MUCH. It almost made me cry. I asked the owner what the most popular menu option was and we added that to our order. I was told to fill out the note with the menu option and any other message we would like to leave the person. I asked my kids what we should write and they thought about it and said, "How about, 'God Bless You!' and a heart and a smiley face?" Loved it. I wrote it down and posted the note on the board. Just knowing someone would be able to enjoy a hot, hearty meal seemed to make our food taste even better. It was a great lunch. I know we'll be back.  

After our lunch we got ice cream cones and walked down to the river. It isn't too often you can walk around outside in November eating ice cream so we thought we'd take advantage.   
You'll be happy to know that Grace was very full and couldn't finish her ice cream cone so Molly even got a bit of ice cream.  Everyone wins!
The leaves on the trees were so beautiful. And a few flowers were still blooming as well. It was a heavenly day all around. We watched a young man fly fishing in the river and then walked to a nearby toy store. I think we were all starting to feel a little tired, and I was starting to get a little achy again (maybe I overdid it a smidge), so our browsing was cut shorter than normal. Now we are back home, relaxing, reading, and sitting by a roaring fire.
Today was a good day.


Bijoux said...

That is a a Great day! How beautiful. I can't handle heights, so I would have skipped that part.

I have heard of places that do the post it note meals, but have never been to one. It sounds pretty awesome and good lesson for the kids!

betty said...

I cried hearing about that restaurant. I would have had to add a meal or two to our meals to help others. What a sweet thing, such a blessing, and they are blessed.

What a great day for you and yours! So sorry you are sick, but so glad you pushed through it to do something fun with the kids and make the wonderful memories that you did with them. You and your family are my favorite "family" blog that I follow. You so get it about raising kids and the commitment it takes and the opportunities one must present to their children to help them explore their world and learn to adapt to it. You and Todd rock! And if you lived closer to my niece, nephew in law and their 3 children, I'm sure you would be friends with them since they instill in their kids what you instill in yours :)

(and if you are still praying for us, do please continue praying. The situation is far from over and it really is so heart breaking).


Kat said...

The kids loved it. Their classes at school have been working at the food pantry and Salvation Army quite a bit and they see how great the need is. They loved that the restaurant was opening their doors to help people too.

Kat said...

Thank you, Betty. I appreciate that. I definitely have much to improve on as a parent. I have a temper and I can be too hard on the kids. I'm trying to improve every day.

I am so sorry to hear that your situation has not improved. I will definitely keep you and your family in my prayers.

Tabor said...

So sorry you are sick. We are having a rather sunny but cool day here. I am also a bit below the weather with some intestinal irritation but pushed through like you spending two days with the grands eating, playing games and taking fall walks. May we both feel better soon.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the most wonderful kind of day. All of it. This made my heart sing to read--sometimes it doesn't seem worth the hassle to do the extra things, but you reminded me how it is worth it!

Rhapsody Phoenix said...

Blessings glad you're feeling better, outings with family is always fun. The children are getting big. They grow so fast.


“The highest education is that which does not merely give us information, but makes our life in harmony with all existence”-Rabindranath Tagore

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson