There are days that when its over you simply say "Wow am I ever lucky to be me." Others might say "Am I ever lucky to live where I do." Some even say "My family is incredibly fun to be with." Well for me, today, I could say all of those things. It was an incredible day where I spent the entire day with my kids having fun and enjoying our great community.
Like most good days, this one had great people that helped build it. Communities are built around its people, even more so it's volunteers. The kids and I woke up and they were already anticipating the day despite the fact that their Mom was away on a shopping trip. They knew there were a couple of Halloween events and they couldn't finish breakfwast fast enough. I kept stalling our departure and it was killing them, but if I didn't then we would have been there much to early. I had some chores to do thankfully, so stalling was not a problem. When I stated that I had to fold a load of laundry I thought Seth was going to throw it down the stairs. When I said I needed to sweep the floor I thought Shaylee was going to toss the freshly folded laundry onto it in protest. I have to admit I was having a bit of fun with it, and they knew that and we're giggling along with me.
We finally left the house a little after 10:00 and none to soon if you asked the kids. We killed a bit more time by stopping at the coffee shop and they were fine with that at least for a few minutes. By the time we reached the Gateway Mall the kids were bouncing. They we're so excited I didn't know if their costumes would stay on. At the back corner of the mall a large group of kids and frazzled parents were getting busy with the various crafts and activities. The PACK group, organized by Heidi Stephens, did another great job with their "Halloween at the Mall" this year. It is because of great organizations like this that we have such a great community. The kids paraded around the mall and afterwards were able to trick or treat from store to store. It was a great way to spend a morning.
After some lunch we headed out again for another Halloween event. This time Joan Babineau and Beth Johnston and the rest of the volunteers from the Sussex Corner Elementary School's "Truck or Treat" event need to be thanked. This event has quickly grown into a big success and the proceeds
will go to maintaining the school playgrounds. See what I mean about bring in a great community?
My kids scurried from truck to truck, sitting in every seat, honking every horn, and even jumping on
some beds. Sorry to the truckers who now have Shaylee's foot prints on their pillow of their sleeper. When I asked her to stop jumping on the bunk, her response was "I'm just so excited!" after judging a chili contest and escorting the kids around to each truck it was time to go exercise the dog for a while.
Earlier in the day I had arranged with my sister to possibly meet up with her and her boys again to hike the bluff. We were able to make this happen after only a minor hiccup with my car. For those who don't know about the Bluff, it is a modest hiking trail in our community that has a fantastic destination, especially in the fall of the year. Two of my sisters friends joined us for the hike and I was surprised to find out one of them was making the hike for the first time.
At the trail head it was easy to see we were not alone in our desire to enjoy the great day. There were a number of vehicles there, including one from North Carolina. We passed many people on our hike and everyone had smiles on their faces and it was easy to see they were enjoying the day God had made. When we reached the summit of the Bluff the sun was shining right and we all sat and tried to take it all in. The scenery was spectacular and you could take it in but the gift of the day was so large my mind is still struggling to comprehend it. It sounds weird to put it like that, but it's true. As I sat on the rock face looking out over the Trout Creek valley, my thoughts were not about the physical realm but of the emotional and spiritual influences that I had experienced to that point in the afternoon.
Challenges with my car. Frustration with getting the kids out the door. Pride, in the way Seth handled not winning a prize at the "Halloween at the Mall" by simply looking at me with a smile and shrugging his shoulders. Joy, as I watched Shaylee smile and laugh as her brother helped into another truck. To often I think I have let many days like today go by unnoticed. To often I think I let my own stress and anxiety get in the way. Today I had the patience I needed and the attitude I needed to see it all and recognize it for the gift it was. So this is sort of a "Lesson Learned." One I hope not soon to forget. I'm a lucky Dad and I'm glad I can have these days with my kids.
Sorry I have no pictures to post but I only had my phone and they all seemed to turn out blurry today or the people in the photos had funny faces and likely wouldn't appreciate me posting those on here. Hopefully you get the sense of the day by my writing anyways :)