Introduction of the woods: My parents moved into this house when I was 16. I have never gone exploring into these woods. I'm guessing it's because dad scared me to death with the "don't ever, ever, ever go outside without mace! There are bears around here" stories. I never did see a bear.... UNTIL last week! We were coming down the hill, and Matt yelled, "BEAR!!" We stopped the car and there it was...a huge, black bear! I was a nervous, sweaty mess!! I didn't have my mace!!! He looked blood thirsty, and he was running away from us, but I think I saw him stop and look at me and say, "I'll get you later."
Dad, I believe you now.
Now, it is my turn to scare the bologna outta these kids and put into them a healthy fear of THE WOODS. (cue scary music)
The boys have been begging Joel to take them on a hike. Their "boys only hike" morphed into a "family hike" when Joel hollered up the stairs, "Who wants to go for a hike?" The two boys dropped their playstation remotes and were in front of Joel in a flash. Both of them wearing their trusty, bright orange hunter's caps. Then, a little girl's voice yelled downstairs, "I wanna come!" "ME TOO!" chimed in another girly voice. And then the last of the girls..."WAIT FOR ME, DADDY! I'm coming!!!"
Annie was more than thrilled that it wasn't a "boys only" activity.
She held Daddy's hand the entire walk.
It was cold. It was cloudy. It was slightly rainy, but that didn't stop us.
47 seconds into the walk, Mikey was suffering from hypothermia. Matt heroically gave him his coat. The family pushed on...through the rain, through the cold. We persevered.
We stopped to inspect the mushrooms growing down the side of the tree.
Hm. Interesting. Could we survive on these out here in the wilderness?
Our family trudged up the long, winding, rocky trail, dodging deer droppings. The only thing you could hear was heavy breathers and the crunching of leaves under our tiresome legs. (I could have sworn I heard a den of bears discussing whether we had mace or not.)
Finally, through the trees, we could see the meadow, and could it be!? Yes, yes, it was!..... HOME! off in the distance!
I felt a sense of accomplishment, a sense of "I did it-ness" a sense of, "we'd better have cream because I really want a cup of coffee."
I looked at my crew of mountain climbers. "WE DID IT, KIDS! WE DID IT! We hiked 147 feet, with no food, no water...even lack of adequate clothing."
We are the mountain folk. Fear us.