A few weekends ago, we went to my Grandparent's house out in Western Kansas. I love the little town they live in. I love driving over the hill and seeing the water tower, passing the beautiful tree lined road leading to the cemetery where Pop's parents and my great grandparents from both sides are buried, and on into town where, with the exception of a few things here and there, it is pretty much the same as it has been my whole life. When I was a kid, we moved around a lot and to return to a place where things remain much the same is always comforting.
My grandparents' house has changed a bit over the years but the smell is familiar, the feel of my grandma and grandpa's hugs are warm and loving, and it is the only place where I can still go with tangible memories tied to it from the time I was born. I love to lay in bed and look at the wallpaper that was there when I was a kid. I love to see the photo of my Grandma, when she was a little girl, that hangs on the wall. I love to walk by the collage that includes pictures of my Grandpa in his military uniform and family pictures from my mother's childhood. I love staying up late and visiting with my Grandma and seeing my kids sit on my Grandpa's lap and giggle at him.
It was special to take my kids there tell them stories about my childhood, like how we used to fly kites in the pasture or how Aunt Farmchick tried to rescue a baby bird under the evergreen trees and got caught on the barbed wire fence that ran next to the trees.
While we were visiting, Nana (my Grandma) told them about my uncle building a tree house in the tree at the bottom of the pasture. One day it was cold outside and he found an old stove and put it in his tree house. He built a fire in it and when it was dinner time, he left it unattended and the tree caught on fire while he was gone. The tree survived (and apparently my uncle survived his punishment, too). I asked them if they would like to go climb the same tree, just like I did when I was little!
So we walked down the pasture...
And they ran to the tree.
They found the bridge that runs under the tree that leads to the golf course...
and then they got down to business exploring...
I remember sitting right here and looking out, past the bridge, toward the 7th hole of the golf course just exactly like Bub is doing in this picture.
After they climbed the tree, they decided to head down the creek and see what they could find.
At one point, Bub was way up ahead of me and stopped to look at something. It appeared to be part of a dead deer. I was hollering at him to leave it alone when I saw him raise his foot to stomp on it. I yelled, "NNNNOOOOOOOO!!!!!" and took off running towards him only to discover that it was actually the hind leg of a deer TARGET that had somehow ended up in the creek bed. Imagine my relief, especially after picturing Bub's shoes covered in dead deer goo. EEeewww.
Shortly after the "deer incident," they discovered a path up the creek bank and decided to follow it to see where it went.
It was a challenging climb for their little legs!
And imagine their surprise when they discovered that their great adventure brought them right back to Nana and Grandpa's pasture...just in time to run back to the house for lunch!
Good stuff for them and for me!