You may remember several months ago when my friend Amy and her son came with us in an exploring adventure of the woods by my house.
Well, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to bring the kids again this time during the winter, so we could see the differences stations make in one same place. Which reminds me, Amy: please shake some sense into me next time I come up with one of these marvelous ideas, k? Thx.
Where to begin. Aye.
Getting to the actual woods was a merit all on its own. From the moment we stepped on the sidewalk hands went flying and nervous laughter ensued because everything was covered in ice and was super slippery.
Then, we had to walk through a small field in order to reach our exploring area. You know how you sometimes see snow and think it’s beautiful and fluffy? Well it’s not. The darn thing is deadly. Deadly I tell ye! It’ll suck you in and eat you alive if you’re not careful. I have proof:
Look ma, no legs.
Sheesh, I mean seriously, take one step and sink in to your knees. I don’t know how we managed to not lose a kid in there.
As you can see in the background, all trees have lost their foliage for the winter, which allowed us to see where we were going. We were, nonetheless, slapped more than once by ricocheting twigs and branches bouncing back from being pushed out of the way by the person walking in front. More than once it occurred to me that Mother Nature must have been pms’ing.
We stumbled down to the creek. Ok fine, everyone walked and I stumbled.
We took our time and allowed for the kids to climb trees, look around and ask questions.
The creek was mostly frozen and it looked beautiful.
Here is Amy being her daredevil self, challenging the strength of the ice:
Being foreign to these lands and weather conditions, my only option is to trust. I mean, if the Canadian goes and gets on the ice one can only trust that it’s because it’s safe, right?
I was standing by the edge of the creek talking to the kids when the ice under my left foot cracked and gave in, my leg dropping into the ice-cold water. So. Not. Fun.
That’s the hole my foot left, and you can’t really see it but that left boot –and my foot inside it– is soaked.
So, let me get this straight: it’s ok for my friend to go and parade around on the ice, but the moment I set foot on it it cracked? Like, Mother Nature, what are you trying to imply? Am I fat, is that what this is about?
By the way, that picture was taken from Amy’s perspective as she was sitting on the snow almost rolling around in laughter. ‘Cause that’s what true friends do.
It was so scary getting off the ice after that! I knew I had to be slow and gentle, but I just wanted to bolt the heck out of there. Luckily no more ice cracked.
We followed the creek’s current and settled underneath a bridge, where the kids had a grand time throwing heavy rocks trying to get the ice to break.
We stayed there for quite a while, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that my wet foot wasn’t bothering me as much as I thought it would.
“That’s probably because it’s gone numb by now”, Amy pointed out. Gee, awesome.
On our way back the kids asked for a break because they were oh so tired.
Poor things, they don’t know that when you’re 9 you’re not allowed to be tired.
Miraculously, they found the strength for one more climb. With these two, there’s somehow enough energy left to climb one more tree.
As we made our way out of the woods and into the deeply-snowed field I shouted “Come on, I’ll race you!” and started running. To this day I don’t know what possessed me.
I say running, but really I’m using the term lightly. Surely you remember Baywatch? When they would run into the ocean to save the drowning victim, remember how they had to raise their legs in high strides to be able to move forward in the water? Well what I did was nothing like that. Imagine the less gracious and much more awkward version of that, and it’s close. Plus, it only took like five strides for me to be completely out of breath. Snow-running is hard.
Finally we arrived back at my place, only to discover I couldn’t take off my cold, wet boot. The zipper had frozen shut. Have you ever had that happen to you? Like, ‘Hey remember that day it was so cold the zipper froze shut’ I’m sure not, you know why? Because most of you live in normal parts of the world where things like this would never happen.
All in all it was a good day, with many lessons learned. Let’s recap.
1) Mother nature is a moody wench. She can hate you any day.
2) Buy boots bigger than necessary in case you have to pull them off unopened due to, you know, frozen zippers.
3) Skunks hibernate (I didn’t know this!) Though you may still smell one when trekking the woods with a pair of highly energetic and not very quiet kids.
*Thanks Amy, for the pics! And for being my partner in crime. Though you’re shaking me next time, remember?