Enjoying an Unexpected Little Adventure

The kids pile into the car. I settle myself into the passenger seat and bang the door shut. My eldest-at-home daughter, Imogen makes sure her ‘L’ plates are attached to the front and back of the vehicle, before sliding into the driver’s place. We are off to town. Charlotte has a piano lesson and Imogen is going to drive us.
When we get to the end of our street, Imogen pulls onto the road leading out of our village. She works her way up the gears, as she drives down the hill that winds through the sandstone cutting. We pass through a tunnel of rock. We sail into the shade of the gum trees, and then back out into the sun.
“Be careful of the ditches,” I say, but Imogen needs no warning. She competently steers the car past all danger.
The road swings this way and that. We glimpse an occasional house through the trees.
“Watch out for the wombat!” someone shouts. “It’s okay! Someone’s pulled it over to the side of the road.”
Imogen drives carefully past the solid body of the immobile animal. It was killed several days ago. It was probably sauntering across the road in the dark, and refused to hurry when it saw the lights of an approaching car. That’s the problem with wombats: they’re obstinate creatures. They walk in a straight line at one slow speed. No wonder so many of them end up dead by the side of the road.
Imogen reduces her speed. She pushes the gear stick down a few gears, and manoeuvres the car through a couple of roundabouts, and soon we are heading along another road, passing paddocks of cows.
“Up to fifth gear,” I instruct, and Immy grins as she finds the right gear first time. The breeze blows through the window lifting our hair.
Twenty five minutes after leaving home, we pull up outside the piano teacher’s house. Charlotte gets out. “See you in half an hour,” I say, as Imogen pulls the car away from the curb. We’re off to the next town for more driving practice, to make the most of our waiting time.
Charlotte emerges from her lesson all smiles, and as she climbs into the car, I say, “Why don’t we have morning tea at the lake?” The girls grin.
We buy a rare treat of buns and chocolate flavoured milk, and then head towards the lake. Soon we are sitting at a picnic table munching and sipping, as we look out over the glimmering water.
“Wouldn’t it have been a shame if we’d hurried straight home?” I ask the girls. They nod emphatically, their mouths full of delicious bun. 
The spring sun is warm on my skin. I look at the lake: the water is rippling as ducks glide by. I hear peals of laughter as children run past. I stare up at empty branches dissecting the blue blue sky, and I wonder how long it will be before the first green leaves appear on the trees.
And then I turn to my girls and notice the delight dancing in their eyes and the smiles on their faces.
“I love coming to the lake,” someone says.
“Isn’t it a beautiful day?”
Aren’t you glad we’re homeschoolers and our time’s our own?”
I want to freeze this moment forever, but as time won’t stand still, I squeeze every drop of joy out of it instead.

How many times do we rush through our busy days, crossing things off our to-do lists, failing to watch out for opportunities to have little adventures? Adventures don’t need to be complicated or expensive. They don’t need to take up much time. They can occur close to home. All we needed today were a few iced buns, four beautiful girls and a lake in our local town. 

I take my camera and snap a few photos: memories of a special moment in an ordinary day.

This post is linked to Friday Field Trips. Please visit to read more family stories of field trips and outings.

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Comments

  1. Reply

    Beautiful pictures, beautiful music and beautiful
    girls! Lovely video Sue!

    God Bless
    -Gemma

    1. Reply

      Gemma,

      Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the video.

      God bless!

  2. Reply

    How glorious!!!! Wow, I am truly impressed with your artistic (and technical!) talents, Sue. I've watched the video 5 times over. Now you have us all spoiled, so we'll be looking for more of the same :).

    1. Reply

      Nancy,

      You watched the video 5 times? Now that is true friendship! I made the slideshow move quickly because I thought everyone might get tired of waiting for the next photo to appear. It seems you weren't in a hurry at all! I'd love to make some more slideshows. It was great fun making this one, and it's a different way of presenting similar photos. These photos weren't much different from the ones I posted last week. Thank you for viewing our morning at the lake!

    • Chris
    • September 13, 2013
    Reply

    What a terrific slide show!!

    First of all, "Watch out for the wombat" ??!! That is the cutest,quaintest, best thing I could have read today. I don't even know why…reality check? Wombats to me, are somewhat mythical and legendary. To know you Elvises are driving around trying to avoid them like we try to avoid squirrels, is just adorable. I can't believe we have so much in common and yet so much of what you experience day to day is beyond the realm of anything I'll ever see ( ok, maybe not "ever" ) is just so amazing. What a learning experience.
    Gum tree? Same thing. Never saw one. Only in pics.

    Love too, wanting to "freeze the moment."

    The girls are beautiful too, btw. So lively and beautiful.

    And here I am…I SHOULD be doing algebra with kev and I'm trolling thru your blog. Looking for inspiration and motivation, my friend!
    Ok, should go. I think I have what I need now. THANK YOU. onto some negative numbers and variables. wish me luck.

    1. Reply

      Chris,

      It's funny how things like wombats are commonplace to us but 'mythical and legendary' to you! Now squirrels… I would love to see some of those. I've heard they're fascinating creatures. Are they really a hazard for drivers? I'd imagined them living safely away from traffic in the tree tops. Seems I could be wrong!

      Freezing the moment… I was thinking how fortunate we are to have digital cameras and recorders. We can literally freeze any moment to enjoy all over again. Of course, nothing beats experiencing the joy and happiness of the moment as it happened.

      Sophie is working on algebra too. I don't know what level Kev is at, but Sophie enjoyed working her way through the Dragonbox Algebra app. Now she's using another app called Hands-On Equations which looks fun too.

      It's lovely to think of you reading my blog. Thank you for your kind words. Hope the maths goes well!

  3. Reply

    Sue, weren't you asking for help with a video just a day or so ago…and here you are, a pro already! Loved the pictures and your captions. I didn't know there was such a thing as morning tea. I knew about afternoon tea. I think we Americans need to ditch "happy hour."

    I love this post, and it is especially meaningful to me today. I wanted to spend some time with someone close to me, but they are always busy with "catching up," on chores, etc. I was only a few blocks from their house today, but didn't stop because I knew they were "busy." Life is so short to not take a break from the "stuff" that will never be finished. This is a lesson I've had to learn too. When we die, we won't be thinking of our immaculate house or weedless garden or well-organized garage, etc. We'll be so grateful for the times we spent laughing and loving and making memories with others.

    "All we needed today were a few iced buns, four beautiful girls and a lake in our local town." And a wise and loving mom who's crazy about those beautiful girls! 🙂

    1. Reply

      Patricia,

      Yes, I did send out a plea for help with making a video. A kind reader told me about Windows Live Movie Maker which I downloaded. I played around with a short piece of video and worked most things out. I think I'm ready to make my first proper movie! I was going to start filming yesterday afternoon but the girls and I got distracted making slideshows of our photos.

      I was looking for some movie templates online but instead found myself at Kizoa. It is really simple to make a slideshow. I made this one from scratch but there are some templates available. All you need to do is upload some photos and voila! a few minutes later, you have a slideshow. You will have to try it out! You can get started with a free membership.

      Morning tea doesn't necessarily involve the beverage tea. It's our name for a mid-morning break. We all stop for half an hour to have a drink and a snack. We have our morning tea around 10 am. We're usually hungry by then as we eat breakfast at 6.30 am. We have afternoon tea as well. (Usually coffee, not tea!) We do like to eat!

      Yes, duties are never ending. I wonder what would have happened if you'd stopped by your friend's house. Maybe she would have been very pleased to see you and grateful for the unexpected special moment in an ordinary day. It's funny how we hold back from doing things because we don't know how the other person will react.

      Then again maybe she wouldn't have appreciated you interrupting her busy routine… I have a funny story about a situation like that. When I had several little children, I visited another mother unexpectedly, without phoning her first. I had a cake with me and thought we could share morning tea together. The mother seemed a bit tense when she saw me but tried her best to be welcoming. Later, her sister-in-law told me that my visit would have been so stressful for her. She was the sort of person who liked to have her house immaculate and herself well dressed before visitors arrived. She hated unexpected visitors. You can guess I never called unexpectedly again!

      Can you tell I'm crazy about my girls? I guess I am! I think everyone should be crazy about their kids. They are all so beautiful and we are very blessed.

      God bless you!

    • Lisa
    • September 20, 2013
    Reply

    I just love your blog and how you appreciate every little moment with your children. Thanks for linking up with Field Trip Friday! I hope you will be able to join us again this week. 🙂

    1. Reply

      Lisa,

      I enjoyed linking up with your blog hop. Thank you for mentioning my post, and for your kind words! I do have another field trip post… and it's not to the lake! I will be over soon to link it up.

      Thank you for visiting my blog again!

      • Lisa
      • September 20, 2013
      Reply

      Btw, I mentioned your post! I couldn't include a photo, as you have them scrolling, but I was happy to give it a shout-out! 🙂

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