Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Using What God Gave Me

Since my car has no tail light, I can't drive it on the roads, and well, there's not a lot of opportunity for off-roading around here. So, it will sit in the driveway until it's towed to wherever it will be fixed ... or whatever happens to it.

One would think that would mean that we'd just stay home, and maybe if we were other people, we would have, but I had my work done, and it was a gorgeous day. I decided we were going to the library.

And we did.

Google says it's 1.9 miles from my house and takes seven minutes. Yeah. Um ... it took us a little longer than that ;).

My little troupers were all too happy to don warm clothes (it wasn't that cold out ... in the upper 30s - it was above freezing), shoulder their backpacks with their library books and bottles of water (because they never go for a long walk or car ride without bottled water - smart girls ;), pull on their boots and head off down the road.

It took us about forty-five minutes to walk down there, but it wasn't them. It was actually me. About ten minutes into the walk, I realized how much my boots really do suck for walking. My feet were screaming, but I kept walking, albeit a little more slowly. I had to tell Big Little Sister to slow down once ... or twice. She was seriously hauling some butt. I didn't think to ask her where's the fire?.

We hung out at the library for a half hour or so, and then had planned to check out the candy store in town, but while they were supposed to be open, a sticky on the door said, "Be right back. Thanks for waiting." We decided not to wait. Instead, we went over to little Mom&Pop IGA grocery a little ways up the road and bought ice cream.

Yes, my daughters ate ice cream on the walk home as the sun was setting the temperature was falling from the balmy 39° on our walk to the library to something much cooler.

Big Little Sister noted some tracks she's pretty sure were fox in one yard in town. We discovered there's an apple tree in front of the campground, and it's unlikely that anyone harvests it, because the apples were lying all over the ground. We noticed that there is a very generous oak tree just right down the road from our house right in front of the newest subdivision. Several waste management trucks passed us full of snow, and we figured they were probably coming from Portland.

We talked about how neat it was that we were walking instead of driving and that we were able to notice all of those things, to slow down a bit and pay attention to what's happening around us instead of just zooming along and missing life.

And really, my girls like to bike and walk, and if given the choice, they're just as likely to choose the people powered transportation over the fossil fuel one.

Sometimes we feel like we need to take the car, because time is an issue, and it would take a long time to get where we're headed if we had to walk or bike.

Sometimes, though, when we're not on the clock, we like to slow down and use what God gave us. At times like those, I'm thankful that we're all healthy, that we have all of our limbs, and that walking with my three girls is an absolute pleasure ... even when my boots suck and hurt my feet ;).


  1. That sounds like fun. I am sorry I missed it. We'll just need to go geocaching soon.

  2. When I lived in Illinois, my shoes only needed to be comfortable enough to travel from the house to the car to the store for the most part. After moving here and adopting lifestyle that involved lots more walking, I had to invest in some better shoes. I have found the Kean brand to be the most comfortable all day walking shoe. I think they may even make a boot. Sorry to hear about your car, but glad you are finding creative ways to get around.

  3. Deus Ex Machina - Hey, you commented on my blog! We missed you walking with us ... although Big Little Sister said that she was walking so fast, because so often she has to keep up with you ;). It was fun, though. So, is there a geocache over by the library?

    Darcy - thanks for the recommendation. I don't normally wear those boots for anything more than puttering around in the yard, but since it snowed yesterday, I didn't know what we might find, and figured we might have to walk in some snow. My usual footwear is a pair of Birkenstocks clogs, which are good walking shoes ... but not so much for snow, as they have an open back. Anyway, I'm waiting for Deus Ex Machina to make me a pair of moose boots *grin* :).

  4. If more people like you could instill in their kids the joy of human-powered transit, we'd be thinner and healthier, and have a sustainable planet. Thanks for taking the walk, even at the sacrifice of your feet!

  5. Now that walking is more fashionable, you probably won't be asked "how come your kids aren't in Headstart?". My reply "we don't qualify". Her response "But you walk, you must qualify!"

    Anyway, my kids could identify all the trees by leaf or bark, bushes and wildflowers, knew where to find the wild raspberries, could identify tracks left in snow or mud, and knew birds by song.

    So, keep on walking and I hope you get your truck fixed soon. It's tough to grocery shop on foot.

  6. Hey, Burbs09 - feet are fine today ;), and we'll definitely keep walking. My girls are already planning the next outing - funny girls ;).

    Bellen - yeah, I've been "car-free" before and had to do the grocery shopping. Of course, my grocery store back then was a wee-bit closer than it is now. I'm thinking we might try bike shopping this year. So, it should be good ;). As for the comments people make, as a homeschooler, I can totally relate, and as well-meaning as the comment are, sometimes it just surprises me the assumptions people have about one's lifestyle based only on the tiny portion they observe. My kids can identify quite a few plants, love checking out tracks, and know a few bird songs (more than I do ;).

  7. Not the point of your post at all, but the one that grabbed me all the same, because back when I still liked ice cream...

    Tell your lovely daughter that, in the opinion of one of your highly intelligent readers'? The ONLY time it makes sense to eat ice cream is in the winter, because then it doesn't melt down your arm.