Since we are short on money, on the weekends, we have been rediscovering our area. The place where we live. It is breathtaking here. Beautiful farm fields, and mountainous areas. Streams. Waterfalls. Quaint little towns. Stores and businesses we normally drive by, we are taking the time to visit. We had a picnic and let the girls play in a creek, after visiting Dingmans Falls, a beautiful FREE waterfall, and boardwalk trail through the woods. We go there every year. We thought we would be there in time to see all of the mountain laurel in bloom. I do believe that is happening right now, though. Worth the drive.
Holley Ross is another annual pilgrimage we make. The store is filled with such great pottery. And when we took the trip, there was no one there. Behind the store, is an enchanted forest. A swinging bridge leads you to a trail through the forest. There is a lake, and a stream. A small waterfall. And even spots to dip your feet in the chilly water. Again, FREE.
I remember, when money was tight when I was little. My parents would herd my brother and I into the family car, for a "ride". We would drive out to the eastern tip of Long Island. Sometimes the South Fork, but mostly the North Fork. This area of Long Island is dotted with, now vineyards, but back then, it was farm fields. And here and there, a small little town. We would just drive, and pass by ice cream stands, and restaurants. It was a bit torturous. I recall wanting to stop at gift shops and have something, anything, purchased for me. I get it now. My parents didn't have the money. We were just being together. Talking, and taking in the sights, and sounds, and smells of where we live.
I remember one "ride" in particular. We had been out all day, and by the time we got back on the one lane road to head back home, the sun was setting. I can still see the flat land dotted with tall black silhouettes of telephone poles. The sky was a brilliant orange. I looked over the front seat, and my parents were holding hands. My father's thumb was stroking the top of my mother's hand.Their faces glowed pink from the setting sun. I saw their love. I felt safe. We were together.
I hope my girls will take that with them. I hope they will know how sweet life is, and how much we have.
I hope they will look back when they become them, and have happy memories of being us.