I started the day by figuring out how to turn on my new phone app: Pacer.
then I texted Mandi and asked her if she wanted to go for a walk. To someplace pretty, perhaps?
She replied, "How do you feel about getting muddy?"
We met in the driveway and hopped in her truck. She drove us to Bothwell Park, where, when I was 11 years old, and a student at Tynehead Elementary, we had our Sport's Day.
(And where, when dad's cows needed greener pastures, they would come to graze. Usually in the baseball diamond. Behind 2nd base. Oh those cows.)
I am standing where the big swing set used to be.
Not much of a park these days. Just wet grass.
Mandi led me into the back corner of The Farm (the 25 acres I grew up on) via a trail through the park:
Through a forest grove:
Past some really big trees that were only saplings when I was a kid:
And then we ended up at my creek.
Me, Jim and Jule spent alot of time down here. There was a deep part, and we had a rope swing.
And oh. The memories.
FLOODING MY MIND being there.
We continued our walk through what WAS an empty field when I was a pre-teen. We rode our motor bikes through here. Now? There's just the cow path and a whole bunch of trees.
I guess trees are good.
But I miss those wide open fields.
This is all that's left of a tree fort that my dad built for his grandkids:
And this was the 'way back' field. (Below) We had an oval motorcycle track back here. It was quite a ride from the house to get here... It felt like no-man's land.
THERE'S HOUSES BACK HERE?
You have no idea how weird this looks.
We wandered all over the property. All twenty five acres.
I was surprised how many spots on that farm held different memories for me, during different decades of my life. My preteen years. My teen years, before boyfriend. Teen years with a boyfriend. The years I lived there as a newly married twenty-something year old. Then the years I worked there, at Billies, as a new mom.
The years I came back as a newly divorced mom of three.
And the final visits when we packed dad and mom up and moved them off the farm for good.
SO much of my life.
We were on our way back to the parking lot, when Mandi warned my to watch the barbed wire. The fence that my dad had put up, almost 40 years ago, had been trampled down. So I carefully stepped over it, looking down, and remembering the day/week/month he fenced the property by himself with a hand auger for all the posts.
While I was looking down, a branch with thorns on it attacked my head...
And kinda dug in. As I moved forward it opened my scalp along my part:
And while it's definitely NOT the same, I have an idea of the pain Jesus felt when they put a crown of thorns on his head.
By the time we were done, I had walked my 10,000 steps for the day.
I also had muddy feet, soaking wet clothes, (because it started to pour half way through out walk) and a bloody scalp.
Making this a most memorable Easter.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. A niece who doesn't mind walking with me.
2. A thick head.
3. Memories of the best childhood ever.