My doorbell rang Wednesday night and when I opened the door, there stood neighbor Maria, one of the girls I’m now mentoring in 4-H.
Maria: “Can you come over and jump on our trampoline?”
Me (after I stopped laughing): “No! I’ll break an ankle, or a leg, or some other body part that is really important to me!” (We won’t even talk about potential damage to the trampoline.)
Maria: “Aww. Were you sleeping?”
Me: “No. I just took a little nap.” (The work hard-play hard days of my holiday weekend had caught up to me.)
Then, feeling the cool breeze coming in through the opened door, I asked what the neighbor girls were up to. They wanted to play ball in my backyard.
I changed from my PJ’s into something more appropriate to wear outside and joined them in my backyard – it’s the only one of the three in our “L-shaped hood” that doesn’t have a tree to get in the way.
We played a mock volleyball game with a giant yellow ball until the fireflies were more visible than the ball we were bumping and setting over an imaginary line marked by Alyssa’s flip-flops.
Ah, now these are the days of summer I’ll remember forever.
Last Saturday night, I took all four of the neighbor kids out to the family farm for a bonfire, four-wheeler rides, photography lesson (two of the kids are enrolled in the 4-H photography project and need to get their pictures taken for their county fair entries), and barn tour.
Maria didn’t think much of the barn.
“Peee-eeewe,” she exclaimed when she first stepped inside the beacon I practically lived in while growing up south of Worthington. Maria had never been in a barn before – poor girl. The barn is an awesome, adventuresome place on the farm.
Before long, I was teaching Maria’s older sister, Jennifer, how to drive the four-wheeler. Since I am able to write this blog, I obviously survived – although Jennifer’s first use of the gas lever nearly sent me off the back-end of the ATV; and her first experience in making a left-hand turn nearly resulted in a head-on collision with the grain bin.
Trips out to the back pasture with each of the kids included a deer sighting, a bunny chase, a drive through the waterway inlet and a picturesque view of the turtle pond.
While I enjoyed every minute of it (well, except for almost flying off the back of the four-wheeler), the kids all agreed their favorite part about visiting the farm was the bonfire and marshmallow roast for s’mores.
They wanted to tell scary stories, but it was getting late and I needed to get them home.
We’ll save the stories for next time – I need to dream up a really good tale about Bigfoot. I’m still not convinced the big, hairy creature is a myth. In fact, I think he got caught in the cattle yard fence a month or so ago and his “raaawwrrr” made me nearly leap out of my shoes while on the hunt for nightcrawlers.