Happy Thanksgiving friends--a little late; it's been a wonderful, hectic weekend.
The weather here in Ontario was so beautiful. The sun shone bright and warm every day.
It was ordained after our children organized their other family festivities that we should have our Thanksgiving meal today and so this morning our house filled up with grandchildren and their parents and the scent of baking ham and scalloped potatoes wafted from the kitchen.
After the meal, with far too much food and lots of leftovers to be stowed away, William asked if we were going for a hike. To let the glorious day pass by with us all in doors was unthinkable, so once we loaded the dishwasher, and then 3 adults, 3 children and a dog piled into a van and a car, leaving some less energetic family members behind, and drove to Scanlon Creek Conservation area.
The late afternoon sun lit the leaves with molten gold; neon red and burnished bronze as we tumbled from our vehicles into the bright beauty of the day. From the parking lot there were paths leading off in all directions. We opted for the white woodpecker trail and set off into the woods.
The air was filled with a loud chorus of birdsong and the scent of pine needles and fallen leaves. A canopy of gold hung over our heads and on every hand were interesting plants and trees. Paul walked on ahead with Pete and the three children, while I followed behind, trying to take photos while managing Molson who was captivated by a hundred tantalizing scents along the way. Did I mention that the woods were also full of other dogs and their owners? Well, lots of them crossed our path!
So when we came to the clearing at the end of the trail, I was trying to catch up with the others, holding a camera in one hand and the dog lead in the other and didn't notice that I was coming upon an apple tree that had shed its abundant crop of small apples in a wide circle on the ground. Basically I stepped onto a floor of marbles and it had a predictable effect. My feet went up and I went down--my camera and Molson went in opposite directions. I landed on the soggy, fermenting apples and noticed the wasps busily at work among them. Pete turned back and with a concerned expression, said, "Are you all right Mom?"
"Give me a minute," I said from my prone position, gathering my breath and composure--I'm getting too old for flying to the ground on a pile of apples.
I brushed the apple pulp from my pants and patted my bruised thigh and caught up with the rest of the gang.
"There's a beach over there," said Paul, pointing ahead. That sounded like a fine destination so we all followed him onward down another winding path.
When we got to the "beach" we found that the pond was a sea of mud. No water, just shiny mud, shimmered in the sun.
Andrew walked towards it and Paul called out, "No, that's quick-sand, you'll get sucked in."
Andrew seemed to think he was joking or exaggerating, because he kept going.
When he reached a certain point, he looked back at the adult males of the party who were calling him back, and it was obvious from the look of him that he was stuck.
His younger brother and sister looked on from a safe distance, wondering what was going to happen now.
Andrew had a stick. Sticks are a prerequisite for hikes in the wood, but it was no use at all for leveraging him out of the mud.
Pete went as close as was safe and called instructions from a distance. Helpful things like, "Lift your foot out of the mud."
The parental imperative did not work against the forces of physics. The feet were stuck in the shoes that were stuck in the mud.
There was nothing else for it but for Pete to wade in closer, risking sinking in himself. Sue would never forgive him if he came home with one less child after all.
He had a stick of his own, being a grown up boy. Both of them clung to their respective sticks while a daring rescue mission was executed.
Andrew squelched his feet from his shoes, and pulled the shoes, encased in mud, from the oozing ground. And handed them to his dad.
Andrew begged, "Please don't show this photo to my mom!"
Fortunately his mom found the whole thing pretty funny.
The clean up in the creek.
No, it's not a bear paw print on Paul's shirt, but a grandchild's hand print.
Homeward bound; tuckered out after our mis-adventurous afternoon!