Spring is in full swing! My perennials are popping up all over, most of the trees are starting the sad process of losing all of the beautiful flowers, but I’ve got catalpa trees and every year, they wait until the rest of the trees are done blooming before they even get buds on them. They are beautiful when they get their white flowers on them. Brian hates them because they are a mess in the fall, but I sure love how pretty they are and all the shade they provide during the summer.
Now that the weather is warmer, the girls and I have been spending a lot of time outside. All three of us are already starting to turn brown from time spent in the sun. We’ve got a long list of things that we like to do in the spring, so I thought I’d share some of those.
#1 – Explore the town on our bikes.
Okay, as you already know, this is a small town. We can start at the west end of the town and ride our bikes to the east end in less than 20 minutes (it’s a longer ride if you go north to south, but not by much), BUT we can also wind in and out of all the streets on the way, so we can really stretch that 20 minutes into at least an hour or a little more.
Things that we like to look for are: pretty trees, squirrels, neat old houses and pretty flowers. We also drive by one farmer’s place, on the edge of town, in search of the 2 donkeys that roam the pasture. They like to stay hidden or far enough back in the pasture where we usually can’t see them, but that doesn’t stop us from trying to spot them. And when we do, it’s like a major event that calls for celebrating with ice cream at the Corner Cafe. When the Spinster & I take our walks, we like to go by and look for them too. One day we got lucky and one of them was right up by the fence. We walked up to him and started sweet-talking him. Just when we reached out to pet his nose, he brayed as loud as he could right in our faces and nearly gave us both a heart attack. It was so funny!
#2 – Take nature walks
One thing that Katie and I are definitely wanting to do this year is check out 2 books from the library. One on birds in Indiana and one on trees in Indiana. Then we’d like to set off on an excursion and see what we can find. Now Hannah, would probably be bored to death with this. Especially since she already knows everything about everything, so she might have to stay behind and play outside with daddy for this one.
Another great way to explore nature is over at our beautiful cemetery. I know I’ve talked before about how much we love to go over there. There are all kinds of places to explore and the girls especially love the rock garden and little cave.
*Sorry – I don’t have any recent pictures of the cemetery, but here are a couple from 2008 – my how the girls have grown since then!!*
#3 – Hit the root beer stand
There are 2 places that I love to eat when the weather is nice. Both of them, you never leave your car, but it’s not like wolfing down a Big Mac from the drive through window. The root beer stand is so cool. The building itself is very retro looking. It opened in 1949 and here is a picture of what it looked like then.
And here’s another one from 1964.
I wish I had a picture of it today. But seeing as how I only head into town once and at the most twice a week, I’ll have to try to snap one another time and show you, but it really looks pretty much the same for the most part. I’m an A&W root beer gal. No other root beer will do for me. Never over ice, please don’t ruin it! But get it served in a frosty glass mug and it’s sheer delight! The food at the root beer stand is pretty great too. You place your order at the little intercom in your parking space and then the girls bring your food out to you on a tray that hooks on to your window. We never let the girls eat in the car, so you can imagine that this is an awesome treat for them – so taboo! Ha ha!
Another great drive-up place to eat is a little further of a drive but equally good is Mussillami’s. Home of the pizza burger – YUM! Same deal, you drive up, no fancy monitors here, the girl just walks out and takes your order, then brings your food back to you.
The fact that we don’t allow eating in the car is probably one of the reasons that these trips are so fun for the girls. It’s the one time that they’re allowed to do something that is usually a no-no, so it’s automatically fun just for that reason. And the conversation that we share in such close quarters with no other diners or noises to distract us makes it quality time for sure.
#4 – Pack a picnic
We love to pack up a picnic lunch and head up the to park or even just take it out into the backyard. Sometimes we’ll even drive into Columbus and eat at one of the bigger parks there. No matter where you do it, picnics are fun for the whole family!
#5 – Gardening
Whether it’s vegetables or flowers or both in our case, gardening is fun and a great way to teach kids about nature. This year along with my flowers and vegetables, we’re planning to start a compost bin, which will be another great tool in teaching the girls.
There are many more things to do in the spring. (Think baseball, soccer or dodge ball in the backyard.) Spring is awesome because the heat and humidity of the summer hasn’t made it’s appearance yet, but the sunshine and warmth is wonderful for getting outside.