Dishes lay staggered in the sink like Lincoln Logs. The ironing board sits out. The floorboards can't remember the last time a mop has run across them, and the dog needs a bath. But dirt can wait. The weather waits for no one.
And, today was perfect. No coats, no boots - just long sleeves and a cooling breeze. Never being one who needs more than an inkling of an excuse to get out of dish duty, we loaded ourselves into the car to enjoy what just might be one of the last nice fall days. I steered us (stroller in tow) in the direction of one of our local parks, intent on walking the paved path and playing at the various playgrounds. While happy to comply, Audrey also had a few of her own plans, preferring that I push a stuffed rabbit in the stroller while she walked beside us, and deciding to take our outing (stroller and all) into the woods.
We spent the better part of our afternoon under a canopy of colored leaves, every once in a while finding ourselves the spectators of a sudden golden shower. Audrey led the way, a stick as tall as she held high above her head: her "umbrella" (because walking sticks are so last season).
Had it not been for a slight brush with what looked to be poison ivy, I would have followed that umbrella all afternoon, crunching and collecting the fallen foliage beneath my feet. But not knowing how my little one would fair with poison ivy, we left the umbrella for another visitor or another day. When Audrey pointed out a "big snake", aka a long stick, I asked her to pick up two smaller snakes and bring them with us. This ploy, coupled with the discovery to two lady bugs on my shirt, kept her hands busy and off her face until we were able to get her scrubbed down in a bathroom outside one of the playgrounds. One last foray between slides and swings and we called it an afternoon well-spent. Now to get the rest of the burrs out of her hair...