Making Memories in Unexpected Ways

A few days after our granddaughter arrived here for her annual summer visit, she and I set out on a hike one morning after feeding the horses. We put on boots and heavy socks for our walk. I debated about taking my good camera but decided not to.

After letting the horses loose, we took our empty buckets into the hayfield and walked out to the blackberry thickets. The canes are loaded, but the berries aren't ready yet. We sampled a couple of black ones but they were pretty tart.

Next we headed to the sand plum thicket near the pond. They are late ripening this year; usually they are done by the time she arrives in June. They weren't quite ready yet either.

So we kept walking. We were excited to find some Indian paintbrush in bloom. They're usually through blooming by June too, but there were still quite a few flowers. Granddaughter has wanted to see some for several years now and was excited to find these.

And I was excited to find some trumpet vine on the edge of the woods. The woody vines climbed up the trees, and way up high there were several flowers. I regretted not bringing my good camera at this point; I took this with my phone's camera.

As we walked, we talked about her dog that died recently, about mosquitoes and why God created them (I don't know a mosquito's purpose in the world, but I do know that God created them for a reason), and about the plants we passed. I pointed out where an armadillo had been digging, and we walked along a deer path. She told me all about the science camp she'd attended.

Onward we went, looking for the prime goal of our walk: the bee balm, or wild bergamot, that I'd spotted a few years ago. Unfortunately it seems to have died out. Granddaughter suggested that I buy some seeds and plant them closer to the house, which sounds like a good idea to me.

As we continued through a clearing we spotted a patch of mullein plants in bloom. We stopped to pick the flowers so I could infuse them in oil. As we picked the tiny yellow flowers we noticed the different insects on the flower stalks. After several minutes I heard a noise. "I hope that's wind and not rain," I said as I eyed the distance to the horse barn, about ten acres away, but within a few minutes the raindrops were coming down. We took shelter under a tree, but the heavy rain soon soaked us, and I was glad I didn't have my good camera.

Eventually we were drenched and we decided we'd head back, rain or no rain - we were so wet that it would make no difference. We took shelter in the horse barn and waited an additional ten minutes until the rain stopped. We walked up the hill towards the house, carrying our buckets with barely a half cup of mullein flowers inside. At the top of the hill, the sole came apart from my work boot, and it flapped like a flip-flop as I walked the rest of the way to the house through the mud. Granddaughter and I laughed the whole way as we dripped and flapped. I hope it's a day she'll remember forever.

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