Yesterday was my favorite day of the summer thus far. I usually shun favorites because the whole idea strikes me as immature and suspicious, but every once in awhile someone or something seems worthy of the prize label.
After a quiet morning of reading and writing, I high-jacked Lily for a hike at the nature center. I came to pick her up from her volunteer work with shoes, socks, bug spray and a plan. I convinced or rather guilted her into a loop...The Grassland Loop, which was more swamp after all the rain we've had. I knew if I could just get her out on the trails we both love that she'd relax and be grateful. It didn't take long. At Mystery Lake, our first stop, we spotted an otter swimming in and through the thick cover of lily pads. It was our first otter sighting so it was pretty exciting. Then two ducks were walking toward us and Lily stooped down and called them to her. They got to within a foot of her and then they just stopped, but I've never seen such a thing and I believe I can now say that I live with Snow White. We also heard the meep splash of many frogs, saw a micro-mini snapping turtle sunning on a lily pad, scared up a prehistoric looking crane that seemed too immense to take flight, but she did, and at the top of the lookout, we marveled at a hawk circling not far overhead. It was a good hour even though we came home muddy, sweaty and stinky.
While she showered, I did some planting. It is a thing with my kids that they cannot stand being dirty. Someone or something ate the flowers in one of my pots on the front porch. I suspect it's the smallest, sweetest little bunny I saw in my front garden yesterday so I couldn't be too annoyed. And the thing is that I've come to kind of like this digging in the dirt and experimenting with different flowers. I'm not ready to call myself gardener, but maybe some day.
I made us lunch as a reward. Pork tenderloin sandwiches just the way we like them: on crusty Scortino's rolls with lettuce and onion. Cheese for her and pickles for me. I sat down for fifteen minutes and enjoyed my meal. So often I take a bite in between loads of laundry or piles of dishes and I forget to appreciate the food I've made. Not yesterday.
After a delousing and a quick stop at Trader Joe's (yea! they had the cauliflower pizza crusts), we took an Uber to pick up Jess from work and make our way to the Brewers/Cubs game. It was a quintessential stadium night: starry, a little cool and charged with the teams' rivalry. I've always told myself that watching MLB is not my thing, but I enjoyed the game and so did Lils. I also enjoyed my hot dog and cold draft beer. Why do they taste so good at the ballgame? Lily settled on boring French fries and never got the ice cream she desired. I think she was a tad disappointed, but next time we'll be more strategic. And there will be a next time. Rosebud did give her a balloon filled with helium though. It's the little things! We cheered on a victory and a return to first place. It was a good night.
A good night after a good day. A good day because it was filled with people I love and some of my favorite things and I was open and present and grateful for all its goodness.