With a quick call to my family, a quick reheated supper, and a quick change of clothes, I headed out to the country for a walk with my pooch and my siblings.
Right after I pulled in the driveway, three neighbor kids rode their bikes up the (long) driveway, calling out "hiiii!" as they came. They are ages five, eight, and nine ("well, almost"), I found out after a few introductions.
My family and I haven't interacted with the neighbors a lot over the years. Christmas time and a handful of other times through the year and that's about it. Life is busy for all the families & couples on our road (just like everybody else, right?). I say that to preface what I'm about to type below...
One of the first things that the eight-year-old girl said is this: "We're just riding down the road and saying hi to all the neighbors!"
And I was like, darn, girl. Us adults need to take some lessons from you!
When do I ever take the time to just "ride down the road and say hi to all the neighbors"? When do I take time to write my grandparents (like my to-do list has been reminding me to do for weeks)? When do I take the time to just call a random contact in my phone to say hi?
It's still hitting me (obviously). We can learn so much from the kids around us.
So after a few of my siblings came outside and a few hoops of basketball were shot and a few glasses of water were brought out to our thirsty bike riding neighbor kiddos, my younger siblings and I headed down the road for a walk of our own.
We had my dog with us, we snapped photos on my iPhone, we ran, we laughed, we bounced a basketball, we discussed "swearing" (and wondered if our neighbors overheard as we walked by...would have been quite interesting!), we laughed some more, and we just got lots of gorgeous fresh air.
During my time out there and on my drive back into town, I kept reminding myself to take "mental pictures".
I don't want to get so caught up capturing the wonderful little moments on my iPhone that I forget to capture them in my heart.
The sun shining off my golden retriever's hair.
My baby sister puckering her lips and pretending to be crushed after I "mocked" her.
My tall little bro rehashing stories of how the tall-er little bro picked on him.
The laughter, oh the laughter!
The sun shining off the lakes of melting snow, with silhouettes of the goose couple standing in it.
The sun setting over the neighbor's barn.
The passionate discussions about life.
The trickling of the rivers of melting snow.
Our five (six, including my pooch) shadows walking ahead of us as we headed home.
Climbing up a mountain of plowed snow along the driving and laughing hysterically at our slipping and sliding and the dog doing a belly slide down and then racing back up.
But the memories and the love will last a lifetime.
I'm so very thankful for that.