Refreshment comes to me in a variety of ways. Sleep. An evening spent with a good book. Vacation. Reading the Word. Reading aloud to my kids. Journaling. Writing. Hiking. Spending time in nature without the sounds of the city or interstate echoing in the background. A powerful worship service. Listening to beautiful music. All of these things are good for me. I know the way I tick. I guess that's a good thing.This past weekend, I was able to enjoy several of these refreshing activities within a few short days spent in my hometown with my parents. We loaded up the tent, sleeping bags and everything we needed for the weekend and headed to Coshocton.
When we travel anywhere no matter how far (Coshocton isn't really very far at all, about 90 minutes), we plan, plan, PLAN. It's what I do. That's the truth of it. I am the planner. Eric is more apt to fly by the seat of his pants. Lately, I have come to realize that Eric knows what I need more than I do sometimes, so I planned almost nothing for this weekend and followed his seat of his pants flying lead. I wanted to visit my parents. I wanted to be still and quiet. I wanted to sleep outdoors in the tent. I wanted to be with my kids and my husband. That's all that mattered, and hanging out with them in my hometown made it even better.
On Friday evening, I took Mom to Wal-mart. Since Coshocton is a small town, Wal-mart is pretty much the go-to spot for nearly everything. I can't even tell you how many familiar faces I saw as we walked through the store. I love that. I really do. It doesn't happen in Columbus very often. In fact, most of the time, I don't see anyone I know as I walk through a Columbus area Wal-mart. I was able to briefly chat with friends I had not seen in years. It was a blast to go to Wal-mart on a Friday night in Coshocton and to see people in person instead of on Facebook. Facebook kind of takes away from moments like that, don't you think? I love Facebook, but there are definite downsides to social networking.
We spent much of Saturday being lazy. We slept late. The kids watched too much television. I read a little. We didn't do very much that seems to be significant in my mind, but that is exactly what made this particular weekend significant. We had good, simple, relaxing fun.
We met Dustin, a dear friend, at Lake Park where we spontaneously decided to take the kids across the tow path bridge and down to the river(Dustin's super cool idea). Ava thought we were pulling her leg about getting into the river, but she soon discovered that we were quite serious. They splashed away in the Walhonding while I snapped photos and enjoyed seeing my kids experiencing something that I did every summer as a kid. We lived on the Walhonding when I was 9-12 years old, and, even after we moved to a bigger house, my grandparents still lived on the Walhonding (and Grandpa lives there even now), so we were there all the time. I loved living on the river when I was a little girl. It seems silly, I know, but seeing my kids splashing away in the Walhonding River was special to me. It's just a river, right? I guess it was more than that to me.
My city kids got to experience so much more than they ever will hanging out in Columbus. That's kind of the point of trips like this one. They don't know it, but they are city kids, through and through, and having them experience the river in the same way I did as a kid was priceless. Fish nibbled at their legs. They skipped stones. There was lots of mud and sand and floating in the gentle current. Ava swam in a sundress. Eric, Lukas and Dustin were fully clothed. It was unplanned fun in the country. Perfect. It will be a forever moment saved in the landscape of our minds.
Saturday night was the only rough spot on our otherwise unblemished weekend. A storm came through around 3:30 in the morning, so we headed into the house. The kids were not about to stay in the tent when there was thunder and lightning involved, and it was raining too hard to carry the bedding into the house. We all ended up in various recliners until 5:30 when Lukas tossed his cookies. I know. EWWWW! Eric brought in my air mattress and we stayed in the house sleeping on and off until mid-morning. Poor Lukas was sick all day Sunday and didn't even get out of his PJs.
While Lukas was stuck laying in bed watching t.v. most of the day, the rest of us were blessed to visit with Grandpa. He looked great when we saw him and seemed to be in a good mood. He was sure to tell me that I hadn't visited in a while. True. Very true. We just don't make it up that direction as often as I would like. It was great to visit with him and Uncle Frank for a while on Sunday afternoon. Ava loves going to visit Grandpa.
Yesterday, after a second trip to the Coshocton Walmart, I made buttermilk French toast for Mom and Dad. It is an accidental recipe. I happened to have buttermilk in the fridge leftover from another recipe and used it to make French toast instead of regular milk. The result was heavenly, and Mom and Dad wanted to give it a try when I told them about it. I love to cook for other people, so it was a treat to cook for them while I was there.
This was a perfect weekend. We ended it with a little stop in Pickerington on the way home for Rita's Italian Ice. I'm so glad they came to Ohio. I'm sure they did it just for us. Florida orange Italian ice....REFRESHING (and fat free)!!! We missed Rita's in the 4+ years since we moved from PA. It was an ideal ending to a relaxing weekend, a blessed weekend. Very, very blessed. I don't think I can say that enough. I'll take another just like it any time!